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Formal Earth Day gatherings and events are unlikely to take place under the state guidelines for COVID-19, and some organizations have moved their official celebration to mid-October.
However, there are things we can all do now to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, as well as becoming a better “environmental citizen.”
The most immediate is to clean up litter in your neighborhood, while maintaining social distancing from anyone else who is out. If you find recyclables such as soda cans, plastics or glass bottles, recycle them as your community guidelines permit.
(Recycling regulations can vary by community. You may find that information on the local Board of Health website.)
Here are longer-term changes, courtesy of GoodHouseKeeping.com, you can make (if you don’t do these already).
1. Stop Drinking out of Plastic Water Bottles
Replace your regular single-use plastic bottles with a plastic, glass, or stainless steel reusable water bottle.
2. Turn off Your Lights When You Leave the Room
Turning off your lights when you're not home, or when leaving a room, can significantly reduce the energy you're using.
3. Don't Idle
If you're idling your car for more than two minutes, turn off your engine. Then your car is only releasing emissions while you are driving.
4. Bring a Reusable Cup to Your Favorite Coffee Shop
Bring your reusable coffee mug and ask them to put the coffee in it. (Note that during COVID-19 some chains will not fill orders with reusable cups.)
5. Use a Cloth Towel Instead of Paper Towels
It's also cheaper to use a cloth towel (and put it in the laundry when needed) than to buy a new roll of paper towels (which are now in short supply).
6. Take the Stairs Instead of The Elevator
Taking the stairs cuts down on the energy use required to power the elevator. It’s also a great workout!
7. Ditch the Plastic Straws
Replace your plastic straws with a set of reusable ones.
8. Give Your Home a "Green" Makeover
Going "green" doesn't always require installing solar panels. There are changes you can make, including energy-efficient light bulbs that may also save money in the long run.
9. Turn the Faucet Off
If you stop and think about it, there are few things that require you to leave the water running. Brushing your teeth isn't one of them. You can save around six gallons a day by shutting it off while you scrub your hands with soap before rinsing. (We are all doing more hand washing these days.)
You can also conserve water by pre-filling containers and refrigerating them, instead of waiting for your tap water to get cold every time you want a drink.
10. Go Paperless
Get bank statements and bills sent electronically and paid the same way. It's the same with event or travel tickets. Most places don't require physical copies anymore.
11. Add Plants to Your Home
Plants can help regulate the temperature through the moisture they release into the air. This helps reduce the energy required to heat and cool your home
13. Switch to Reusable Bags
Make all of your shopping outings BYOB (bring your own bag) and reduce the need for plastic.
14. Dispose of Items Properly
If you are doing some spring cleaning, GoodHouseKeeping.com has practices to follow for many items you can’t recycle curbside.
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Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman / ecophotography.com, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.