Caring for our home—Earth!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 will mark the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. On Earth Day, we celebrate the ways we care for our home planet and learn about the things we can do better.

While Earth Day is a great time to do something extra to care for the earth, we need to remember t0 take care of our home every day, all year long. Here are some things you can do:

• Organize a litter cleanup in your neighborhood. Pick a day and invite your friends, neighbors, and relatives. Remind everyone to bring a pair of gloves so their hands don’t get cut or dirty. If you’ll be near a road or parking lot, wear bright or light colors or safety vests so that drivers will be able to see and avoid you. Provide bags for trash and recyclables. Remember to properly recycle or dispose of everything when you are done. Contact your local public works department to see if they will haul away what you collect. Here’s more about how to Lose the Litter.

• Compost your food waste. Check out how to Put Food Scraps to Good Use.

• Make sure to recycle all materials that are collected in your community. Common recyclables include metal food and drink cans; plastic bottles, jugs, tubs, and containers; glass food and drink bottles and jars; and paper and cardboard. Share the Recycling Fast Five! with any friends who don’t recycle.

• Reduce your waste. There are lots of small ways to do this. Use both the front and back sides of your paper. If you pack a lunch, use washable and reusable containers and a reusable lunch bag or box. For tips, read 8 Steps to a Waste-free Packed Lunch. Before you buy something new, think about whether you really need it or look for something used.

• Save energy. Turn off lights when you leave the room. Turn off computer monitors when you aren’t using them. Unplug power adapters for cell phones, tablets, and laptops when you aren’t charging or using the device. Use energy-efficient light bulbs, like compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LEDs, to replace burned-out incandescent bulbs. Oh, and don’t stand with the refrigerator door open! Take a peek and think about the food with the door shut.

For more about Earth Day and its history, check out Earth Day–Then and Now.

Photo Credit (c) iStock.com | yaruta

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