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6 Small Changes You Can Make in Celebration of Earth Day

4/22/2020 by Kyle Greco

This Earth Day figures to be a little different. With everyone practicing social distancing, you probably won’t be able to carry out the traditions you normally do to observe the day. 

With planting trees and cleaning beaches probably out of the question for a while, you may be looking for other ways to be a little bit greener. Being friendlier to the environment doesn’t require you to make massive lifestyle shifts (though things like going meat-free can help). 

And while it’s important to remember that certain things are out of our control, we can impact the environment in a positive way. Here are a few tiny changes you can make for Earth Day that will make a big difference in the long run.

Cut down on your contribution to the microplastic problem

The prevalence of microplastics in the environment is well-documented. What is still uncertain, however, is the effect it has on nature, and ourselves. 

While some nations have taken steps to ban things that contribute to microplastic pollution, there are still other items on the market that contribute to the problem. Fortunately, you can limit what you personally contribute to the problem in a few more ways.

How to Reduce Microplastics in Your Life

Air dry your clothes. The process of washing and drying your clothes can release hundreds of thousands of synthetic fibers out into the environment. Air drying can cut down on this number. Another option is to pick up a laundry ball, which can catch microfibers as they come off your clothes.

Forego plastic containers. While easily washable and convenient, plastic containers degrade extremely slowly, and shed microplastics over time. Use biodegradable materials, like wood and glass, instead.

Filter your tap water. Catching microplastics at any point in the water cycle is a smart move. Pick up carbon block filters with micron ratings of 2 or lower to do this.

Use Reusable Bags

Plastic bags are slowly being phased out of society. Which means you’re probably going to need to buy a few reusable bags sooner or later. And let’s be honest, you want to be one of those people rocking a custom canvas tote bag at the grocery store, anyway.

 

Go Paperless

Why are you still getting bills in the mail, anyway? It’s probably because you haven’t opted into paperless statements. All of that paper really adds up over time, and plays a part in the deforestation of our planet.

Of course, in a world where some 24 million Americans don’t have broadband internet, going paperless isn’t necessarily feasible for everyone. Still, cutting back on your paper consumption where in other areas can be  You might think that junk mail a fact of life, but there are multiple avenues by which you can reduce the amount that ends up in your mailbox. 

Use a reusable water bottle

Bottled water is convenient, no doubt. But it takes a heavy toll on the environment. A reusable water bottle has the opposite effect. 

Some people believe tap water is not safe to drink in America. And while horrible cases like Flint, MI get (rightfully) plenty of publicity, for most other parts of the country this is simply not true. Furthermore, drinking water out of a disposable plastic bottle may also be dangerous, either due to contamination at the source of bottling, or from the bottle itself. 

There are so many different kinds of reusable bottles to choose from, so pick the one that you like enough to use all the time! Just make sure the material it’s made out of is free of bisphenol A, or BPA.

Buy quality clothes (that you really love)

It feels like fast fashion is quickly becoming our new normal, as major retail chains like Zara and H&M continue to rake in the money. 

But the clothing they put out every season tends to be highly disposable, and is very difficult to recycle. This makes it very harmful to our planet. 

Instead of buying trendy, cheap items that may fall out of fashion in a few months, opt instead to spend on high quality clothes made with better, more durable materials. And only buy items you can see yourself wearing for the medium and long-term.

Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra on a custom piece of clothing, either. Building your own t-shirt or hoodie pretty much guarantees you’ll like it. 

When you’re done with your old, well-loved clothes, you can still put them to good use with help from our do’s and don’ts guide.

Ride Instead of Drive

Do you know how big your carbon footprint is? You can find out here. One of the things you’ll discover in playing around with this handy tool is that driving is one of the major ways in which we pollute the environment. 

That means every time we leave the car keys at home, we’re doing the planet a solid. Each time we use the bike pedals instead of gas pedals, the world breathes a little easier.

Of course, there are some times when using a car is a necessity. That’s why it’s a good idea to carpool when you can, or use a taxi service to get around. The fewer cars on the road, the better!

About the Author

Kyle Greco Kyle Greco is the resident writer at RushOrderTees, where he blends word nerdery with his love for T-shirts. A graduate of The College of New Jersey, he is interested in exploring the intersection of clothing and culture. In his spare time, he makes music, builds guitars, and cooks with his wife. He enjoys hot dogs, sports, and collecting too many hats.