I Turn 40 This Week. Here are 40 Things You Can Do For the Earth

  • Vote! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – voting is a free and easy way to advocate for the Earth. It doesn’t even need to be a Trump vs Biden decision. Voting in all races is important, as climate-related decisions are made throughout government.
  • Turn off your car while waiting in a car-line or running into a store
  • Skip a car ride and bike or walk instead.
  • Skip the dryer and line-dry a load of laundry
  • Use the cold and/or express cycle while washing clothes
  • Do a trash audit and pick one piece of garbage that you can regularly reduce. In my house, we’ve been working on eliminating small plastic cups of applesauce, yogurt etc.
  • Reduce and/or eliminate the use of paper towels and paper napkins in your home
  • Stop buying single-use water bottles and invest in a reusable one that you carry with you
  • Bring reusable mugs to the coffee shop
  • Take a look at your menstrual items and see what you can swap. There are many products available. Remember – it doesn’t need to be all or nothing; even a 50% reduction is helpful
  • Look at your cooking items and swap for reusables such as silpats , silicone baking cups or beeswax wrap
  • Stop using plastic baggies for food storage and snacks; buy or make cute little snack pouches instead
  • Look into shampoo bars or places where you can refill liquid shampoo
  • Pick a few items and start buying them in bulk with your own packaging
  • Learn to compost!
  • Turn off the lights after leaving a room
  • Take shorter showers
  • Lessen your use of air-conditioning and lower the thermostat. Even going to 67 from 68 degrees will help
  • Change to LED lightbulbs
  • Have a house energy audit and find where your home is losing heat. Insulate those areas
  • Eat less meat and/or focus on buying from small, individual farms. Stop supporting factory farms
  • Buy organic produce, or at least the dirty dozen
  • Focus on local food sources and eat seasonally
  • Buy second-hand items
  • If you must buy new, such as undergarments, focus on companies that use natural and sustainable materials
  • Wash your clothing less often. Some items, such as jeans, can be worn many times before needing to go into the laundry. Let a shirt “air-out” after re-wear at least once before tossing it into the wash
  • Plant some native bushes trees
  • Take a look at your beauty products and purchase items without plastic. Or, make your own, such as deodorant
  • Research the recycling guidelines in your area and make sure you know them, so that you can recycle correctly
  • When Covid is over, fly less and take a staycation!
  • Teach the children in your life about climate change and help them create good habits
  • Fix the leaks in your home, so you waste less water
  • Consider your lawn-care (or even having a lawn!) and reduce your use of sprinklers and chemicals
  • Use “gray water,” such as leftover shower or pasta water, and use it to water your plants
  • Look into solar panels for your home
  • Reduce your food waste. Keep a bin in your fridge for produce that’s about to go bad and make sure to eat from there first
  • Remember your reusable bags whenever entering a store
  • Have extra plastic shopping bags? Reuse them or find a local store that will recycle them for you
  • Donate to a non-profit that is fighting climate change
  • VOTE! So important that I’ve listed it twice. Voting is definitely trickier this year. If you need help getting started, look here

Thank you for helping me celebrate my big birthday. I’d love to hear about the changes you made. – Rachel

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