Today is the 52nd Earth Day, so I thought I’d share 52 ways I like to respect Planet Earth in absolutely no particular order. Consider this my word vomiting of all the reasons I love living on this planet and look forward to seeing it thrive for a while more.
The thing is, we can make little decisions EVERY day that help impact the longevity of our Earth! There’s tons of research on how we can make an impact, so maybe there’s something on this list you’ve tried… or something you’re willing to give a go! Either way, if there’s anything YOU do that isn’t on this list, I would love to know! Share in the comments below and Happy Earth Day!
Please note this post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase an item linked in this post, I may make a small profit at no additional cost to you! Also all photos are from Upsplash because the goal of this was to just get a list of all the things I love and I didn’t get to look through my photos… maybe will edit in the future! Thank you for your support!
52 Ways I Try To Do Better for Planet Earth
- Remember doing better does not have to be perfect. I have 100% been the person shaming myself at the grocery checkout because I didn’t bring my reusable bag and have to take the paper bags (plus pay 5 to 10 cents for it, depending on where I’m shopping). Sometimes, I’m also the person carrying an awkward number of groceries to the car because I didn’t have my bag and didn’t want to take the brown or plastic bag. Being gentle with ourselves and recognizing we don’t have to do it PERFECTLY is huge!
- I try to keep reusable bags in my car so it’s less difficult to forget them at the grocery store or when shopping (see above haha).
- I use brown paper shopping bags as my recycling bin! This way, when I go to recycle everything, the bag is included. Some places separate paper, plastic, metal, etc., but my area does not!
- I always check local recycling guidelines to optimize how my recycled goods get sorted.
- Every item I recycle, I thoroughly clean before recycling it… even including that pesky peanut butter jar!
- About monthly, I make a trip to Goodwill to donate housewares, clothes, and other goods I do not need. Rather than throw it out, I know someone else will get good use of it.
- Alternatively, I like to sell items on Facebook Marketplace so others can get what they need. Upcycling is like the new recycling!
- I utilize brown bags for my veggies and fruits when grocery shopping because my local supermarket has it. Otherwise, I’d try to bring one of these reusable mesh bags instead.
- I use silicone wraps (or, ummm… food condoms?) for my food (fruits, veggies, etc.) when I don’t use it all. Cut a cucumber but couldn’t finish it? Wrap that bad boy up with these wraps instead of shoving it in a plastic bag or using that wretched cling wrap with one of THESE silicone wraps! Ikea also sells some sweet ones.
- I ditch the paper towel cover in the microwave and use a reusable microwave cover to prevent mess in the microwave!
- I have previously used beeswax wraps for unfinished cans and other goods, but haven’t needed them a lot recently with feeding two people at every meal, but THESE are awesome! I also LOVE Stasher bags instead of Ziploc bags. Reuse, reuse, reuse.
- For makeup removal, I use reusable cotton pads or the MakeUp Erasers, instead of using cotton pads every time. The MakeUp Eraser literally ONLY NEEDS WATER and can remove waterproof makeup. (Side Note: haven’t thoroughly inspected the eraser ingredients and am open to learning if this isn’t super good… thanks haha).
- I try to keep my showers as short as possible. According to my quick Google search, sources share a 10-minute shower uses anywhere from 9 to 17 gallons of water (whaaa?!), so I try to shorten them up a bit.
- I also like taking cold showers, both for my health and the environment. Colder shower = less energy = less impact. It’s not perfect, but it’s something.
- I’ve been SUPER into Reusable Paper Towels… and even HIDE the real paper towels under the sink so you have to THINK before you take them out. I love the ones from Full Circle, but they’re not on Amazon… so these ones look great!
- I love these Neat Nut sponges from Full Circle which are made from walnuts!!
- I create my own hand soap using Dr. Bronner’s pure castille soap + water. It’s 1/3 soap + 2/3 water in a FOAM DISPENSER and it lasts so long!
- I always try to find a local spot to refill my bulk items, such as Dr. Bronner’s soap. I found Cambridge Naturals in Boston area.
- I love buying BULK food items, spices, and goods! I’ll bring my own containers/jars and fill ’em up at the local grocery store. See if you can find a bulk spot near you!
- I like to make my own teas with bulk goods, then put the tea in these reusable tea steepers. I love the Contigo attachment for steeping tea.
- Learning is a huge part of doing the best I can for the environment. Some documentaries I’ve loved include Chasing Coral, literally anything narrated by David Attenborough, and My Octopus Teacher.
- When I want to set the mood, I use SOY-based candles. These release less harmful toxins into the air and environment. Some of my favorites include Target’s Signature Soy Candles (Cozy Nights is the best) and I definitely dream of having Paddywax candles one day (they’re a little pricey).
- I use products with harmless chemicals in them with cleaning, such as this AMAZING SMELLING all-purpose parsley cleaner from ECOS.
- I look for items on Amazon labeled with the “Climate Friendly Pledge”.
- I purchase eco-friendly packaging from EcoEnclose for all my Etsy shop packaging! I try to purchase items that have more post-consumer recycled materials.
- I try to purchase products that are NOT packaged in plastic. This can be difficult… but I try.
- I travel with bamboo toothbrushes, or at least biodegradable ones!
- I love refillable travel bottles, especially silicone ones – like this three-pack from GoToob! I’ll bring my shampoo, conditioner, and lotion in these puppies.
