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It’s time for Earth Day, our favorite day of the year. Kind of. 22 April is like Earth’s equivalent to Valentine's Day. And while you can’t buy flowers, take this blue-green globe out for some dinner, or order your favorite dessert to eat in bed together, you can still show all the love you have for this planet in many ways. Just like Valentine's, Earth Day is not so much about the day itself as it is about how you live together for the rest of the 364 sunrises of the year, but it is a nice way to show your appreciation. It’s also an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of environmental issues so that we can better protect our home in this universe.
So, how can you and the Earth level up the romance, slow-dance together on a sun-soaked rooftop, and whisper sweet nothings to each other on this day? Or, in more concrete terms, what activities can you participate in that will help protect the Earth from nasty things like pollution, fossil fuel consumption, and deforestation? We have gathered our favorite things that you can do to help our planet thrive. Whether you already are a waste warrior, an anti-pollution champion, or if you’ve never recycled a plastic bottle in your life, now is a perfect time to get started on your sustainability journey. Who knows, next year, maybe you will be the one leading us into battle against single-use?
Trees are beautiful to look at, great for mental health, and provide a protective shade while you sip on that peach ice tea in the summer heat. More importantly, they help combat global warming and make the air cleaner by releasing oxygen and absorbing carbon oxide. The leaves reflect the light upwards, decreasing the heat and making the air cooler. Studies show that trees collectively can lower the temperature in a city by several degrees. They can also improve air quality by intercepting particles and pollutants. On top of cooler, cleaner, and higher-quality air, the trees absorb thousands of liters of stormwater preventing flooding and erosion. Humans, animals, and the environment depend on trees for survival, so stopping deforestation becomes even more critical.
If you think planting a little tree sounds like a big project, it doesn’t have to be. Grow it in your backyard or your family’s yard. If convincing is needed, a tree can increase the property value by up to 15%. Check out our next tip if you don’t have a yard or want something more… edible to nurture.
Consider growing your own fruit and vegetables. As an added benefit, they will be free from pesticide residue and GMOs, and will not have contributed to any carbon emissions from long transportation. It is not too complicated to grow, even if you are an apartment dweller. Lettuce, kale, spinach, root vegetables, herbs, onions, and garlic, are some of the easiest ones to grow indoors (in other words, they are harder to kill, which is perfect if you don’t have a Hulk-colored thumb). If you have more patience than the person writing this blog post, you can also give cucumber, tomatoes, and bell peppers a go. Give it a few months, and you will have the most delicious Greek salad.
Bonus tip: Did you know that you can stick your LastRound into a plant's soil after its life cycle? It will decompose in a natural and harm-free way.
How about leaving your car at home and going for a bike ride? It’s great for the environment, your heart, and your legs. If you don’t fancy spending time on a two-wheeler, there are plenty of other options. Go for a walk, carpool, or take public transportation. The less time you spend in your car, the less carbon emission there will be.
Copenhagen, the birthplace of LastObject, is actually one of the biggest cycling cities in the world, and just like the Vikings back in the days, the Danes pretty much pop out into the world with a helmet on the head. It probably helps that the country’s terrain is mostly flat. Even if you are not blessed with a country as flat as a pancake, you might enjoy taking some time out in nature. You can think of 22 April as a day to reduce your carbon footprint and get inspired to move in new ways.
You know the cute little tote bag that you get to show off the logo of the places you go shopping? Those are more than just good advertising for your favorite brands. They are perfect for your groceries, gym clothes, and to carry your picnic (that you can bring while you ride your bike to the neighborhood park). Reusing your bag will save the planet from countless plastic bags. If you are a person who likes numbers, we can quickly mention that the amount of plastic bags used by Americans every year is estimated to be over 100 billion. Yes, that’s billion with a b. We don’t have these statistics for the rest of the world, but we can imagine it’s a frekkin’ lot.
There are so many products today that are sustainable alternatives to single-use disposable items. Everything from bamboo utensils to high-tech, self-cleaning water bottles to cotton pads (*coughing discretely*) can be great substitutes.
Not to toot our own horn, but this is what we are most passionate about. If you feel like replacing all the single-use items in your beauty and wellness routines, check out what we do here.
Supporting local businesses is fantastic, and you will make entrepreneurs in your neighborhood very happy, but it is also good for the planet as you will save the world from the carbon emissions and consumption of fossil fuel that it takes to transport all the goods to reach you. Besides, is there anything lovelier than meandering between your local farmer’s market stalls on a weekend morning? Sure the tomatoes are a little wonky, the cucumber crooked, the apple juice cloudy, and the honey speckled with flowers, but it’s authentic, sustainable, and will taste so much better.
The fashion industry is one of the main culprits in damaging the environment. Only the oil industry is a larger polluter. Yes, we already know that you know that fast fashion is bad and that vintage is good. So let’s dive a little deeper. There are more ways to be sustainable than visiting a flea market or going treasure hunting (read: permanently borrowing) in your Mom’s closet. Eco-fashion addresses the entire process of producing the clothes, what materials are used, and how long the life span is.
Did you know that you can rent your outfits for everyday use or special events? With this strategy, you can lease your clothes and give them back when you get tired of them so that they can have a new life with someone else. Another thing to try is clothes swapping. There are Facebook groups dedicated to this. Join one in your city and meet like-minded people who are also looking for ways to live more sustainably and shop more responsibly.
On Earth Day, a nice activity is to look at your closet and make an inventory. What clothes would you like to keep, do they need mending or sewing, can you give an old pair of shoes some extra love and care to make them last longer, is there something that you don’t need but that a friend would love? Bring back life to the clothes you love, and find a new purpose for the clothes you no longer want.
If you need to update your closet, you can try to find items created from recycled, organic, and waste materials, like denim made with recycled yarn. There are new materials made all the time that work even better than the materials they are meant to replace, like sustainable fibers, which are 100% biodegradable, feathers created from wildflowers, and a new material developed from seaweed and eucalyptus. You can also search for brands that use new technologies, such as waterless production or brands with a zero-waste policy.
Read more here if you want to learn more about how LastObject works with sustainability.