Earth Day takes place every year on April 22, but we can celebrate every day.
Earth Day is a time to reflect on our appreciation for the place we all call home and to consider how we are stewarding the health of the planet for generations to come.
Below is a list of daily actions, habits and sustainable choices you can make in your community, at home and at work to improve environmental health and personal well-being.
- Save on energy costs and consumption by draftproofing your home. See BC Hydro's Power Smart guide to draftproofing.
- Make your food last longer. Put a cloth in the fridge drawer with your produce to absorb moisture and extend your food’s shelf life. Also improve your fridge’s efficiency by keeping it full – use containers of water if needed. This saves energy because your fridge doesn’t need to work to cool empty space.
- Heating costs rise up to five per cent for every degree above 20°C that you set your thermostat. Turn down the heat when you sleep. Not only will you probably sleep better, but you will also reduce your home energy consumption and cost.
- Switch to LED lights. They use up to 95 per cent less energy and last at least seven times longer than regular lights. They also produce very little heat, which reduces cooling loads in the summer.
- Reduce plastic use. Try laundry strips instead of liquid or powder detergents, use a reusable cup when ordering take out beverages and consider switching to more personal care products with minimal packaging, like shampoo bars.
In your community:
- Take active forms of transportation such as transit, walking or cycling. This reduces environmental burden, improves physical health and contributes to social equity by supporting a transportation system that makes transit accessible to everyone.
- Find out where your food comes from. Visit a local farmers market or look for B.C. labels on food products. Not only will your food be fresher and last longer, you’ll also be supporting your local economy.
- Look for local ‘Buy Nothing’ groups. Instead of buying brand new, in these groups you can share or borrow items you need with neighbours or give away things you no longer need instead of throwing them in the trash. This helps reduce the burden that production can have on the environment.
- Leverage digital tools where possible, such as hosting online meetings to avoid people having to travel, or using digital communications, like email or video-calls, instead of printing or faxing materials.
- Turn off your computer monitor at the end of the day or if you will be away from your desk for more than 15 minutes.
- If packing your lunch, stay away from single-use plastics. Opt for reusable containers and lunch totes.
- Join your company or organization’s sustainability committee or take the lead to organize one. If you work in health care in B.C., become a Green+Leader and help advance sustainability within the health system.
Learn more about the climate, the environment and your health.
Content adapted from GreenCare.