Every year in April, Earth Day encourages people around the world to think about how they can better support the environment. While this is a great reminder to live sustainably, the lessons surrounding Earth Day shouldn’t be limited to just one day. In fact, world leaders and A-list celebrities alike are raising awareness about climate change all year round.
While you’re probably familiar with common ways to help the environment, you could be doing so much more. Not only should you become more aware of how your daily habits affect climate change, but you can take action at the click of a button to be part of the solution and community of supporters.
Here are some simple things you can do to celebrate the earth year-round and make a lasting impact:
1. Find alternative transportation
Instead of hopping into your car every time you need to get somewhere, think about other ways you could get around. If possible, try riding your bike to work once a week or taking public transportation. See if anyone in your office lives near you. Could you start a carpool? There are so many options available to avoid using fossil fuels that emit carbon.
2. Support a project that verifiably reduces carbon right from your phone or tablet
“Everybody should have the chance to be a part of the solution,” says Marisa de Belloy, COO of Cool Effect, an online community that allows individuals to create a tangible impact on climate change. While you’d probably love to get out and plant a tree or install solar panels on your roof, those might not fit into your busy lifestyle. “Even if you are already doing everything you can, you are still emitting harmful CO2 into the atmosphere. Cool Effect provides consistent funding to the highest-quality carbon reducing projects around the world. With projects like Methane Capture in Colorado and biogas in India, you’ll know exactly where your contributions go and who they benefit.”
3. Maintain an energy efficient home
From energy-efficient appliances to small changes in lighting, there are plenty of options for reducing the amount of energy you use in your home. For example, you can reduce drafts and energy use while improving comfort simply by updating your weather stripping and caulking. You can also help the planet by switching to compact fluorescent lightbulbs. If you’ve already done your part to make your own home more energy efficient, you can support efforts like this cookstove project in Uganda that is reducing carbon emissions by 58 percent per household by installing smarter appliances that burn less charcoal and wood. Efficiency at home is helpful, but the ripple effect across the globe is even better.
4. Buy local and reduce waste
Shipping burns fuel which releases carbon pollution. You can do your part to minimize this by buying locally as much as possible. Purchase foods that are both in season and grown close to where you live. Head to your local farmers market and you might be surprised at the delicious fresh foods you can find. Additionally, do your best not to waste food. When food gets tossed, it sits in landfills, producing methane while transporting waste creates more carbon pollution.
Don’t limit your climate change fight to just one day. You can take action with any or all of these projects and be a part of a greater solution. To learn more, visit cooleffect.org.