Last Update: February 25, 2024
With more time at home than ever before over the past year, maybe you planted a garden for the very first time.
Maybe you made your groceries last a bit longer than you’re used to, experimenting with ingredients and stretching your grocery budget in fun, new ways.
Maybe you took the time to look inward and consider what’s really important to you — things like your family, your health, and the welfare of our planet.
When enough people make these small shifts, it can make a difference on a global scale; it starts to feel powerful, like we’re all working together, even when we’re apart. And eventually, these small things can add up to big things, like helping to reverse climate change and clean up our waterways.
Earth Day is a great time to experiment with small, thoughtful changes to your routine. Before you know it, they’ll become habits—and that’s when they’ll really start making a measurable difference. Best of all, it doesn’t take a total lifestyle overhaul to see big sustainability returns. For example:
If all Americans skipped meat for just one day each week, we would save 100 billion gallons of water per year.
If one individual switched to a vegan diet for one month, it would prevent the creation of 900 pounds of CO2 gas.
If the average person switched from drinking bottled water to a reusable water bottle, it would save approximately 1,460 single-use plastic bottles per year.
Ready to get started? Read on for eight simple yet powerful actions you can take—starting today—to make a difference for the planet.
In 2018, landfills contained about 27 million tons of plastic, according to the EPA. While some single-use plastics can be recycled, many can’t—instead, they end up in these landfills, or worse, littered on the ground and in our waterways. Try cutting out some of the single-use plastics from your daily routine by making a few sustainable swaps:
Climate change is a complex and often overwhelming issue, but education is the most powerful tool we have toward combating it on a large scale. There are a number of compelling, informative documentaries that would be perfect for an Earth Day movie night. Seeding Change: The Power of Conscious Commerce debuts on Earth Day (Thursday, April 22) 2021. The documentary (in which Thrive Market is proudly featured) addresses how we can reverse the climate crisis through conscious consumerism, or supporting businesses that put the planet’s health first.
“My upcoming film, Seeding Change, is no doubt my most challenging in that it seeks solutions to the biggest problem humanity has ever faced: the climate crisis. However, there is a beautifully simple solution right at our fingertips. Empowering consumers to purchase from those companies that have solutions built into their business models is how we can make immediate and positive change for our planet.”
—Seeding Change director/producer Richard Yelland
The commercial meat industry is one of the largest sources of pollution in the world. The UN estimates that global meat production creates approximately 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. To produce just one pound of beef, it requires a massive 1,800 gallons of water. It takes lots of people making small changes to help combat our reliance on commercial meat; whether you switch to a completely vegan diet, only purchase your meat from ethical sources, or simply cut out meat for one day each week, these individual decisions can make a huge difference for both your health and the health of the planet. Earth Day is a great time to experiment with plant-based eating; here are some great ways to start.
Water is an essential part of human life, but unfortunately, not everyone has access to clean water — and those who do may not realize that their drinking habits are polluting the planet. Here are a few tips for making water more ethical for all.
If you spend most of your days behind a computer screen, Earth Day is the perfect occasion to take a hands-on approach to improving the world around you. They may seem like small steps, but these plant-centric ideas will help you make our Earth even a little bit greener.
As our world moves online, unfortunately, so does our pollution. An increase in Internet users amounts to an increase in electricity usage and carbon emissions, adding to the ever-pressing problem of climate change.
Want to lessen your digital carbon footprint? Here are some tips:
Did you know that around the world, over one third of all food produced for human consumption goes to waste? Not only is this an incredible injustice to those who are struggling with hunger, but this wasted food is responsible for 8% of the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.
At home, you can do your part to reduce food waste by using all parts of your fruits, veggies, meats, and other groceries. Stretch your grocery budget and keep fresh food out of the landfill by regrowing the unused ends of your fruits and veggies. Here are a few simple options for kitchen counter propagating:
One of the best ways to support the future you want to see is by “voting with your dollar.” This refers to supporting businesses with ethical practices that align with your values, whether that means only buying free-range meats or switching to regeneratively grown produce. You can shop by more than 70 values at Thrive Market — and there’s no better time than Earth Day to get to know a few of our most environmentally conscious labels.
*Disclaimer: We do not recommend eating any wild plants, herbs, or fungi without proper identification by a health professional.
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