Want to know a #JessicaFact? I’m a “tree-hugger”, I love the earth and I try my best not to take advantage of its precious resources.
During Summer 2014 I taught Vacation Bible School and our study focused on taking care of the Earth. With me being the eco-conscious person that I am, as I was going through the lessons I realized that it was much deeper than living sustainably. It’s our God given responsibility to take care of the Earth and replenish it. Not only that, we honor God by taking care of His creation.
Animal species are going extinct at a faster rate than ever. The Black Rhino, Mountain Gorilla and South China Tiger are not expected to survive 2016. Climate change is caused by humans and our contribution to the greenhouse effect. Sea levels around the globe are rising, temperatures set new heat levels every year and our oceans are extremely acidic.
We have to do something now. Believe it or not, small changes in our daily routines and behaviors can make an impact.
Let’s celebrate Earth Day by changing a behavior to save our planet!
I compiled a list of 7 things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint, replenish the Earth and ultimately help save the planet. Check them out below.
1. Plant a tree.
Trees have a number of benefits! They clean the air by absorbing odors and pollutant gases, they create economic opportunities and they provide food. For tips on how to plant trees, click here. This would be a great community event or a project to complete in groups.
2. Drink from reusable cups.
According to The Water Project, bottles used to package water take over 1,000 years to biodegrade and U.S. landfills are overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles. I know grabbing bottled water is convenient but not only do we waste a lot of water, we are crowding landfills. By using reusable water bottles or other reusable cups we are making an impact, even if it’s small.
3. Go paperless.
Save the trees and have your bills and other statements sent to you via email. Chopping trees reduces oxygen in our environment (one tree provides enough oxygen everyday to support at least two human beings) and transportation of paper documents leads to a greater release of greenhouse gases.
4. Organize a community cleanup.
The benefits of community cleanups extend beyond taking care of the environment. Not only do they beautify our parks and neighborhoods through picking up trash and planting flowers or doing other decorative enhancements, they provide an opportunity for members of a community to exercise, fellowship and demonstrate unity.
Recycling has very obvious benefits. By reusing natural resources over and over again, you’re clearly conserving resources and leaving more behind for future generations. The processes that are used to recycle material and turn them into new goods is more energy and water efficient. Recycling also reduces the need to build more landfills. Examples of items that can be recycled include (but are not limited to):
- aluminum cans, foil and bakeware
- steel/tin cans (soup cans, vegetable cans, coffee cans, etc.)
- magazines, office paper, newspaper
- phone books
- clear, brown and green glass
- car batteries
For a full list of recyclable items, click here.
Up-cycling is very similar (if not identical) to recycling, except that you’re reusing and repurposing materials, furniture, clothes and other everyday items you wouldn’t normally think to recycle. Upcycle That has cute ideas for DIY projects.
7. Start a garden.
This is one of my favorite eco-friendly things to do. I love gardening and I even had a small one of my own. You’ll save a lot of money on foods like lettuce, spinach, fruits and herbs. You’ll also get satisfaction from growing your own food, trust me. It’s very rewarding.
There are many other ways to reduce your footprint and help save our planet but hopefully these will get you started!
For more information about Earth Day and this year’s campaign, visit earthday.org.