While “Earth Day, every day” sounds cliché, it really is something that we need all people, corporations, governments, etc. to embrace, rather than simply creating hype for one day and then returning to familiar unsustainable practices.
For me, this year’s business-as-usual Earth Day involved biking to the library (sharing books instead of buying) and a yoga class, lunching on our potatoes and asparagus (plus some non-local beans and broccoli), and biking to a school tour (the school is now near the bottom of my list due to the pick-up time madness that results when every child is transported in a separate motor vehicle).
That said, Earth Day can be a good time to check-in and look for areas of improvement, whether that’s catching little lapses that have become habits, or looking for new ways to further lighten our footprints on this planet.
With the severe drought in California, it’s a good time to visit water conservation ideas. One of our small, but regular, practices is capturing the water that runs while waiting for hot water. In our second story apartment, we usually capture a gallon of [cold] water while waiting for the pipes to warm (a bit more in the winter) in the shower or in the kitchen for washing dishes. We reuse plastic 1-gallon milk and apple cider jugs (of which we don’t generate a lot) for this purpose.
After sitting to dechlorinate, this captured water, which would otherwise just go down the drain, is perfect for our potted plants. In the summer, when the plants are using a lot of water, we sometimes go through more than we can capture.
If you don’t have plants to water, you could use this captured water when doing laundry –just add it to the machine as it’s filling — or perhaps to wash the floors or some such.
While I’m not planning on participating in the local Earth Day festival activities (on Sunday 4/26 here in StL), I do want to make it to the recycling extravaganza. Over the past couple of years, we’ve accumulated a broken toaster oven (we let G use it as a toy for a bit, but I’m ready to get it out of here), electric mixer, humidifier, grow light fixture, and a few dead AA and AAA batteries. While I wish these items (particularly the humidifier and grow light) had had longer lifespans, at least we can keep some of this out of the landfill. Being able to get all of this to the right place for recycling at one convenient drop-off point sounds pretty good!
So, let’s share inspiration — what’s one “Earth Day, every day” tip that you have, that others could adopt?