This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and it feels like the Earth needs our help more than ever. Living with climate change is now a daily reality all over our planet, and it’s imperative that all of us participate in making things better. That’s not as overwhelming as it might sound: Small actions, taken together, can change the world—and there’s plenty of proof all around us, right now.
Recently, the “stay home” edict brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic led to closed factories all over the world, and emptied the roadways and skies of their usual billions of cars, trucks, and planes. While the consequences have been devastating to economies, they’ve also caused dramatic drops in air pollution in affected areas. The Earth showed us, in plain sight: When we change our actions, they *do* make a difference!
At Caliper, we believe that the same way we take simple, everyday actions for our own wellness—like brushing our teeth, doing yoga, or adding some Caliper CBD to our morning tea—we can take small actions every day to help the Earth be well, too.
In that spirit, here are 10 “small things” you can do right now, to make an earthly difference.
- Visit a less-popular local park or trail. While the crowds might flock to the more spectacular spots, equally important are those less-traveled local places that make nature more accessible to everyone. When you visit them, you’re voting with your feet to keep all forms of green space available and thriving. Bonus: Many of these spots are free or low-cost to use (but don’t forget to put something in the “donations” box if they have one!).
- Plant something—anything! Every plant you add to the world, from a tree sapling to a carrot to a pot of herbs on your windowsill, will take carbon dioxide out of the air and release oxygen, helping to reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, getting your hands in the dirt just might help you feel a little closer to nature.
- Toss the lawn or garden pesticides. Synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and neonicotinoids are especially harmful to bees, butterflies, bats and other pollinators. If you must treat your lawn or garden, opt for organic pesticide options and follow directions carefully to avoid overuse. Learn more ways to support pollinators here.
- BYOM (bring your own mug). Whether you’re at the coffee shop or the office breakroom, bring your own cup instead of using a disposable one. Since Americans throw out some 500 disposable cups a year, you’ll prevent a mountain of trash from going to a landfill!
- Make today meatless. Studies suggest that taking meat off your plate, even for just one day a week, can have a big impact. When a British study calculated the food carbon footprints of meat eaters and vegetarians, they found the vegetarians’ diets averaged 8.4 pounds per day of greenhouse gas emissions, while meat eaters’ diets were almost twice that (15.8 pounds).
- Sign up for a CSA. Through a Community Supported Agriculture share, you’ll help keep local farms in business—and enjoy fresh, local produce delivered regularly. Bonus: It’ll take fewer food-miles to get your food to you, saving gas and vehicle emissions. To find one, visit localharvest.org.
- Buy vintage and “gently used.” Frequent thrift shops, garage sales and vintage fashion shops more often. Besides the money you’ll save shopping there, your finds won’t generate any new pollution to produce.
- Pack your lunch in reusable bags and wrappers. If you’re doing this daily, the packaging waste you’d save adds up quickly. For example, a kid who brings a bag lunch to school daily generates 67 pounds of trash in a year.
- Commit with your wallet and/or your time. Sure, there are plenty of events to participate in on Earth Day, and all throughout April, Earth Month—but our environment needs our help every day. Consider making an ongoing commitment to an organization doing the earth-healing work you believe in. At Caliper, we partner with two nonprofits that help keep our state’s most precious natural resources healthy: The Colorado Water Trust and the Colorado Trail Foundation.
- Never forget that everyday actions make everything possible.
Sure, it might seem your reusable coffee mug isn’t going to change the world. But as recent events show us, individual actions have huge power to heal the world—as long as we do them collectively. Our connections with the Earth will always depend upon the fact that we’re connected to each other. They always have.
And now…go outside and give Mother Earth some love!