For a millennium, man has been celebrating the earth in a variety of ways and traditions. For example, Hanami is the observance of the cherry blossoms blooming in Japan. The name literally means “viewing flowers.” It was originally practiced more than a thousand years ago and is celebrated by esteemed Japanese artists and poets. More recently, Fira per la Terra, or “Fair of the Earth,” is celebrated annually in Barcelona in the weeks leading up to Earth Day. The festival focuses on promoting action for climate justice and showcasing new products and technologies to procure a greener future.
As time passes and technologies progress, we must become more mindful of the carbon footprint we are leaving behind on earth. With a world full of conveniences, we tend to forget about our host and her precious resources. It’s no secret that the earth’s resources cannot sustain us for as long as we would like, and if we continue to engage in the behaviors we do now, we won’t be graced with her presence for much longer. There are certain social responsibilities we must take ownership of if we want to continue to call the earth our home.
To celebrate Earth in all her life-giving glory, here is a list of simple and modern tips to help reduce your carbon footprint and work toward a greener tomorrow. With these tips, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are helping protect the earth while saving some money. Practice these tips year-round and make everyday Earth Day!
1. Use energy efficient appliances. From water heaters to light bulbs, the range of available appliances and fixtures are quite eclectic. You’re conserving energy, saving money and helping the environment when you switch to energy efficient appliances. A true triple threat.
2. Save energy while getting some exercise by taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
3. Wash your clothes in cold water as often as possible. Your washing machine uses the most concentrated amount of energy when it heats water.
4. Unplug your electronics when they are not in use or when they have a full charge.
5. Set your printer’s settings to print on both sides of the paper. This helps cut costs and save a few trees while you are at it.
6. Read documents online by having your office and home go paperless.
7. Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones. This helps cut down on garbage and saves some trees.
8. Carry around use a reusable water bottle. Try bringing your own travel cup to the coffee shop next time.
9. Join a local beach, park or highway clean-up project.
10. Use environment-friendly cleaning products.
11. Plant something: a tree, a flower or start your own herb garden on your patio. Use Earth Day as a tradition to plant something new every year and to add to your
growing green family.
12. Recycle, recycle, recycle! If your city does not provide recycle pick-up in your area, turn to the internet to find the nearest recycling center.
13. Carpool to work or walk to the corner market instead of driving. Spending as little time on the road as possible will do wonders in helping reduce your carbon footprint.
14. Encourage and educate your children on living a green lifestyle. The earth is precious, and the only way we can ensure both ours and her survival is to teach our children the importance of protecting our environment.
15. Go outside! In an age of quick fix news articles, memes and viral videos it’s easy to forget the beautiful world beyond our screens and right outside our walls. Turn off, unplug and give back to mother nature by simply admiring her in all her glory.