Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22. Founded in 1970 to raise awareness and support for the environmental protection of our planet, Earth Day has become an internationally recognized holiday, observed in 193 countries. Each Earth Day, individuals and organizations come together to participate in events intended to embrace nature and its values – for the benefit of future generations.
The Threat To Our Planet
The theme for Earth Day 2019 is “Protect Our Species.” The goal is to highlight and place focus on the incredible threat to our wildlife and plant populations – destruction by human-created factors. Examples include climate change, deforestation, poaching and pollution.
A particular area in the problem of pollution is the immense use of unsustainable plastic products. This causes damage to not only in our landfills, but subsequent toxins leach into our eco-systems. Birds are constantly caught up/ trapped in plastic items. This also affects Marine wildlife. For example, a whale that died off the coast of the Philippines had over 80 pounds of plastic in his stomach. Likewise, fish are also consuming large amounts of plastic. And many animals – and humans – eat fish. It is an unfortunate toxic cycle.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
There are things we can do to assist with this disastrous problem. Most importantly, try not to use plastic products at all. When you have to use them, try to recycle as much as you can. Try these ways to minimize your plastic use:
- Make sure to bring your reusable grocery bags to the supermarkets. This includes mesh produce bags. Store them all in the trunk of your automobile or by the front door for easy accessibility.
- Ditch the plastic cling wrap. Store food and leftover meals in reusable glass containers. Also available are reusable, dishwasher and freezer safe silicone lids. These can stretch to various sizes and cover many different bowls and containers.
- Every day world wide, one billion non-biodegradable, petroleum-based plastic straws are used. Use straws made of sustainable materials, such as bamboo. These straws are washable and reusable. They can last for years when properly cared for.
Take out containers
- Dining out and ordering takeout is a national past time. However plastic to-go boxes have little sustainability beyond a few uses. Recycle and reuse as much as possible. Another alternative is to bring your own reusable containers for takeout orders and leftovers.
- Buy clothing made of natural materials. More and more, clothing is made from materials that contain plastic. Then when washed, tiny plastic particles end up in the sea. You can also donate used and unwanted clothing – do not throw out into the trash.
- Many household products/ cleaners come in plastic bottles and pouches. Try to purchase eco-friendly alternatives packaged in recycled PET bottles.
BPA Free bottles
- Keep hydrated and stay green with reusable water bottles. When on the go, it is easier to just purchase bottled water. However those bottles may contain Bisphenol A (BPA), an industrial chemical that can be quite toxic. Instead, switch to BPA-free reusable glass or stainless steel bottles.
- Go for eco-friendly personal care products. There are companies that offer the ability to refill product containers in their stores. Some will also recycle your empty used bottles. Look to your local community shops that offer artisan soaps without plastic packaging. You can also make your own eco-friendly homemade soaps and cleansers.
- Those single-serve plastic coffee pods another big plastic problem. But everyone likes to have coffee, their way. So instead, use refillable K-cups/ single cup coffee filters.
- Your old, unused electronics are probably constructed of mostly plastic materials. However do not dump them into a regular recycling bin. Rather drop them off at special e-waste collection events. You can check your city and/or county websites for location and dates.
Celebrating Earth day
Celebrating Earth Day is important to the health of our planet. We urge everyone to join the “Protect Our Species” campaign. Every individual green action does make a difference. By working together, we can slow the rate of extinction and help our endangered species to recover and thrive.
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