This is the time of year where I would usually share all of the great ways our cities are celebrating Earth Day. Just because none of those events are able to happen, doesn’t mean you can’t still celebrate Earth Day! Here are some genius ideas to help Planet Earth.
Recycle on Earth Day and Every Day
This one is a no-brainer. Our municipalities offer recycling so we should take advantage of it! This is a perfect way to get the kids involved – make it their job to sort! Plus, it kills a little time in the day, and we all need some of that right now! You can find details on what is acceptable in your blue bin below.
Watch this great video on how cans are recycled. It’s perfect for kids and will definitely inspire them to get recycling!
Plant Your Food
Don’t let low inventory at the grocery store deter you – plant your own veggies and fruit! The Farmer’s Almanac is a great website that inspires and informs on everything to do with gardening and beyond. KidsGardening.org has a dozen great garden combinations to grow exactly what you want to eat – like a pizza garden, a pickle garden, and even a taco garden!
Plant a Butterfly Garden
Not every garden is automatically a butterfly garden, and the David Suzuki foundation lays our some of the must-haves for your butterfly garden to be a success. You can also cater your garden to attract certain types of butterflies, like Monarchs and Painted Ladies.
Don’t Forget Bout The Bees, Please!
Bees are our most important pollinators and their numbers are dwindling at an alarming rate. You can help by making your garden and outdoor space bee-friendly. Plant a garden of various wildflowers that will bloom from spring to fall, and leave out a “bee bath” to make sure they stay hydrated. Instructions on how-to here.
Clean-Up While You Walk on Earth Day
On your next neighbourhood walk, clean up any garbage in you see in your travels. Spring always reveals the hiding places of trash and a walk is a great time to help clean some of your favourite spaces up. We did this by bringing a few shopping bags, washable winter gloves, and metal tongs that could be washed afterwards. Then we put the garbage bags in our personal garbage cans for pick up day. Be earth-conscious, but also safe! Bonus: my kids agreed we could do this more often than on Earth Day alone.
Donate to The Earth Day Eco-Champions
Saving the planet sure sounds like a daunting job, and many of us think it’s beyond our ability to make a difference. But it’s not! You can help support organizations who are living like every day is Earth Day right in your own backyards. Environment Hamilton, Burlington Green and Oakville Green are all grassroots groups determined to make your cities greener for all. You can also think globally and donate to one of these organizations, or your favourite “green team” and help them move forward in their mission to make communities and environments beautiful again.
Switch from Single-Use to Multi-Use
In the last few years, our home has been making small, simple switches to eco-friendly and friendlier items. It all seemed from the fact that I’m
cheap financially-conscious and switching out my single-use items for multiuse items seemed like such an easy win, for my wallet and the planet. Here are my top 5 items I’ve swapped out easily:
Lunch containers instead of plastic bags. Dishes suck, but so does sending my kids with 5 or more plastic bags for their lunches DAILY. That means a box of 100 bags only lasted 2 weeks at max, and my reusable containers (Walmart and Dollarama) are going on 8 school years so BIG win for my wallet.
Reuseable water bottles and travel mugs are a staple for almost everyone now. I hate when we forget a water bottle and I see the price tag on a bottle of water at the store! Don’t even get me started on the fact I’m being charged for water when tap water in our regions is just fine.
Peace out paper towels! Years ago I swapped out about 95% of our paper towel use in favour of reusable, washable cloths. Again, watching how much we literally threw in the trash weekly was the pits! Plus, I do allllll of the cleaning, so I get to choose my tools LOL! We still use paper napkins for dinner, but surprisingly my family doesn’t turn to them when they need a paper towel! And after seeing the empty shelves thanks to hoarding, I’m glad I had a back up in place!
So long, Saran Wrap! I’ve always hated plastic wrap for two reasons. It’s expensive and I can’t work it without breaking a sweat. Two great reasons to swap it out for beeswax wraps! I’ve tried a few types of beeswax wraps and my favourites are Abeego wraps. They’re the most pliable, and they’ve held up for 2 years so far. I use them to wrap the 2nd half of a canteloupe, cover bowls of leftovers, and nothing keeps cheese fresher!
Dishwasher Tabs That Don’t Pollute are my most recent switch. Last summer, at the Burlington Farmers Market I met Koby, the co-founded of Refillery Market and saw that she sold dishwasher tabs. I saw that they were less expensive than those national brands at the grocery store, so I was already intrigued. Then she told me they were individually wrapped in a vegetable-based casing that naturally dissolved in the dishwasher, so no need to unwrap and those little plastic wrappers away! Sold! I’ve been a very satisfied customer since.
If you have an Earth Day suggestion, please share it! We love the ideas and inspiration we see in our community and want to cheer you on!