Next year will mark Earth Day’s 50th anniversary and with just 52 weeks until then, we thought we would share our favorite list of changes that are attainable, easy to incorporate, or have an outsized impact. Because environmental justice is a key social justice issue, we hope that you find a few (or all) of the following items that resonate:
- Leave reusable bags, straws, coffee cups, and water bottles in the last place you pass before entering grocery stores, farmer’s markets, or coffee shops. For some, this is their car. For others, this is an entryway table or closet. Place these items somewhere that will encourage the habit of taking them with you when you leave. Our favorite reusable straw? Check out Steel Straw. Need a new reusable water cup? Check out Cotopaxi.
- Embrace Meatless Monday(or Tuesday, or Wednesday, or…you get the drift). Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can also help reduce our carbon footprint and save precious resources like fossil fuels and fresh water. Did you know that it takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef?
- Adjust your thermostat or invest in an automated or remote controlled unit. Adjusting your temperature in your home or office by just one degree can save 10% on your energy use over the year. Plus, many cities and counties have programs for individuals who install a smart thermostat. You can find more information about rebates, incentives, and credits at the Department of Energy’s website.
- Unsubscribe from junk mail. Each individual receives several dozen pounds of junk mail each year that goes straight into the recycling bin. The Federal Trade Commission offers a handy resource guide for the easy steps you can take to reduce unwanted mail.
- Become expiration date-savvy and minimize your food waste. This Forbesarticle has a quick explanation of what all the different terms are and how they affect you. You might also want to consider making some changes that help extend the shelf life of your food so things don’t go bad as quickly. This article from MoneyTalksNews gives great hacks to extend the life of your grocery trips.
- Consider making green swaps in your home from cleaning supplies to bath and beauty products – both often contain chemicals that are toxic to humans, as well as the environment! Goop highlights the ten most critical beauty swaps we all need to make with easy to understand and clear explanations.
Want to learn more about environmental justice and what it means? Take a look at our environmental justice primer.
Sign up here to receive the highlights from the Starfish Impact blog in your inbox.