5 Earth Day Resolutions for an Eco-Friendly Year

Once a year, citizens of the world come together to show their support and enthusiasm for protecting the environment. They share their thoughts and ideas about how we can all come together to make this world a healthier, greener place. They coordinate their efforts to spread awareness about the importance of protecting the environment and organize events to help people take action to boost the health of this Earth and all of its inhabitants. This single day each year is known as Earth Day, and this year will be the 52nd celebration. 

Earth Day was founded in 1970 thanks to the efforts of Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. He had been increasingly concerned about the deteriorating environment he had been seeing in the United States and began to organize events to bring awareness to the problem and inspire people to take action. His efforts were so successful that by 1990 the celebration of Earth Day was taking place globally. 

Today, Earth Day events are held all over the world by government leaders and other environmental stakeholders. However, the celebrations aren’t limited to these large events. Everyone can be a part of Earth Day on a smaller scale. This may look like organizing a community clean-up or participating in a tree-planting event. However, it’s important to recognize that protecting this planet takes more than just one day a year. It is up to each and every one of us to make small, sustainable changes to our daily lives that will ultimately add up to have a big impact on the health of this planet. And what better way to do that than with an Earth Day resolution?  

We know, resolutions are usually reserved for the New Year, but they don’t have to be. When it comes down to it, resolutions are just goals that you have set for yourself for the upcoming year, and you can do that any time of the year. This year, we encourage you to use Earth Day as a time to reflect on the eco-friendly habits you have formed in the last year and find ways you can do better. After all, even the smallest actions done repeatedly over the course of a year can add up to make a big impact.  

Convinced but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered. Here are five ideas you can use as your Earth Day resolution this year.   

1. I will eat more plant-based foods.

We all know that the food we choose to eat directly impacts our health, but did you know that it also impacts the health of the planet? It’s true. In fact, it’s estimated that food can account for up to 30% of a household’s carbon footprint

From the packaging used for processed foods to the land that is needed to raise livestock and grow crops, the process of creating food carries a large amount of blame for the industry’s impact on the environment. Of course, not all foods are created in the same manner, which means that some foods carry a larger carbon footprint than others, and one of the biggest culprits is farm-raised meat. Livestock agriculture alone is estimated to produce nearly half of all man-made carbon emissions worldwide. 

On the other hand, plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables have a relatively low carbon footprint. Combine that with the fact that they are the better option when it comes to your health, and making a resolution to include more plant-based foods in your diet this year is a win-win!

2. I will support local farmers.

Speaking of food, the transportation of food items equates to about 5% of the food industry’s carbon footprint. While that may not seem like a lot, cutting back on food transportation is one of the easiest ways we can reduce our own carbon footprint, and the best way to do that is by supporting local farmers. 

Chances are, a majority of the produce that is available at your local grocery store has had to travel quite the distance before landing on the shelf. Oftentimes, this produce is coming all the way from Mexico or South America. Transporting food these distances not only contributes to carbon emissions from transportation but often also results in the use of genetic modification or chemicals to ensure the produce is still fresh when it arrives. 

By purchasing produce from local farmers, you are able to substantially decrease the amount of carbon and chemicals being put into the environment. As an added bonus, you get to support your local businesses and farmers, which is always beneficial for your community.   

3. I will be thoughtful about my transportation. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation makes up about 29% of the nation’s total carbon emissions. Thankfully, it can be easy to reduce your contribution to this by simply being aware of the transportation options available and being thoughtful about which ones you choose to use. The best and easiest way to reduce your transportation footprint is to bike or walk whenever possible. For example, you could choose to bike to work or walk to the weekend farmer’s market.  

In an ideal world, we would all be able to bike or walk everywhere we needed to go; however, that’s not reality. When you do need to take some form of transportation, consider utilizing public transportation. Taking the bus or subway utilizes less energy and results in fewer carbon emissions than taking a private vehicle. In fact, it’s estimated that one person per household switched to using public transportation can result in an 8% decrease in that household’s annual carbon footprint. 

In addition to your daily transportation habits, it’s important to be thoughtful about the transportation you are using when traveling, especially if your trip involves flying. Airplanes require a lot of fuel to operate, especially during take-off and landing. Because of this, short trips can be made more eco-friendly by choosing to drive or take the train instead of flying. If you are going somewhere that requires a flight, choose the most direct flight possible as it will likely have the lowest carbon footprint per person.   

4. I will spread the word about environmental protection.

If your small acts add up to have a big impact, imagine what kind of impact we can have if we get more people to adopt eco-friendly friendly habits! This year, consider making an Earth Day resolution to spread the word about the importance of environmental protection and help others adopt an earth-friendly lifestyle. Connect with neighbors to brainstorm ways your community can work together to make a difference, such as doing a community clean-up or starting a local tree planting initiative. Start conversations with your family members and friends about the importance of protecting this environment, and help them create a plan to conserve energy and reduce their carbon footprint. Get your kids involved by teaching them to turn the water off when brushing their teeth or recycling plastic and cardboard items around the house.  There are countless ways you can help spread the word about the importance of living a sustainable life.

5. I will support sustainable companies.

You have the power to vote for sustainable practices with every purchase you make. While shopping locally is always the more sustainable option, it’s a fact that this isn’t possible for every purchase you make. Thankfully, there are a lot of companies out there today that prioritize protecting the environment. That means that with a little awareness and research, you can not only support their efforts but also demand change from other companies who are not operating to your environmental standards. Your purchases are powerful, so this year, use them for good by supporting eco-friendly companies.  

What’s Your Earth Day Resolution? 

As this year’s Earth Day comes and goes, join us in extending the celebration and making every day Earth Day! Set yourself an Earth Day resolution and start doing your part to help protect this beautiful planet for future generations to enjoy. Remember, a little bit goes a long way, and when we work together and do our part, we can make a big impact on the health of this planet. So, what’s your Earth Day resolution this year?

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