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Earth Day: Environmental Responsibility

7 Things You Can Do to Make a Differerence

This beautiful earth is a global home we all share and as its inhabitants, we are responsible for keeping our home clean. You would never leave sticky spills all over your counters and carpets, spray toxic chemicals throughout your home, or leave trash strewn about your floors. Why would we treat the Earth this way?

From the food we eat to the stunning views we enjoy, the Earth abundantly gives to us every day. Now is the time to thank her by doing our part to give back in whatever ways we can. Here are seven easy ways to increase your personal environmental responsibility. Let’s commit to making these strides together!

1. Use a Reusable Shopping Bag

Plastic grocery bags take anywhere from 15–1,000 years to decompose, and only about 10% of plastic bags are recycled in Canada. Paper bags are not much better; according to the BBC, it takes four times as much energy to produce paper bags compared to plastic bags, and 85 times as much energy to recycle them. One of the best things you can do is invest in high-quality reusable bags to eliminate the use of disposable plastic or paper bags altogether. If reusable bags are not currently accepted where you live, paper bags may be a good temporary alternative.

2. Reduce Food Waste

According to a report entitled “The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste,” food waste in Canada creates some 56.6 million tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions. Food in landfills also creates methane gas, which is "25 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide," the report says. Here are a few simple things you can do to reduce food waste in your home:

  • Make a Detailed List: Carefully plan your shopping and grocery lists according to planned meals and the number of people in your household. Down to the onion, carefully estimate quantities. When it’s time to venture out to the grocery store, try not to deviate from your list.
  • Improve Your Storage: Store fruits and vegetables in the right places for maximum freshness. See our post on maximizing your fridge space and create a plan for your own fridge.
  • Preserve Excess: Even amidst careful planning, do you still have too much produce? It happens to the best of us. Can, freeze, and dehydrate excess fruits and vegetables—not only does it reduce food waste, but it also gives you a great start on food storage.
  • Save and Label: Save on cooking time and keep leftovers to enjoy later! Label everything you store, and be sure to eat by the expiration date you set.
  • Donate: If you find yourself with extra non-perishables, donate your excess to food banks or local charities for people in need.

3. Repurpose and Reuse

Find creative ways to repurpose empty containers or other old items. Reuse empty essential oil bottles to create your own blends or make crafts using recycled material. This is a great way to engage your family in creative projects while teaching them about the environment and reducing waste.

4. Try Organic Gardening

Growing your own organic garden has many health benefits and allows you to know exactly where your food comes from. It also saves time, fuel, and waste that would otherwise be involved in large commercial produce industries. Additionally, you can further reduce unnecessary waste by composting certain foods (such as eggshells and banana peels) and turning them into nutrient-rich fertilizer for your garden. If your living space doesn’t allow you to grow your own garden, prioritize buying from local markets or farmers.

5. Buy a Water Bottle

Instead of buying disposable plastic water bottles, purchase a quality water bottle that you can reuse every day. Double-wall, vacuum-installed, stainless steel water bottles keep your water cool up to 12 hours. Alternatively, you could purchase a simple glass water bottle—both options are safe for essential oil use and equally safe for the environment.

6. Use Fewer Chemicals

Chemicals can be harmful to both your home and the earth. Replacing synthetics with essential oils and other staple household supplies can transform your home into a safer, more environmentally friendly place. Supplies such as baking soda, vinegar, and salt are excellent staples and essential oils such as On Guard® products, doTERRA Purify®, Tea Tree, or any citrus essential oils are great cleaning alternatives.

Here are a few DIY cleaning recipes that will help you get started:

7. Recycle When Possible

Each local government has specific rules and regulations on what items can or cannot be recycled as well as how to sort them. Check with your city to find recycling plants and scrap yards, and to learn the local rules and regulations.

Every small attempt to be more environmentally friendly counts. Over time, we can create a more beautiful, clean, happy world for future generations.

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