Warm weather is back and just in time for Earth Day! As we start to return to “normal” lives, let’s think back on why this holiday was started in the first place. In the 1960s, more and more people were starting to realize the effect that pollution had on the planet, so they decided to band together and educate others on the environmental impact of our people. In the spirit of their passion, here are 10 things you can do to support Earth Day 2021, and jumpstart this world into a new era of action.

1. Conserve water

The average American uses roughly 80-100 gallons of water every day. By taking
shorter showers or turning the faucet off while brushing your teeth, you can help save hundreds of gallons of water (not to mention lower your water bill)!

gray stainless steel faucet during daytime close-up photography

2. Start composting

Many people don’t realize how easy it is to compost. If your town supports it, opt into their program. If they don’t, write a letter to your local representatives asking for change. If you own a house, start composting your backyard. If you’re in an apartment complex, you too can join in with practices like vermicomposting and Bokashi composting.

green metal garden shovel filled with brown soil

3. Plant a tree or start a garden

What better way to give back to the Earth than giving it new life? Find a nursery near
you, and follow these steps to plant a tree and give your own little gift back to our planet. You could also learn how to grow a vegetable garden, or cultivate flowers if they’re more your style! Living somewhere without the space or resources for a garden? Window boxes can make a difference too!

person showing green plant

4. Collect rainwater

Instead of running the faucet to fill up your watering can, leave it outside for when
Mother Nature lets those heavy gray clouds break loose! You can also implement rain barrels to make collection easier, and use it for things such as stimulating plant growth, washing your car, or even showering with it.

closeup photography of water drops on body of water

5. Recycle (The right way!)

There are a lot of myths that go around when it comes to recycling. Some people don’t
truly know what counts as “recyclable materials”, and others think whatever they put in the bin has been recycled, and that their duty to the environment ends there. Here are instructions on what can and cannot be recycled to help you get started!

litter signage

6. Get crafty with DIYs

I personally am an extremely crafty person, so DIY ideas and recipes fill my computer’s memory to the brim…and I love it! These crafts are such an easy way to save money, give back, and keep our planet clean. You can make your own cleaning products, use would-be landfilled items to make your house a home, and even put something together for the wildlife right outside your door.

silver fork and knife on white and red floral table cloth

7. Kiss junk mail and paper bills goodbye

Tired of opening your mailbox to see yet another flyer? How about a credit card offer, or
a letter from an organization you donated to that one time? Well luckily, there’s a way to put an end to most of those communications. To save paper and stop the unwanted junk mail brigade, you can “opt out” through the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. For places you’ve donated to or paper bills you receive, just go to their website and ask to receive emails instead (or unsubscribe entirely if allowed).

opened envelopes

8. Hold events such as yard sales and trash pickup days

Yard sales are a great way to keep things out of the landfills, as well as a way to make
some extra money! Here are some tips for holding a yard sale, and you can check with your local government for any permit requirements. As for trash pickup, you can head out by yourself, get a group of friends together, join a pre-existing organization, or officially organize your own.

person holding vinyl records

9. Calculate your “footprint” and learn how to reduce your impact on the environment

Through the Environmental Protection Agency, you can calculate your carbon footprint,
energy use, and emissions estimates. With the Global Footprint Network, you can find
your ecological footprint and compare it to others. Thanks to earthday.org, you can also check out your “foodprints”, or how your diet and lifestyle impacts the planet.

foot prints on brown sand

10. Volunteer or Donate!

Have some extra time on your hands? Look for local groups in your neighborhood to
help out, or sign up for a national organization like earthday.org. Busy or otherwise unable to participate in person? You can donate to campaigns like Team Trees and The Canopy Project, or find a different cause that speaks to you.

people standing in front of brown cardboard boxes

Whatever you choose to do this Earth Day, know that while it might seem like a small step for you, every action can make a positive impact on your life, your community, and the planet. With your help, a better future is on the horizon. Happy Earth Day from Planet Home!