At its core, Earth Day is all about taking action to protect the world we play in. So each day this month, we’re challenging you to incorporate an eco-friendly action into your routine. Although they may seem small on their own, these things really do turn into big and meaningful change when we all take part. Bring what matters into focus and leave April a little greener than you found it.
30 Day Earth Month Challenge
1. Plant a tree
You probably guessed this one was going to be at the top of our list. Planting trees has an enormous impact, not just on the environment, but on our lives. Trees sequester carbon and help provide homes for wildlife, which in turn can provide an additional food source and income for locals in certain areas. In addition to the environmental benefits, our tree planting initiatives also help create meaningful employment and empower communities. If you’re unable to plant a tree on your own, there are amazing organizations that you can donate to that will plant on your behalf. A few we work directly with include Eden Reforestation Projects, Trees For The Future, and Plant With Purpose.
2. Shorten your shower
Save water and energy by shortening your shower time. The average American showers for approximately 8 minutes, and according to the US Environmental Protection Agency a standard showerhead uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute. That means the average shower uses a whopping 20 gallons of water. By cutting your shower time down to 5 minutes, you could be saving over 300 gallons of water a month.
3. Keep the lights off
Spring is officially here and the days are getting brighter and longer. Take advantage of the extra sunshine and try to go a full day without turning on the lights. Move your workspace closer to the window and enjoy some fresh air while you’re there.
4. Skip the trash
Try to go a full day without throwing anything away. Set yourself up for success with all things re-useable.
5. Keep your grocery shop local
Not only does shopping locally equate to a smaller carbon footprint, it also means you’re supporting local farmers. For one grocery shop this month, try to keep everything you buy local. Check out the farmer’s market — and if there isn’t one in your neighbourhood, challenge yourself to buy only produce you would find seasonally and locally. Bonus points if you only buy items that are free of plastic packaging.
6. Go vegetarian for the day
Building on the idea of a more sustainable way to grocery shop, try cutting meat out of your diet for a day. Animal agriculture is the second-largest contributor to human-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions after fossil fuels. Even just cutting back on your meat consumption minimally can make a big difference in the long run. Here are some vegetarian recipes to get you started.
- Blissed-Out Thai Salad with Peanut Tempeh
- Fried Halloumi Lentil Salad
- Eggplant Bliss Bowl with Mint and Cilantro Chutney
Image sourced from The Almond Eater Blog.
7. Start a conversation about climate change
Climate change can feel like an overwhelming topic, and it can be hard to know how to talk about it. Lead the charge with your family and friends and get the conversation started. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you find that people often have the same questions and concerns as you. Here are some helpful resources when it comes to what to say and how to start.
- How To Talk About Environmentalism and Sustainability With Your Friends
- How To Talk About Environmentalism and Sustainability With Your Family
8. Leave the car at home
Whether you’re heading to work or running errands, leave the car at home. Walking, biking, taking transit or carpooling are all sustainable ways to get where you need to go.
9. Treat yourself (but make it sustainable)
Invest in an eco-friendly product that will help make your day-to-day a little more sustainable. Maybe it’s a reusable water bottle that will help you kick your plastic habit or a tote bag to replace the single-use bags you keep bringing home from the grocery store. Budgets can be tight, so if you don’t have the funds available, try researching different products and exploring what might be a good future investment.
10. Learn something new
Whether you pick up a new book or check out a new podcast — seek out a new source of information that can teach you more about sustainably and the state of our planet. Empowering yourself with knowledge and an understanding of the problems we’re collectively facing is an important step towards impactful change.
11. Do a green clean
When your weekly clean rolls around, sustainably spruce things up by creating your own DIY cleaning solutions. Check out our favourites here.
12. Go paperless
Avoid the desktop clutter and save some trees while you’re at it by taking the time to go paperless with your billing and invoicing.
13. Wash cold. Hang dry.
Not only does washing clothes in cold water mean they’re less likely to fade and shrink over time, but it also means you’re saving money and energy. A household could cut its emissions by 864 pounds of carbon per year by washing four out of five loads in cold water.
