April 22 is Earth Day 2018! And while it is a challenge for every person to limit his or her environmental impact, there are plenty of ways you can help protect the earth this week and long into the future.
The Earth Day Network is concentrating on ending plastic pollution this year. Being petroleum products, plastics not only release greenhouse gases during manufacture, they also leach phthalates and other chemicals that are harmful to human health into the environment in use and after disposal.
The Earth Day Network asks individuals to calculate their plastic usage and participate in events that encourage people to reduce the use of plastics; refuse to use common items such as plastic straws, grocery bags and flatware; and reuse whatever plastic items they can.
When disposal of plastic is unavoidable and a sufficient waste-management or recycling program isn’t available, the network says, local citizens should get involved by launching community-led disposal initiatives and recycling businesses.
Every Earth Day, there are also plenty of opportunities to clean up local parks and shorelines, plant trees and protect wildlife habitats, and otherwise celebrate and protect nature. Simply search online for “Earth Day events near me” to pitch in.
Parents and teachers can get kids involved in Earth Day with special lesson plans, litter pickup and more. The Green Education Foundation suggests activities such as building a compost bin, fixing leaks and planting a garden for kids of all ages.
Looking for another way to keep the planet clean? Donate the lightly used clothing, housewares and plastic goods you no longer need to ClothingDonations.org. When you arrange a pickup, the items get resold and reused — keeping more junk out of landfills while helping fund veterans’ programs.
Whether you choose to celebrate Earth Day by turning off the lights, carpooling to work, cleaning out your closets or all of the above, your decision will contribute to the planet’s health. And every little bit helps!