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9

WAYS TO CELEBRATE

EARTH MONTH
FROM HOME

9

WAYS TO CELEBRATE

EARTH MONTH
FROM HOME

9 Ways to Celebrate Earth Month From Home

For the past 50 years, people across the U.S. have observed Earth Day on April 22. On this day, many individuals join their communities to complete Earth Day activities like planting trees, cleaning litter and advocating for environmental change. Earth Day's impact is important, but imagine what more we could accomplish if people across the nation treated the entire month of April as Earth Month.

There are many simple and achievable ways to make a positive impact on the environment at home. Even small changes can make a significant contribution with consistency and balance. The following are some ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and celebrate Earth Day all month long. 

1. Start a Garden

A garden is a rewarding way to grow plants you can eat and enjoy. Home and community gardens offer several environmental benefits, including:

  • Oxygen production:  During photosynthesis, plants take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen..

  • Fewer chemicals: When you grow food in a garden, you can choose not to use the harmful pesticides larger farms may use.

  • Water conservation: You can water your garden with rainwater or leftover cooking water to avoid wasting water.

  • Fewer carbon emissions: Garden-grown food produces fewer overall emissions than produce that is grown, harvested and transported far from your home.

Your garden could be as simple as a small collection of pots in your kitchen, or more large-scale, like a designated plot in your yard. If you live in an apartment, you could put a planter on your balcony or patio to fit your space. Follow these steps to kick-start your garden: 

1. Choose a plot: If you're a first-time gardener, it may be a good idea to start small. When deciding where to position your plot, consider the type of sunlight the space will receive. d

2. Select plants: Plants like herbs, tomatoes and peppers can be easy to grow in a small garden. Be sure that your light and soil conditions are appropriate for the plant types you choose.

3. Plant your garden bed: Start with an appropriate soil for your plants, and plant the seeds. To get more out of the space, try using vertical rows.

4. Water and grow: Follow your plants' watering instructions and ensure they get adequate sunlight. When your crops are full-grown, enjoy the fruits of your labor and the money you saved! 

2. Opt out of Junk Mail

Junk mail may come in the form of credit offers, magazine offers, catalogs or promotional materials. The common thread for all of these materials is that they are often unwanted. In addition, junk mail wastes more than 100 million trees and 28 billion gallons of water annually.

Opt out of Junk Mail

Junk mail may come in the form of credit offers, magazine offers, catalogs or promotional materials. The common thread for all of these materials is that they are often unwanted. In addition, junk mail wastes more than

100million trees

28billion gallons

of water annually


If you know you don't want the junk mail that comes to your house, there's a simple way to stop it and the waste it creates. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends using the Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) tools to decide what mail you want and don't want.

For $2, DMAchoice allows you to specify your direct mail preferences for the next 10 years. This simple action takes just minutes and costs less than a latte, but it prevents a substantial amount of paper and water waste. 

3. Learn About Recycling and Take the Next Step

According to the EPA, even small amounts of recycling conserves natural resources and energy. For example, recycling 10 plastic bottles generates enough energy to power a laptop for 25 hours. Whether you've never recycled before or you keep sorted recycling bins, you can be intentional about taking the next step.

Here are some practical tips to amp up your recycling at any stage: 

  • Learn what you can recycle: If you're new to recycling, investigate the items you may be able to recycle. Identify the recyclable items you use and work on adding them to your curbside bin or personal bin. 

  • Learn about your city's recycling options: If you're not sure how your city handles recycling, conduct a quick online search. You may be able to participate in a curbside pickup program, or you may need to start your own bins and take them to a nearby recycling facility.

  • Improve your home recycling system: If you have a home recycling system, assess how effective your current setup is. Are different materials getting mixed up in your bins? Do you need larger containers? A simple and clear system can streamline your recycling and make it as easy as possible.

  • Share what you've learned with a friend: For many people, learning about recycling from a trusted and experienced friend can be less intimidating than trying to figure things out on their own. If you understand recycling, offer to help your friends get started.

4. Shop for Groceries Locally

Whether you shop for groceries every week or more often than that, grocery trips account for regular vehicle usage. Each time we drive to the store, we add carbon emissions to the atmosphere. Shortening the distance for your grocery trip can help limit your carbon emissions and save you time. Shopping closer to home can also make it easier to buy locally grown produce, which has many environmental and economic benefits.

Here are some tips to help make your shopping trips more eco-friendly: 

  • Choose a closer store: A quick online search can help you find grocery stores that are closer to home. Try one of these stores a few times to see if they have the same items and experience you're looking for. 

  • Shop less often: If you can't switch to a closer store, you can try shopping every other week. It may take a few tries to adjust to purchasing enough items for two weeks, but if the pattern works, you'll reduce your emissions.

  • Improve your home recycling system: If you have a home recycling system, assess how effective your current setup is. Are different materials getting mixed up in your bins? Do you need larger containers? A simple and clear system can streamline your recycling and make it as easy as possible.

  • Shop at farmer's markets: Local farmer's markets offer fresh food that often has less packaging than the produce in stores. You can support local farmers and the economy by finding a market near you and using it for your produce needs.

