Tips for making an Earth Day once a month
Earth Day is a fine idea that we certainly support, especially as a vehicle to focus media attention on an ongoing situation. The problem with ongoing situations is that they tend to fade into background noise over time. In a crisis, everyone is paying attention and checking for updates constantly. If the crisis goes on for too long, however, that sense of emergency is lost and becomes just part of the ‘New Normal’.
Earth Day: Be an Energy Saver Every Day
The concern with Earth Day is that it’s an event that not only focuses attention just once a year, but has become an event that is more about celebration and events such as concerts and TV specials than about its core message of conservation, energy saving, and environmental responsibility. That’s why it seems like the next best step for Earth Day is for all of us to stop thinking of Earth Day as a single day every year where we take a moment to feel guilty about all the things we’re not doing, and transform it into an ongoing project for each of us.
That’s easier said than done, of course. We’re all busy enough, and sometimes it’s easy to feel like one day a year is all we can spare for the globe because the rest of our time is spent earning a living, raising our families, and managing our own tiny spot in the world. Maybe making Earth Day into a daily event is a bit too much to ask, so instead we’re going to suggest a monthly event: Make one day a month your own private Earth Day and do just one thing to be more energy efficient, environmentally conscious, and beneficial to the world at large.
Ideas for a Monthly Earth Day
One key benefit to making Earth Day a monthly event is that it take some of the pressure off; doing something twelve times a year means each time can be simpler and easier to accomplish, as opposed to doing something once a year. It’s like the difference between doing a three-mile run once a month as opposed to one marathon every year – each individual piece is easier, but you actually got more done over the course of the year. So here are some simple things you can do once a month to celebrate Earth Day all year round.
- Install Energy Saving Switches. Consider the vampires in your house – the power vampires. Your kitchen appliances, televisions, and other things are very likely sipping power from your wall socket every moment of the day. This energy is wasted, and costs you money. Install a product like the EcoSwitch and eliminate standby power in your home.
- Review Your Recycling. The energy used to create the packaging and containers you throw away is enormous. Every can of trash you toss out costs about 70 cans of waste to produce! When shopping, look for returnable and recyclable containers and packaging on your products, and then follow the rules of recycling in your community to ensure nothing is being wasted.
- Choose Reusable Items. Spend one day reviewing your lifestyle and substituting reusables for disposables. When you grocery shop, bring your own bags instead of using the plastic ones. When looking for other items, why not buy used? Clothing, furniture, electronics – all can purchased used at a steep discount and don’t cost anything extra in terms of their carbon footprint.
- Check Your Environment. How do you heat and cool your home? Lower the temperature by two degrees in the winter or raise it two degrees in the summer, and dress more warmly or more coolly instead to compensate. Don’t wash your clothes in hot water, don’t run a half-full dishwasher, and dry your clothes on a line instead of the dryer when possible. All of these things are small steps that can add up to a lot of saved energy.
There are more energy saving ideas than we can possibly list. The key concept here is to make each Monthly Earth Day a simple, easy one. Small steps that don’t require a lot of money or interruption in your life – but performed on a monthly basis, this exercise will have a lasting impact on your carbon footprint, and be more effective than simply tuning into a TV special once a year!