- I literally go nowhere without a reusable water bottle! Hiking, driving, walking around the apartment, going to a friend’s house. I always have a Hydroflask or Nalgene bottle with me. I love the double-walled Hydroflask because it keeps everything so cold… even if kept in the car in the Miami heat (yes, I’ve tested this)! PLUS, there’s so many places to refill them that it’s silly not to have one.
- I use a reusable coffee tumbler as well! My favorite has been with me for a while (it’s from Starbucks), but I know a lot of peeps like the Contigo ones!
*Commercial Break* By my bestie at Tallymark Productions!
- I am LEGIT obsessed with my Berkey water filter! I was nervous to buy it because of the high price tag, but now I have access to clean, filtered water… with all the good minerals and none of the toxic yucky stuff! AND… of course… no plastic water bottles in this house!
- I have been making the switch to more sustainable, cruelty-free beauty products! I have been loving Cocokind because the packaging is quite sustainable AND it’s woman-owned. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
- My newest project is more sustainable and toxic-free makeup! I recently learned all the makeup I’ve been wearing has a ton of harmful chemicals (I’m looking at you, MAC and Estee Lauder) and I am choosing to unsubscribe from that life! I’m sure I’ll be sharing more soon… (:
- I eat as LOCAL as possible! I love finding restaurants that connect with local farms and markets to create their foods, AND are owned by local individuals. Chains are a relative “no-go” for me, as much as possible. One of my recent fav spots is Blossom Bar in Brookline!
- I love to support local agriculture by purchasing a Community Shared Agriculture box from my local farm. I’ve gotten the CSA box from Siena Farms (Boston area + NY and others!) a few times.
- When I am out and about, if I see trash, I try to pick it up! Sometimes, garbage cans are overflowing, but I might be able to find another place to put it.
- In the world of the outdoors, I do my BEST to practice all Leave No Trace Principles! Because I love spending time outside, I want the outdoors to be there for a while… so it’s up to each of us to do our part!!
- I always purchase day passes and annual passes for State Parks, National Parks, and other hiking areas. Paying the parking fee is critical to helping maintain the spaces we love! Every year, I purchase an America the Beautiful Annual pass for the National Parks. It’s only $80 for the year, and often times can get you into other local parks! Always check parking regulations before you opt outside.
- I like to buy used gear for outdoors! REI has a Re/Supply program, which is new for its Co-op Members as of 2022! There, you can sell your used gear and PURCHASE used gear 365 days per year! It’s like a 365-day garage sale. AND it’s awesome.
- I support local Co-ops!! I have been a member of REI since 2016 and love finding a local grocery store to support. As of yet, I haven’t found a food co-op in the Boston area… but I loved these in Washington State: Olympia Food Co-op, PCC Community Markets near Seattle, and Sno Isle Food Co-op in Everett.
*Commercial Break* Earth Day… for Kids!! (And anyone)
- I walk to work! Of course, not everyone can do this… but I am blessed to live in a city with easy access and limit my carbon footprint by walking wherever I can. When not in Boston, I have often rode my bike instead of driving as well.
- I love eating grass-fed beef, butter, and all that goodness. There’s a lot of controversial thoughts around eating beef and whether the meatpacking industry itself is a large problem… but, I choose the grass-fed ones and this is a good start. (Watch documentary Cowspiracy for more thought-provoking details.)
- To continue supporting local businesses, I love going to local Farmer’s Markets, outdoor retailers (such as my fav ski shop – PRO SKI in Seattle), and keep it as local as possible. When the people around us thrive, the world thrives!
- I ditch the straws! Lots of airlines and restaurants have joined this movement, but I’ll literally ask many places NOT to give me a straw.
- Every night, I use reusable napkins! My Nonno gave a bunch to me, so that’s a #upcycle win… and I throw them in the laundry, rather than single-use paper napkins.
- I save packaging from Amazon and other companies for future use, such as upcycling boxes for my own packaging, or using it for giving gifts. Yup, if you’ve given me a gift bag, I definitely have it waiting to give back to YOU! Don’t take it personally (:
- I talk to people in my community and circle about how we can do better! My friends and family inspire each other to be more eco-friendly and conscious. It’s important to me we are all trying to do the best we can.
- I appreciate all the gifts nature gives me! I try not to take nature for granted and express my gratitude for any time spent in Mother Nature.
- I respect Mother Nature when I am outdoors. I never try to “conquer” any mountains, but instead recognize that the Earth will always be more powerful than me and there is so much out of my control (the weather, conditions, etc.). I am at the mercy of our beautiful Earth.
- I give back to people and places in need. I love to volunteer my time with meaningful groups and organizations so we can all thrive together on planet Earth!
- I educate others when I can. It’s often difficult to be the one who is a “tattle tale,” but hey… if you see something, say something… right? I hope to be held accountable and will continue to hold others accountable for cocreating a beautiful, sustainable world.
- I understand I can ALWAYS do better and LEARN MORE! Every day, there are new ways to explore how to further respect Mother Earth and I hope to lessen my impact by doing the very best I can in every way, every day.
P.S. This entire post was not planned and I wrote it in about 60 minutes… so this is my word vomit way of saying… PLANET EARTH IS AWESOME and Happy Earth Day! xoxo you’re the best.