First organized in 1970, Earth Day is a day set aside to remember and appreciate the Earth’s environment, and our responsibilities and roles within it. With help from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, here are 50 ways you can help the planet.
In the kitchen…
- Set the refrigerator temperature between 38 F and 42 F.
- Set the freezer temperature between O F and 5 F.
- Microwave whenever you can.
- Don’t wash dishes with the water running.
In the dining room…
- Use napkin rings and cloth napkins.
- Use washable plates, cups and silverware.
- Serve condiments from recyclable containers.
- Provide personal glasses for soft drinks.
In the laundry…
- Wash and dry only full loads.
- Wash with warm water instead of hot.
- Rinse with cold water instead of warm.
- Hang wash out to dry.
In the bathroom…
- Shut off the sink while brushing your teeth.
- Shut off the shower while soaping or scrubbing.
- Install a low-flow shower head.
- Reduce the volume of water in your toilet tank.
In the living room…
- Switch off unnecessary lights.
- Dress warm: don’t turn up the furnace.
- Dress cool: don’t turn on the air conditioner.
- Raise shades on winter days; lower them in summer.
- Reverse your fans for summer and winter operations as recommended.
In the yard…
- Compost leaves and grass clippings.
- Avoid pesticides, use nontoxic alternatives.
- Apply only as much fertilizer as the lawn needs.
- Water the grass early in the morning.
- Plant a tree.
In the garage…
- Recycle motor oil, antifreeze and car batteries.
Away from Home
In the car…
- Drive at the speed limit.
- Avoid sudden starts or stops.
- Don’t overfill the fuel tank.
- Check the tire pressure monthly.
- Change air and oil filters regularly.
At the store . . .
- Don’t buy over packaged items.
- Choose products in reusable and/or recyclable containers.
- Buy concentrated cleaners and detergents.
- Return empty bottles and cans for deposit.
- Bring your own string bag or cloth tote.
- Send electronic copies whenever possible.
- Copy reports and memos on both sides.
- Circulate rather than copy paperwork.
- Reuse tubes and envelopes for mailing.
- Carry out what you carry in.
- Hike, row, sail, ski or paddle – don’t motor.
- Build campfires with care.
- Observe, don’t disturb wildlife and plant life.
- Share books, magazines, CDs and DVDs with friends, hospitals and prisons.
At school . . .
- Copy bulletins and exams on two sides, make notes and drafts on scrap paper.
- Reuse textbooks and school supplies.
- Serve reusable trays, dishes and silverware.
- Compost cafeteria vegetable wastes.