14. Spend the day outside
Find inspiration to protect our planet by immersing yourself in it. Make time to visit your favourite spot in nature and leave your phone at home. Be present and observe what makes it so beautiful and grounding.
15. Save your vegetable scraps
Make the most of your veggies and cut down on your food waste by re-purposing the scraps. Certain vegetables can actually be regrown from the scraps, while others can be used to make a delicious veggie broth.
16. Make an eco-upgrade in your home
Whether it’s swapping out your light bulbs or upgrading your showerhead, look around your home and see if there are any easy environmental upgrades you can make. Even if you don’t have the budget for it right now, it’s helpful to make a list of what could be done in the future.
17. Support an environmental cause you care about
Support what you’re passionate about protecting. Make a donation to an organization that’s working to make our planet a better place. If you’re not in a position to make a donation, explore different ways you could volunteer your time or experience to a cause you care about.
18. Clean up your neighbourhood
Take some time to get outside and make your neighbourhood a little cleaner by picking up litter. For this activity, the more the merrier; get your friends onboard or encourage your coworkers to head out with you at lunch for a quick clean-up.
Hopefully, you’re doing this one already. But if not, now’s the perfect time to start. Recycling’s one of the best ways to reuse some common materials that usually end up in your shopping cart. If you’re already recycling, take some time to revisit guidelines on what can and can’t be recycled to ensure you’re doing it currectly.
20. Calculate your carbon footprint
The average global footprint is estimated to be approximately 4 tons per person per year.(16 tons per person in the United States – yikes!) To have the best chance of avoiding a 2℃ rise in global temperatures, the average global carbon footprint per year needs to drop to under 2 tons by 2050. Calculate your carbon footprint to see where you fall in comparison to the average and get inspired that your small actions (like the ones in this challenge) really do add up in the long run.
21. Get social
Expand your network and make your time on social media more meaningful by filling your feed with accounts that keep you informed and up to date on the state of our planet. Check out some accounts we recommend following here.
22. Buy second-hand
If there are some new clothes you want to add to your wardrobe or a new home accessory you’ve been eyeing, instead of buying them new try finding them secondhand first. Check out your local thrift store or online marketplace for a planet-friendly purchase.
23. Explore a new outdoor space
Get adventurous. Head out and enjoy a new trail or park in your area that you’ve never been to before.
24. Add some green apps to your phone
Harness the power of your phone and consider downloading apps that will help you level up your everyday sustainability. Check out some we’d recommend downloading here.
25. Look into sustainable banking options
You may be surprised to learn that the fossil fuel and coal industries (aka huge contributors to global warming) are getting a ton of money from the world’s major banks. Take time to research your bank’s policies and ensure your money is being invested ethically. Learn more about this subject here.
26. Make a clear-out meal
You may be shocked to learn that one study found 63% of the food Canadians throw away could have been eaten. For dinner, skip buying groceries and make a meal entirely from the assortment of things leftover in your fridge that might usually go to waste.
27. Put your favourite brands under a microscope
Take some time to do a little digging into the brands you shop with most often. Ensure you’re using your purchasing power to protect the earth and support businesses that truly align with your environmental values. If you feel like they could be doing more, or find they’re actually doing harm to the planet, be proactive and find alternative brands you can support.
28. Make time for self-care
Sometimes, being a climate activist can feel overwhelming and difficult, so it’s important to focus on self-care as part of your activism journey. We cannot take care of the planet without taking care of ourselves first. Take some time to do something that helps you recharge so you can take on the world (literally). Here are some ways we like to reset.
Composting reduces methane emissions that are released when food is thrown in landfills, and helps reduce 14% of landfill waste, or up to 50% if you include yard waste in the mix. Saving your food waste from the dumpster is a huge part of living zero-waste. Need inspiration on where to start? Check out our Guide To Composting.
30. Set an Earth Day intention
You’ve spent all month intentionally showing up for the planet, take time to reflect. What actions really resonated with you and feel like something you can carry forward beyond April? Set an intention to inspire you and keep the momentum going.
By planting ten trees for every item you purchase, it’s our mission to plant 1 billion trees by 2030. Head to our website to learn more and begin your planting journey with 10% off.