Happy Earth Day! What are you doing today to help celebrate the Earth? Going to a festival? Planting a tree? No, me neither. I'm working, just like any other Tuesday. However, in looking over my day so far, there are several choices I've made that are already pretty Earth-friendly. In fact, I'll bet your everyday habits contribute to a healthy planet more than you think.
Here are some green practices that I've incorporated into my morning routine.
- I get up in the morning to take the dog for a walk – and don't turn on the lights. This is mostly so I don't wake up my husband, but I also don't need to waste electricity to roll out of bed, find my shoes and grab the dog's leash.
- After a brisk walk with the dog, it's much easier to take a short shower. Exercising in the fresh air wakes me so I don't need the hot water to do that. I know this saves several minutes of hot water every day, as I'm not a morning person!
- Breakfast is organic granola and fruit with hormone-free milk. I can't afford to buy a lot of organic foods, but each time I do I'm saving a few fields or trees from poisonous pesticides that can leak into the ground and water.
- I pack a lunch in reusable containers to take to work. Whether it's leftovers or a sandwich, taking my lunch to work is one of the most significant things I do every day to save money, time and gas. Yes, it takes me a few extra minutes in the morning (though ideally I make my lunch the night before), but then I don't have to drive to and wait at a restaurant for my lunch. And the reusable containers are a small investment for how much use I get from them.
- At work, I use my ceramic cup brought from home to have my morning caffeine. There's no need to drive to the coffee shop and waste a Styrofoam cup every day when I can make my own tea or coffee.
- In our morning staff meeting, I email the agenda to my co-workers rather than print it out. Even in this digital age, offices still use a lot of paper, so every document you don't print out saves printing materials and costs. When I do get a piece of paper than doesn't need to be saved, I cut it into quarters and use the scraps for jotting down notes and lists.
It isn't even noon yet, and I've made a half-dozen conscious – but easy – choices that save our planet's precious resources. Now think about your day and smile about all the good decisions you've made to celebrate Earth Day so far!