Make it a non-Consumer Earth Day
AND become a smart, eco-friendly consumer all year round
There are millions of new wonderful ‘green living’ gadgets, trinkets, and practical every-day items manufactured with a lighter carbon footprint that may leave less of a toxic trail in the landfills and oceans. But we still are a culture that consumes much more than we really need. Our landfills and oceans are quickly becoming overwhelmed with garbage — much of which will remain there for hundreds if not thousands of years (thank you plastic!).
I’ve been really trying to be less of a consumer. My husband and I are living with less new stuff, recycling, up cycling, fixing, sharing, swapping and just buying less one-time-use items. Partly because it just feels good — simplifying for us AND the environment, but I have to be honest, it also saves a TON of money!
A few things about garbage and what we throw away . . .
- 54% of what we throw away goes into landfills (EPA)
- The total volume of solid waste produced in the U.S. each year is equal to the weight of more than 5,600 Nimitz Class air craft carriers, 247,000 space shuttles, or 2.3 million Boeing 747 jumbo jets (R.W. Beck, Inc.)
- The average American discards 4.43 pounds of garbage every day (EPA)
- New York City produces four pounds of waste per person per day — more than any other city in the world. (GrowNYC)
- Forty percent of New York City’s garbage consists of packaging materials. U.S. businesses buy an estimated 5 billion cubic feet of Polystyrene foam “peanuts” a year. That’s enough to fill the Empire State Building more than 135 times. (GrowNYC)
- 30% of all the food produced in the world is tossed in storage, harvesting or transportation BEFORE it reaches you!
Don’t even get me going on food waste! That topic warrants a post of it’s own!
- Can I fix the one I have?
- Can I buy or swap for a good used one?
- Do I really need it?
- Where is this made?
- How is this made?
- What raw materials does it use?
- How sustainable are the resources used to make it?
- How long will it last?
- Can I recycle it?
- Can I upcycle it?
So, this Earth Day (as most Earth Days for me), I won’t drive anywhere, I’ll do my food shopping (locally produced as much as possible) before, and generally try to focus on having a quiet healthy, mindful day with mama earth without buying anything new that could clog up the landfills and oceans any more than necessary!
We had a wonderful Green Divas Radio Show featuring some fun ideas for Earth Day – Please read the GD Earth Day post with all kinds of resources or listen to the GD Earth Day podcast and get even more! We came up with some great ideas for healthy earth day fun, but I thought I’d add to the list here.
25 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day
without Buying Anything
2. Go outside
3. Observe nature
4. Meditate in nature
5. Walk barefoot in some grass
6. Eat vegan or vegetarian (local, organic, non-GMO when possible)
7. Do a fun DIY upcycling craft project
8. Visit your local library – be amazed
9. Read a real book
10. Play with your kids or grand kids or any kids
11. Talk to kids about nature, the environment, and earth day
12. Listen to your favorite music
13. Dance to your favorite music
14. Make your own music
15. Make music with others
16. Organize a potluck dinner
17. Plant something – anything, a small pot of herbs maybe
18. Walk somewhere instead of driving
19. Bike somewhere instead of driving
20. Drink more water, less coffee or soda
21. Drink fair trade tea
22. Meet with friends
23. Talk to friends about what earth day means to you
24. Turn off lights in the evening – sit by candle light
25. Play a board game or cards with friends or family
We want to hear YOUR ideas for having a healthy, non-consumer Earth Day! Make a 10-second video showing off your ideas, and share it with us! Be part of our fun Green Divas and Dudes Earth Day video!