(and Mother Nature will thank you!)

Happy Earth Day! 5 Ways You Can Make a Difference

a special feature from Sarina Peddy, executive editor of grandparentslink.com

Today, in honor of Earth Day, let’s take a step back and look at everything around us, because yes, you can make a difference.  Every year we like to present you with more ideas so you can become super mindful of our Mother Earth.  We humans are the inefficient species — and it’s no joke: we COULD lose our beautiful earth both above and below ground. While I am in awe of seeing humpback whales romp, play, and splash in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, it’s disheartening to think how many species of animals are destined to become extinct by the hands of those of us who live above the ocean and on land.

Often times when I am trolling around New York City, I see the mounds of ugly, smelly garbage bags lying in the streets, piled almost like a newly constructed skyscraper. I can’t help but ask myself, “How can we continue this way? How will our fragile planet survive all this waste and pollution? Will my children’s children get a chance to experience the beauty of this land and the magnificent creatures that I have seen and experienced?” Let’s not wait until it’s too late (as trite as it might sound), because every little bit we can do, will make a difference.

Today, in honor of Earth Day, make a conscious choice to better our earth.
Here are 5 ways to do just that!

  1. Buy Local
    When you support a local farmers’ market or farm-to-table restaurant, you are a double do-gooder. Not only are you supporting your local economy, you are helping to reduce the pollution created from transporting those products.
  2. Go Vegetarian Once a Week
    This is another multi-benefit action you can take. Incorporating Meatless Monday or any other day into your week offers health benefits for sure, but there are some other important reasons to consider this. The meat industry generates almost one-fifth of the world’s man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Cutting back on meat helps slow that down. It also minimizes the enormous amount of water usage needed to care for livestock, plus can help reduce fossil fuel dependence.
  3. Bring Your Own Shopping Bags
    Less plastic means less waste in landfills and less chance for animals to eat them or become entangled in them. Trash that is not biodegradable collects in our oceans and wilderness areas, threatening the eco-system and possibly causing the release of dangerous chemicals. Plus it just looks ugly. So the short answer is, bring your own bags when you shop.
  4. Invest in Your Own Coffee Cup
    A reusable cup not only cuts down on waste, but also keeps your beverage hot for a much longer time. Most coffee shops will happily fill your own cup, and many even offer you a discount in exchange. Plus let’s face it, coffee always tastes better in your favorite mug.
  5. Plant Something
    Trees, flowers, gardens or seeds. Plant something and be amazed. You will be reducing air pollution, providing food, creating beauty, and participating in our incredible eco-system. Do this with your grandkids and revel in their reactions to watching things grow. Do this for yourself and revel at the amazing way our planet works.

For even more ways to go green by keeping things out of the landfill, recycle them!

What are your favorite ways to be green? Share with us in the comments section and keep the conversation going.