This year Earth Day is on Monday, April 22. But it's easy to practice more sustainable ways of living every day of the year.
We've collected our favorite tips to green your home and your family this Earth Day. Pick your favorites from this list and enjoy celebrating the planet on Earth Day and every day.
And if you have any great ideas that we can add to this post, please let us know in the comments below!
1. Keep a small assortment of reusable bags with you at all times, whether it's an extra in your tote bag, under the stroller, in the car or even under your desk at work.
2. Carry an insulated mug with you for your morning coffee runs. Most coffee shops even offer discounts if you bring in a reusable cup.
3. Skip the plastic utensils and straws when you're grabbing food on the go. Instead, keep a small utensil roll in your bag.
4. Choose the stroller (or bike or your own two feet) instead of the car when you can. If you're lucky enough to walk your kids to school or have a grocery store nearby, try and keep the car in the garage as much as you can, especially on nice days.
5. Take stock of how much plastic you add to your grocery cart and consider what you can cut back on. One easy fix: if you bring bottled water home every week, consider upgrading to a nice home filter instead.
6. Swap out your old light bulbs for more energy-efficient options.
7. Join a CSA. Support local farms and agriculture and skip the long grocery lines while eating items that are in season locally.
8. Start your own garden. You'll save money, eat better and enrich your own backyard.
9. Create a seasonal nature table at home. Involve your children with long walks in the yard as each season changes. Invite them to collect pieces from nature that they find and keep them on display somewhere at home to remind them just how important it is to enjoy and care for their natural surroundings.
10. Create a list of family goals. Not every family can make changes in a day. Instead, make a list of things you hope to get better at in the coming year and check in every month to see if there's something new to tick off the list.
11. Start a backyard compost. Don't have your own green space? Look into a local composting company to see if you can leave your own food and vegetable waste curbside instead.
12. According to Ban the Bottle, the US alone consumes 50 billion plastic water bottles annually. Buy one for every member in the family to bring to school or work instead of buying bottled beverages.
13. Start a neighborhood cleanup. Take your children out for a walk with some friends and bring a few garbage bags along. Pick up litter on the walk or bottles that can be recycled along the way.
14. Read books about nature. Pick some up from your local library and learn about animals, the ocean, farming and more.
15. Hand down used clothing. Save money and be more sustainable in your family's approach to buying new by extending the life cycle out of your kids clothes and passing them along to friends and neighbors.
16. Turn out the lights. Get the whole family in the habit of shutting off lights and any electronics when they are out of the room.
17. Plan an outdoor picnic. The more time you spend in nature as a family, the more invested you'll be in protecting it.
18. Volunteer at your local park.
19. Buy in bulk. Find a local grocer that lets you purchase everyday items like rice, pasta, nuts and spices in bulk and bring your own jars to fill up.
20. Consider sustainability when purchasing toys. Since toys have a lifecycle for young children, think about how they will impact the earth once they leave your home. It's why we only carry sustainable wooden and organic soft toys here at Oompa - no plastic, ever.
21. Go camping, even if its in your own backyard.
22. Bring your own reusable produce bags to the grocery store so you can skip the plastic when you're buying fruit and vegetables.
23. Start a meatless tradition at home, even if it's just one day a week. In fact, if everyone in the U.S. went vegetarian for one day, we would save 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost four months.
24. Check under the kitchen sink. Consider the cleaning chemicals you use in your home and wherever possible, make the switch to something safer.
25. Purchase a rain barrel for the backyard, especially if you live in a city where you get lots of rain throughout the year!
26. Cut down on junk mail. The paper waste affects natural resources so make sure you aren't receiving catalogs that are unwanted.
27. Eat dinner by candlelight! Not only will it cut down on electricity bills, but the whole family will have fun dining in the dark.
28. Recycle right. Take the time to research how to safely recycle items in your home like old cell phones and batteries by contacting your local recycling center.
29. Plant some flowers. Perennials (flowers that come back every year) are easy to plant and will be a colorful reminder of your gardening efforts year after year.
30. Go on a family bike ride.
31. Take a shorter shower (or bath). According to the EPA, a 10-minute shower consumes up to 50 gallons of water, more than what a typical family in Africa uses in one day.
33. Enter your zip code at A Billion Acts of Green to find Earth Day events near your home.