It's finally here! April has arrived and with it, so has Earth Day! Here are 15 ways for you to celebrate Earth Day and to pick up some new habits that can help keep you celebrating the Earth year round!
1. Lincoln Earth Day
If you’re in the Lincoln area, make sure you check out Lincoln Earth Day on April 28th at the Union Plaza from 10 am -3 pm! There will be musical performances, food trucks, and awesome nonprofit booths for you to check out! It’s a great way to get educated on how you can reduce your carbon footprint AND spend some time with your friends and family!
2. Walk, bike, or use public transportation
A habit we should all get into, but especially on Earth Day, think about leaving your car in the garage and find a more sustainable way to get to where you need to go! Carpool with a friend, take out your bike, or use public transportation! There are so many ways for you to get around without releasing more emissions into the atmosphere!
3. Pick up some Earth-friendly products
Whether it be cleaning products, makeup, or food, find products that you know were made ethically and sustainably and incorporate them into your every day routine! Some examples of eco-friendly brands are: Patagonia, Seventh Generation, and Lush Cosmetics.
4. Check out UNL’s awesome Earthstock events
UNL hosts Earthstock, which is a month-long celebration with events, speakers, and service opportunities that help educate students and increase their involvement in sustainability efforts. For more information on specific events and how you can get involved, visit https://asun.unl.edu/earthstock.
Recycling is an easy and great habit to get into, and what better day to start than Earth day! Take the time to notice what materials you use in your everyday life that could be recycled instead of just being thrown out. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop!
6. Start composting
Composting is a fantastic way to reuse all your materials and minimize the amount of waste you produce. Not only this, but it is also an amazing way to fertilize your outdoor space. Setting up a composting system takes no time at all and once you get started, it’s a great and easy habit to maintain.
Unplug all your electronics that are not being used such as TVs, curling irons, lamps, or phone chargers. Keeping these things plugged in when they aren’t being used is a huge waste of energy and it only takes a few seconds to unplug them.
8. Take shorter showers
I know it’s tempting to spend hours in the shower jamming to your favorite songs while you rinse and repeat, but doing so wastes a large amount of water. Unless you’re rinsing off those suds, turn off the water if it isn’t being used and maybe spend less than 10 minutes in the shower
9. Invest in reusable materials
There is no need for you to ever drink from a plastic water bottle or carry your groceries in a plastic sack. Shell out the few bucks it costs to invest in a reusable water bottle or canvas bag. The money you pay now will pay off when you realize how much plastic you can cut out of your life just by investing in reusable materials.
10. Go meatless for a day
We know many people claim this is an impossible task, but with all of the vegetarian friendly options that are offered, it’s not too difficult to accomplish. If everyone went vegetarian for one day, the US could save 100 billion gallons of water, 1.5 billion pounds of crops, 70 million gallons of gas, 3 million acres of land, and 33 tons of antibiotics. And that’s just one day.
11. Spend your day outside
Go on a hike or go to the park. Whatever you do, Earth day must be celebrated embracing the great outdoors. Lincoln has tons of trails and parks that would be perfect to spend your day. Pick one, pack a lunch, grab some friends and spend the day soaking up nature and all its beauty.
12. Change your lightbulbs
In this day and age, the amount of eco-friendly lighting offered is numerous, so switch out those dusty old bulbs for some compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) or LED’s. These types of bulbs are extremely energy efficient and long-lasting, making it a great option for you and the environment!
13. Volunteer your time at a local community event
If you live around the Lincoln area, volunteer to help at the Earth Day Event on April 28th! You can sign up to hold a booth or you can just volunteer your time to help the event run smoothly. Check out https://lincolnearthday.org/ for more information and a sign up sheet if you’re interested
14. Contact someone your representative
Writing a letter to a senator or representative is an incredible way to make your voice heard. It might feel like you’re just a student who can’t possibly make a change in an issue this large, but by contacting the government and making them listen to your concerns, you are making strides in the right direction.
15. Make these things habits
If you think about all of the resources we are saving by doing all of these things for one day, can you imagine what kind of change we could be making if we made these things a habit? Extend the celebration past Earth Day, and try to get into a routine of at least one of these tips. You would be amazed at the amount of energy and resources that you save by committing to one of these tasks year-round.