Every year, people set aside one day to celebrate Earth. It’s the one day out of the year’s 365 where people are supposed to treat Earth with respect and kindness to celebrate it. However, with climate scientists predicting we have 12 years left before global warming reaches catastrophic temperatures, every day should be Earth day. Without Earth, no one would exist, and life as we know it would be wiped away. 

A lot of people don’t practice sustainability because they think it’ll be too difficult. The reality of the situation is, there are so many little things everyone could do that would result in Earth being back in good shape. It’s the responsibility of humankind to clean up our act and clean up the Earth, so here are the top five easiest ways to help out Earth:

Reusable water bottle

This is one of the easiest things a person can do. Humans need to drink about four bottles of water per day, so by using a reusable water bottle, you’d be saving 1,460 plastic bottles a year. Not to mention the amount of money you’d save by buying one reusable water bottle versus buying hundreds or thousands of plastic ones per year. If you’re someone who doesn’t like drinking tap water because of the taste or you think it’s unsanitary, Brita sells reusable water bottles with filters in the straw that can easily fix the problem. The next step is getting reusable dishes and silverware, reusable straws and trying to cut back on the amount of plastic you purchase and use in your everyday life. Reusable water bottles are the first step in reducing plastic, and it’s an easy – and much cheaper – option. 

Cut back on red meat

Believe it or not, red meat consumption is one of the largest environmental problems in the world. Red meat production increases methane levels and requires deforestation to feed the animals, which can lead certain species to become extinct. It also utilizes plastic packaging and carbon when transporting the food. One of the easiest ways to help the environment is by cutting back on red meat. There are many substitutes for red meat, including chicken or tofu, so incorporating substitutes of red meat into your diet can make cutting back a lot easier. You don’t have to stop eating it altogether, but instead of eating it every day of the week, try to cut back to once or twice a week. 

Cut back on how much energy you use

It’s so easy to turn off your lights, open the curtains and utilize what the world gives us: natural light. Natural light is everything. Finding ways to keep your lights off for as long as possible is a great way to save energy. In addition, turn your TV off when you aren’t using it. Instead of putting your TV on in the background while you do things around your house, apartment or dorm, turn some music on your phone or computer, or watch TV shows through streaming services on your phone and computer. There are many ways to save energy in your living space, but natural light and turning off your TV will make a huge difference. 

Recycle

Recycling is perhaps the most common idea people think of when trying to be more environmentally friendly. Recycling is extremely important, but it’s also important to know what you can and cannot recycle. If you recycle one thing that isn’t supposed to be in there, the entire recycling bin is considered contaminated and goes in landfill with the other trash. It’s important to not contaminate the recycling bins but also to recycle things if need be. 

Walk and bike everywhere

Walking and biking are two of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint. A typical vehicle emits 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Vehicles also release methane and nitrous oxide from the tailpipe, and produce hydrofluorocarbon emissions from the air conditioner. Vehicles are obviously unavoidable at times but can easily be replaced in certain situations. Next time you and your friends want to go for a drive, rethink the idea and replace it with a bike ride instead. 

Of course there are plenty of other ways to help the planet. Reduce, reuse and recycle are the best things to do, and the ones we’ve been learning since we were children. The important thing is, Earth is our home, and without it we wouldn’t be anything. Earth Day is an important day to celebrate Earth, but we should view every single day as if it were Earth day. There’s only one Earth, and it’s our only home. Let’s start with the little things and save Earth for generations to come. 

@rileyr44

rr855317@ohio.edu

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