Happy Earth Day! April 22nd is all about being appreciative of mama nature and all that she provides us with.
Photo: Alexandra Stroh
Since 1970, Earth Day has been celebrated to bring attention to our most pressing environmental problems and our impact on the planet. We've all heard that we should use sustainable water bottles, bring our own reusable bags to the grocery store, and carpool, but there are so many more ways to reduce your footprint! Each of us plays an essential role in climate change and environmental preservation, so make your contribution a positive one rather than a negative one. Here are seven ways to be more sustainable, not just on Earth Day, but every day.
1. Skip That Burger (or at least have it less often)
Consider reducing or eliminating your meat, fish, and dairy consumption. Animal products are a huge contributor to global warming. Arguably the single most effective change you can make to combat climate is to limit your meat consumption, especially red meat. To get just one pound of beef, it takes over 5,000 gallons of water! (Huffpost) In addition to reducing your water usage, cutting down on animal products will also reduce your carbon footprint and help reduce fossil fuel dependence. On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of beef in the U.S compared to just 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein (GRACE). So get munching on that salad! The planet will thank you.
2. Use Natural Soaps and Cleaning Products
Natural products are not only better for the planet, they're better for your skin too. There are so many awesome companies out there making environmentally responsible bath products and cleaning supplies, but some of our favorites are Dr. Bronner’s, Lush, and Organic Fiji. Dr. Bronner’s is the king of Fair Trade and sustainability. They use 100% post-consumer recycled plastic packaging and have regenerative agricultural practices that work to reverse climate change. Lush is another awesome, sustainable company. They are great about limiting their use of plastic packaging and giving incentives for recycling the plastic they do use. Save five tubs and exchange them at the store for a free face mask! Can't beat that. Or check out their Charity Pot. 100% of the proceeds go to grassroots organizations working in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare, and human rights. Organic Fiji is our top choice for coconut oil based skin care products. They are 100% USDA certified organic, Fair Trade, environmentally friendly, non-GMO, and fully cruelty-free. Lotus and Luna is partnering with Organic Fiji this Earth Day to offer you a special giveaway. For more details click here.
3. Skip the Plastic Straw and Replace it With a Stainless Steel One
If you guys have ever seen the video that went viral of the sea turtle with a straw in its nostril then you already know why this is so important! Here’s the video we’re talking about if you want to see it. Please keep in mind this link contains disturbing content.
Nearly 500 million disposable plastic straws end up in landfills and in the ocean every year. Do your best not to contribute to this! Skip the straw altogether or use your own reusable one. Check out Eco at Heart’s stainless steel, BPA free, dishwasher safe straws!
Photo: Eco at Heart
4. Thrift Shop
Who doesn’t love a good vintage buy?! Buffalo Exchange is one of our favorites for thrift shopping! It’s right down the street from our office (score!) and what’s great about it is that in addition to repurposing previously owned clothes, Buffalo Exchange is completely bagless. They have a system where you get to pick a charity to support with the five cents they would have spent on a bag. When you’re not buying used, support companies like Patagonia who make environmentally responsible clothing and pay their workers fair wages.
5. Ride a Bike Instead of Driving
Bike sharing is a new trend that we’re absolutely loving. LimeBike and ofo are two bike sharing companies in San Diego where riders can pick up and leave bikes anywhere that's legal. Users unlock the bikes and pay for rides using a smartphone app. LimeBike charges $1 for every half hour and ofo charges $1 per hour.
Save the environment and work on that summer beach bod at the same time. Win-win!
6. Line-Dry Your Clothes
Did you know your dryer is one of your top energy-consuming appliances in your house? Running your dryer is equivalent to turning on 225 light bulbs for an hour! (Huffpost) Plus, line-drying is more gentle and will help your clothes last longer. So next time you do laundry, consider hanging your clothes and ditching the dryer.
7. Buy Locally
Shop at farmers markets! One of our favorite sayings is “think globally, act locally.” There are so many awesome farmers markets around San Diego where you can buy local, in season, organic products. Not only will you be supporting local farms and small businesses, but you will also be significantly reducing your carbon footprint by purchasing products that didn't have to travel far to get to you.
Some farmers markets we love are:
- Pacific Beach Farmers’ Market on Tuesdays from 2PM - 7PM
- Ocean Beach Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays from 4PM -8PM
- North Park Farmers’ Market on Thursdays from 3PM - 7:30PM
- Little Italy Mercato on Saturdays from 8AM - 2PM
- Hillcrest Farmers’ Market on Sundays from 9AM-2PM
- La Jolla Open Aire Farmers' Market Sundays from 9AM-1PM
We hope you get outside and enjoy Earth Day this weekend! Go to a farmers market, take a bike ride down the boardwalk, or maybe even check out Balboa Park's awesome EarthFair.
Let us know in the comments below what your favorite ways to be sustainable are on Earth Day and every day. Don’t forget to use discount code “HAPPYEARTH” to get 30% off our entire Earth Day collection!
Photo: Alexandra Stroh