Creative Waste-Reducing Ideas to Celebrate Earth Day
Creative ways that you can celebrate Earth Day while saving money, eating well, getting creative, and helping the environment.
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Every year on April 22nd we celebrate Earth Day. It’s a day to step back and imagine how beautiful the planet looks from space. That’s our home down there — our only home. Earth day is about giving back to our fragile environment. With so many more people being born every day we’re asking a lot from her. We’re putting more strain on natural resources, arable land for farming, water, and air quality. Fortunately, we make a difference and it can even be fun, save money, and make our lives healthier.
These five creative ways that you can celebrate Earth Day focus on reducing waste and connecting with nature. They include everything from organizing a clothing swap to growing your own salad. There’s something for everyone!
Crafty Recycling for Earth Day
Permaculture teaches an interesting principle: pollution is just unused waste. If we can find a way to reuse items and materials instead of throwing them out then it’s not pollution anymore. Giving a second life to packaging and materials reduces what ends up in landfills, saves money, and can feed your creativity.
- Garden Recycling — here are 12 Seed Starting Ideas using Recycled Materials
- DIY Succulent Planter — cute idea for upcycling an oil can into a succulent planter
- Wine Bottle Candles — how to cut a wine bottle and transform it into a candle
- Transform a wooden pallet into a deep planter for growing food
- Learn about Low Impact Living with this tour of a Permaculture Homestead
Save the Earth! Choose Secondhand
A lot of us know to recycle waste like paper, cans, and bottles, but there’s another way to recycle — buy secondhand. Getting a used car, wearing vintage clothing, and picking up furniture on Craigslist are all ways to reduce waste and save money.
- Organize a clothing swap. Get some of your friends together for a little party and share your unwanted items with each other. I went to one last year and went home with so many great items for free!
- Go to a Seed Swap — if you want to grow your own salad, or even go further and start a garden, you can pick up free or inexpensive seeds at a Seed Swap.
- Make use of eBay, Facebook Selling Groups, Craigslist, Gumtree, and other second-hand marketplaces
- Head to a Vintage Fashion Fair
- Browse and share items through Freecycle
- Shop at a Charity Shop — Thrift shops run by charities are a great place to pick up inexpensive items and help out a local charity
- If you’re on the market for an appliance, ask Facebook friends if they have one for sale. I saw my cousin pick up a sweet deal on a washing machine from a trusted source this way.
Reconnect with Nature
The more people that go on nature walks and hikes, the more wild areas and parks are saved. Not only that but being surrounded by nature is good for your body and state of mind. Here are some ideas to make getting outside even more appealing.
- Learn about ways that you can use plants for home, health, and creativity, in A Woman’s Garden Grow (my new book)
- Go on a nature walk. My home, the Isle of Man, has some incredible nature walks and wild scenery. They include wild orchid and wallaby walks, fun places to visit during a day trip, and ancient sites. You can discover more about our Island here
- A Nature Scavenger Hunt — If getting a partner or children outside is a struggle, then make it into a game. Take binoculars, a camera, and a notepad and see how many birds, animals, or different kinds of plants or flowers you can find.
- Forest bathing is the Japanese practice of spending time in nature, and specifically around trees. It’s linked to lowered stress, better memory, and feeling more alive.
- Go on a Picnic — pack a lunch and head out to explore the wild. Picnics are better for some than camping since you get the benefits of being out in nature, tucking into great grub, and then being able to sleep in your own bed afterward.
Grow a Salad to Reduce Food Miles
I was going to say start a garden but that can be an overwhelming thought. Instead, start small and you’ll not only get a great crop but encouragement to try growing other things. Growing lettuce and other greens is an easy and delicious introduction to edible gardening. Your harvest will also taste so much nicer than the greens you buy in bags at the shop.
- Baby salad greens can be grown in the ground, in pots, wooden trays, or practically any vessel.
- You can grow them on patios, balconies, and indoors in a pinch
- Leafy salads are quick to grow and ready to harvest 30-60 days after sowing, depending on the variety.
- If you’re feeling more adventurous, check out these 10 Easy to Grow Vegetables for Beginners
Reduce food waste by creating a plan
Food wastage is a huge issue that many people don’t think about. In the USA 30-40% of all landfill waste is household food that’s been thrown out. That equates to the average home wasting $2200 in food every year!
Food that is not bought with intention is food that sits around until one day it’s thrown out. One major way to reduce waste and save money is to make a meal plan before you head to the shop. There are other ways that you can eat well while reducing food wastage including some of these ideas.
- Create a meal plan and shop for only the ingredients you need
- Bring your own shopping bags and produce bags when you shop
- Shop at places where you can bulk-buy and bring your own jars and containers
- Visit your local farmers’ market for locally-grown food. It will have fewer food miles, reduced packaging, and you can connect with local producers
- Consider eating less meat and dairy. It’s great for your health and the planet
Really enjoyed reading your post! There would be more appreciation of the beauty and fragility of our earth if we spent more time outdoors. I also love recycling and gardening, great pointers in your post ..thank you!