Today marks the 49th year celebrating the Earth. In that time, people have been growing more passionate about preserving our one home and restoring this planet to its natural beauty. There is an exponentially growing interest in sustainable options and lifestyle changes that both helps us live happier and healthier, as well as everyone else.

Earth Day is a great reminder to celebrate that which gives us life – this planet. From the food we eat to the water we drink, to the cotton shirts on our backs. Everything we have comes from this giant rock hurtling through space. Even the dreaded plastic.

But why should we limit our celebration and care towards this planet to a single day? As a living being that supports us 365 days a year, I feel this planet deserves a lot more recognition. Sure, you may go out of your way to take your mom to dinner and buy her flowers on mothers day, but every day after that we do the little things to support the ones who look after us and ensure we are growing in the right direction. Whether it is Mothers Day or Earth Day, they are just fancy ways of saying “Today, Mom, I am going the extra mile for you in my gratitude for all that you do to me. I see you and I love you. Thank you.”

So how can we start spreading the love and sharing our gratitude every day?

  1. Quit Plastics
  2. Invest in Reusable Containers
  3. Create a Zero-Waste Pack
  4. Swap Single-Use Bottles for a Reusable One
  5. BYOB – Bring Your Own Bags
  6. Buy from Bulk Bins
  7. Ride a Bike, Walk, or use Public Transportation
  8. Get Involved in Local Climate and Environmental Initiatives
  9. Buy Local, Organic, and if possible – Biodynamic
  10. Start Composting
    1. “The Rodale Guide to Composting” by Jerry Minnich is a great place to start
    2. I personally use a Bokashi Compost for apartment living.
  11. Plant Trees
  12. Join a Community Garden
  13. Plant Your Own Garden
  14. Get Outside in Nature More – Bring Your Friends and Family
  15. Look for the Right Labels
    1. USDA Organic
    2. Non-GMO Certified
    3. American Grassfed
    4. American Humane Certified
    5. Certified Humane
    6. Animal Welfare Approved
    7. Bird Friendly
    8. Global Animal Partnership
    9. Certified Sustainable Seafood MSC
    10. Biodynamic
  16. Get Educated
    1. Documentaries that will change your life:
      1. Chasing Coral
      2. Chasing Ice
      3. Real Value
      4. The True Cost
      5. Cowspiracy
      6. More Than Honey
      7. Forks Over Knives
      8. No Impact Man
      9. Fed Up
      10. Before the Flood
      11. Rotten
      12. Sustainable
      13. A Plastic Ocean
      14. Mission Blue
      15. Wasted! The Story of Food Waste
  17. Switch to Renewable Energy Sources
    1. Most energy providers have an option – ask yours and do some research to find one that works for you.
  18. Thrift Clothes and Quit Fast Fashion
  19. Home Cook Meals
  20. Eat a “Flexitarian” Diet
    1. 80% of your plate: Fruits, Vegetables, Whole Grains, Beans and Legumes, Nuts and Seeds
    2. 20% of your plate: Meat, Dairy, Processed Foods
    3. BONUS POINTS: Go fully Vegan at least 1 Day a week, AND Cut out Processed and Packaged foods
  21. Join a CSA
    1. Fresh, Locally Harvested Food for Cheap
  22. Pack Kids Lunches with Healthy Foods in Reusable Containers
  23. Support Restaurants that Serve Farm-to-Table and Organic Cuisine
  24. Be on the Lookout for “Green Washing.”
    1. A common trend in restaurants, grocery stores, and brands is to advertise something as natural without it being good for the planet. Look out for the companies who only have your money in mind, rather than the planet.
    2. Example: The popular “Boxed Water” claims to be better for the planet and the people. In reality, it is non-recyclable and lined with aluminum, thus unable to break down well and polluting our bodies with heavy metals. Do your research before you hand over your hard earned cash.
    3. Learn More Here
  25. Teach Children about Food, Agriculture, and Ecological Systems as well as the Social Impacts of these Systems
    1. Children are the future and they need to know about the world they are getting into. Kids have an incredible ability to grasp difficult-to-swallow and complicated concepts. They are sponges that are quick to empathize and start brainstorming solutions.
    2. Go outside, take them to local farms, and engage them in the understanding and awareness of how this world works, where their food comes from, and the impact their decisions make on the planet.
  26. Volunteer
    1. Intern on a Farm
    2. http://www.wwoof.net
    3. http://www.workaway.info
    4. Join a Beach Cleanup
    5. Join or Organize a Cleanup for Local Parks and Neighborhoods
    6. Help Out at Community Gardens
    7. Look into Local Chapters with Sierra Club
  27. Quit Chemicals
    1. Swap out old household cleaners for the classic Vinegar and Lemon. Simply fill a spray bottle with vinegar and citrus peels and let it sit for a few days. Add essential oils if desired.
    2. Need something a bit stronger or don’t like vinegar? Try Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap. It has you covered from Shampoo, to Dish Washing, to Laundry Detergent.
    3. Get the Lawn OFF Chemicals. Those Chemicals are getting on your family and pets, being tracked into the house, and are washed into our water supply. 10x more chemicals go onto lawns than crops. That is insanity. News Flash: Dandelions and Red Clovers are a sign of good health (PLUS They are edible and amazing for the liver!). Ditch the chemicals and allow the “weeds” to grow.
