Earth Day was founded in 1970 and each year on April 22 is the anniversary of what many consider the awakening of environmental consciousness. Before we started to become ‘hip’ to loving the planet we were driving around in gas guzzling cars while huge industries were producing mass amounts or pollutants and water was being wasted on a unimaginable scale. The environment was seldom a topic on the evening news and an even more distant thought in the minds of most of Americans. The year 1970 marked the beginning of this powerful movement and brought these important issues to main stream America.
It all started eight years earlier with the release of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller “Silent Spring” in 1962. Through her book she raised public awareness, concern for living organisms, the environment and public health. Her book sold an astonishing 500,000 copies in 24 countries and is viewed as a keystone in the modern environmental movement. Eight years later we have the official birth of earth day due to a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin by the name of Gaylord Nelson, he was inspired to do change our current laws and mindset when he witnessed the devastation of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA in 1969. Shortly after, he announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” through the national media and a strong staff of 85; they started to promote events all across America. The end result was 20 million Americans taking to the streets, parks and auditoriums to rally for a healthy and sustainable environment. This was a movement like never seen before in respect to conservation and protection of the planet.
Over the last 42 years we have had great advances in green technologies and a cumulative positive mindset towards environmental consciousness. But it doesn’t end there, and together we all have to do our part to ensure our planet stays healthy for many more generations. That’s why we have compiled this checklist of things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and conserve water. If everyone does their small part, together we can make a big difference. Happy Earth Day everyone!
Earth Day Checklist:
2) Run your washing machine and dish washer only when full.
3) Install a filtered water dispenser instead of buying bottled water.
4) Switch out one day of driving with walking or riding your bike.
6) Keep an eye on your water and energy bill to locate any leaks and update older appliances.
8) Bring re-usable bags when you go food shopping.
9) Look into replacing your tank type water heater with a new tankless water heater.
10) Set a timer when you shower for 5 minutes, this will save hundreds of gallons a month.
11) Put food coloring into your toilet tank, if it shows up in your toilet bowl without flushing, then you have a leak and should replace the toilet flapper. This could save over 500 gallons a month.
12) Swap out incandescent lights for energy efficient fluorescent bulbs.
14) Check your faucets for leaks and replace the cartridge if necessary, it’s a great DIY job.
15) Check to make sure your sprinkler system is not over watering your lawn and only water early in the morning or late in the evening.
16) Keep an eye on the Energy Star rating when buying new appliances, the higher the better.
17) Install water saving aerators on all your faucets.
18) Instant Hot Water Dispensers are a great alternative to running your hot water or using a microwave.
19) Support local organic farms when it’s time to shop for food.
20) Shop for faucets that have an EPA WaterSense label that can save 20% or more than a standard faucet.
21) Turn off all your electronics and lights before you go to sleep.
22) Switch to paperless statements for all of your bills.
23) Garbage Disposals are great for breaking down food waste which is harmful in large quantities when left to decompose at a landfill.
24) Add a ventilation fan in your kitchen, bath and utility room to remove humidity which could cause harmful mold spores.
25) Pass it on! Teaching younger and older generations about environmental conservation is the only way we can ensure a healthy planet.