13 Easy Ways to Help the Environment Today
These are easy steps your family can take towards helping the environment today.
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City Parks Foundation hosts It’s My Park events, when volunteers spend a few hours helping to clean up their local NYC park, and Keep Rockland Beautiful hosts events throughout Rockland County. Plus, you can check our calendar of events for other volunteer opportunities in local parks. A little effort makes a big difference so let’s give the parks we love some TLC.
Stop food waste.
Sustainability author Kate Bratskeir recommends a really simple way to reduce your food waste, save money and help fight climate change all at once. “Whether you have leftover sauce, soup or wine, you can freeze them using silicone trays and then store them in a bag in the freezer until you're ready to use (don't forget to label the bag),” she says. “Products that help you portion out your leftovers — like these souper cubes — come in handy. You can even freeze extra herbs in olive oil and butter, which is a really simple way to make infused oil that you can plop directly onto pans on the stovetop to add a fancy feeling to whatever you're cooking.”
She also recommends packing food in reusable containers. “Make an impact by getting rid of as many single-use products as possible. Stasher bags are a cult favorite for snacks, but they do so much more: You can microwave them, put them in the oven and the freezer and even sous vide with them. They are definitely evolving into a household staple and they do a great job of replacing things that only get used once, like plastic wrap and plastic baggies.”
Buy eco-friendly bedding and mattresses.
One of the easiest things families can do at home to make a difference for the earth—and their health—is switch to eco-friendly, nontoxic bedding. Some of the best eco-friendly materials to look for in bedding and mattresses include organic cotton, natural latex, and memory foam that uses plant-based ingredients, like soybean and corn oil, in place of some of the standard petroleum-based derivatives. Saatva uses eco-friendly, CertiPUR-US certified foams in all of their mattresses, including their new kids’ mattresses.
Use eco-friendly home products.
With Earth Day coinciding with Spring Cleaning, you can green your cleaning routine by swapping out chemical-based cleaning supplies with CleanWell’s botanical Disinfectant Wipes and Sprays. The active ingredient is thymol, a plant-based antibacterial derived from the essential oils of thyme and other herbs. The formula kills 99.9% of germs and meets the requirements for the EPA’s “List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2”.
Puracy, another great option, is a natural cleaning, baby and body brand that creates plant-powered household products that are safe for families, environmentally-friendly, and more effective than harsh big brand cleaners. Puracy products are made from natural, uncompromising ingredients and biodegradable within 30 days so they don't contribute to aquatic toxicity.
Strive for a clean diet.
When you purchase 100% grass-fed meat and dairy you are part of the climate solution. According to Regenerative Rancher Doniga Markegard, when cattle are fed an unnatural diet of grain, or when people choose alt-meat products, carbon gets released into the atmosphere thanks to the farming methods used. “The solution is right under our feet and everyone can do their part to choose products that build healthy soil,” she says. “Two brands that do a great job of providing quality grass-fed beef and dairy are Teton Waters Ranch and Maple Hill, and they're easy for everyone to find at their local grocery store."
Plant a tree.
Planting a tree is a major activity you can do at home with your family. PlantOGram makes it easy. Delivered straight to your home, little and big kids alike can be involved in planting the tree, nurturing it, watching it grow, and ultimately give you fruit.
Tara Dodson is a sustainability consultant who recently launched Eco Collections Marketplace, a comprehensive collection of eco-friendly amenities and other sustainably-sourced items. The marketplace includes a variety of products that are perfect for those looking to live a more sustainable lifestyle. “Having an environmentally friendly home while managing a busy household can be hectic, but it's possible to shop smarter while still protecting the environment,” says Dodson. “Eco Collections Marketplace makes it easy and accessible for families to eliminate single-use products that harm our planet.” Package Free is a similar concept, meant to be an eco-friendly replacement for things you use in your everyday life.
Instead of sending that handwritten card, consider Punchbowl, a digital greeting card and invitation company that serves as a great alternative to traditional cards. Get the look and feel of paper, but without the carbon footprint. Bonus: They now make video cards and give you the opportunity to send a digital gift card along with your greeting.