    4. By experimenting with different cover crops on your lawn (think legumes, clover, and other grasses) you can turn your lawn into a carbon sink! This means your lawn will be able to pull carbon out of the atmosphere and put it into the ground, reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. How cool is that?! Take it a step further and turn your lawn into a sustainable food garden, reversing climate change and your food bill.
  28. Know Your Farmers
    1. Get to know the people who work long hours to ensure you and your family have food on the table. Hear their stories, support their service, and even volunteer if you have some hours to offer.
  29. Join a Reforestry Program
    1. Find Non-Profits in your area to support you in a reforestry mission. Many places these days could do with a lot more trees. Trees are natural air conditioners, plus they supply enough CLEAN oxygen for 30 people. This is vital in a world full of pollutants and burning fossil fuels from cars.
    2. By planting more trees and repopulating our forests, we also invite greater biodiversity and life of other species back in. Birds, Bees, and everything in between. This allows for more pollinators which help supply us with food and it will help pull carbon out of the atmosphere and back into the ground with the increase of healthy foliage.
  30. Only Buy What You Need
    1. By purchasing more products, we are increasing demand on production as well as demands on the Earth’s natural resources. Put time and consideration into your purchases before bringing more things into your home. Try going minimalist, and only surrounding yourself with necessities and those things that, as Marie Kondo would say, “spark joy.”
    2. Food waste is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, specifically methane. Did you know it takes 25 YEARS for a head of lettuce to decompose in landfill? When you go shopping, bring a list and have some recipes in mind. Stick to what you need and avoid impulse purchases. If you feel like you have more food than you will be able to finish, invite people over to share food with or give some away to those in need.
  31. Make Your Own Beauty Products
    1. There are numerous recipes online and on YouTube to make everything you could ever need, from facial moisturizers to toothpaste to hair gel. Get creative and experiment with different recipes that work for you.
    2. Low on time? Support brands that are already making zero waste beauty products.
      1. Axiology
      2. Elate Cosmetics
      3. Tata Harper
      4. Lush
  32. Turn All Lights and Appliances Off When Not in Use
  33. Swap Air Conditioning for Open Windows
    1. Keep the windows open at night and close them during the day to trap cool air on exceptionally hot days.
    2. Keeping trees planted near the house also offers a cooling effect on houses, reducing the need to use the air conditioning.
  34. Demand Participation of Local Grocery Stores
    1. Get your friends, family, and community involved. Ask the stores to ban plastic and offer package-free produce.
    2. Ask them to fight food waste by donating leftover food to companies like forgottenharvest.org
  35. Go to Town Hall Meetings
    1. Actively advocate for the changes you wish to see in our community towards sustainable practices. Get your friends and family to join as well and get others passionate about transforming the community into one that helps the planet rather than destroys it.
  36. Contemplate the Sacredness of it All
    1. Every part of you is made from the Earth. It is to the Earth we all return. The Sun, Moon, Water, and Microbes, as well as Plants and Animals all collaborate to help grow the food that ends up on our tables. Farmers work from dawn to dusk to ensure a healthy harvest, and many more people work together to get that food on trucks, in stores, and into our hands. We often take this all for granted because of how easily accessible our food is now. Take a step back and honor the work that goes into it, and all of those who worked with this land long before we were ever here. The backs of the slaves the abundance of this land was built upon. The blood of the natives that fertilized these soils. There is much more to a meal than finding a nice recipe and swiping a credit card. This Earth was billions of years in the making, and it was a very chaotic and often brutal journey to get where we are now. Before each meal, I encourage you to bow your head in remembrance of these facts and give thanks for the privilege to have a meal in front of you while others in the world are dying or food scarcity, racism, and prejudice.

This is only a start. There is much more all of us could be doing. Putting an end to CAFOs, educating women in underdeveloped countries, lobbying in our local governments.

Brainstorm ideas of what you feel you can do to make the greatest impact or look further into some of the ideas above. Once you have some ideas, look for the people who are already doing what it is you would like to contribute and learn from them. We will make a greater impact and bigger changes when we can all come together over the common goal of helping this planet grow and thrive for the good of all on this Earth.

Thank you for reading and Happy Earth Day!

Comment below on ideas you have for making Earth Day every day!

Published by Life Alchemist

Certified Holistic Health Coach & Herbalist. Energy Healer. Life Alchemist. I specialize in women's health, emotional healing, the power of positive thinking, and living for a higher purpose. I help people heal their BODY, MIND, and EMOTIONS through whole-food diets and safe, effective healing techniques offered through One-on-One Coaching and Programs.

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