5. Limit Your Shower Time

Being conscious of how long you spend in the shower can help you make small improvements that conserve water. According to the EPA, 17% of the average family's water use comes from showers. Conserving this water serves two valuable purposes:

  • Ensuring adequate water resources for future generations 

  •  Reducing costs for water and wastewater infrastructure

Being conscious of how long you spend in the shower can help you make small improvements that conserve water.  According to the EPA, 17% of the  average family's water use comes from showers.

LIMIT YOUR SHOWER TIME

Being conscious of how long you spend
in the shower can help you make small improvements that conserve water.
According to the EPA, 17% of the
average family's water use comes
from showers.

LIMIT YOUR SHOWER TIME

You can reduce your shower time with a few simple steps:

1. Time a few of your showers to get a sense of how long you normally spend bathing.

2. Make a goal to reduce your shower time by a small amount. Even a minute or two will work.

3. Set a timer or make a playlist of your favorite songs that aligns with your time goal.

4. Turn on your timer or playlist before you step into the shower.

5. Do your best to finish before or soon after your timer or playlist ends.

 Shaving a few minutes off your shower time may not feel like much, but one minute saves approximately 2.5 gallons of water with a standard showerhead. 

6. Swap out Single-Use Plastics

Finding ways to reduce the amount of single-use plastics you consume can make a big difference in the amount of plastic waste in the environment. Plastic products often end up in rivers and the ocean — even when they aren't intentionally littered. According to one United Nations (U.N.) report, 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year.

Choosing plastic alternatives can help cut down on the amount of plastic that is produced, littered and put into landfills. Here are a few ways you can swap out the single-use plastics in your home: 

  • Choose a closer store: A quick online search can help you find grocery stores that are closer to home. Try one of these stores a few times to see if they have the same items and experience you're looking for. 

  • Shop less often: If you can't switch to a closer store, you can try shopping every other week. It may take a few tries to adjust to purchasing enough items for two weeks, but if the pattern works, you'll reduce your emissions.

  • Improve your home recycling system: If you have a home recycling system, assess how effective your current setup is. Are different materials getting mixed up in your bins? Do you need larger containers? A simple and clear system can streamline your recycling and make it as easy as possible.

  • Shop at farmer's markets: Local farmer's markets offer fresh food that often has less packaging than the produce in stores. You can support local farmers and the economy by finding a market near you and using it for your produce needs.

9

WAYS TO CELEBRATE

WAYS TO CELEBRATE
EARTH MONTH
FROM HOME

1.  Start a garden

2.  Opt out of Junk Mail

3.  Learn About Recycling and
      Take the Next Step

4.  Shop for Groceries Locally

5.  Limit Your Shower Time

6.  Swap out Single-Use Plastic

7.  Try New Meatless Recipes

8.  Start a Kitchen Compost Bin

7.  Dispose of E-Waste Properly

WAYS TO CELEBRATE
EARTH MONTH
FROM HOME

1.  Start a garden
2.  Opt out of Junk Mail

3.  Learn About Recycling an Take the Next Step

4.  Shop for Groceries Locally
5.  Limit Your Shower Time
6.  Swap out Single-Use Plastic
7.  Try New Meatless Recipes
8.  Start a Kitchen Compost Bin
9.  Dispose of E-Waste Properly

7. Try New Meatless Recipes

Cooking may not seem like an obvious way to help the planet, but the recipes you choose can make a big impact. Trying out new meatless dishes and cutting down your overall meat consumption can help keep greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

The livestock industry has to produce enough meat to satisfy American demands. In doing so, they generate methane and carbon emissions from the cattle and transportation involved. According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), producing one hamburger requires the same amount of fossil fuels that a small car uses to drive 20 miles. When you exclude meat from one meal or one day of meals, you can reduce your overall food carbon footprint.

Here are some steps you can take to help put this tip into practice: 


1.
 Think about how often you eat meat and the meals for which you typically eat meat.

2. Set a goal for the number of meatless meals you want to eat each week. You can also designate one day of the        week to go completely meatless.

3. For each of the meatless meals, find a recipe you're excited to try. The Mayo Clinic recommends planning                 meatless meals around beans, legumes, tofu, nuts, lentils and whole grains to ensure adequate nutrition.

4. Enjoy experimenting with new dishes. Invite your friends over to make the recipes with you, or host a meatless dinner party.


1.
 Think about how often you eat meat and the meals for which you typically eat meat.

2. Set a goal for the number of meatless meals you want to eat each week. You can also designate one day of the week to go completely meatless.

3. For each of the meatless meals, find a recipe you're excited to try. The Mayo Clinic recommends planning meatless meals around beans, legumes, tofu, nuts, lentils and whole grains to ensure adequate nutrition.

4. Enjoy experimenting with new dishes. Invite your friends over to make the recipes with you, or host a meatless dinner party.

8. Start a Kitchen Compost Bin

Food waste may not seem like an environmental hazard — especially when compared to plastic waste — but food scraps make up 28% of our trash. Though many food items eventually decompose, they still take up space in landfills and generate harmful methane gas. You can reduce your food waste and do your part to protect the environment by starting a simple indoor compost bin.

Compost is a collection of organic matter that breaks down naturally. Your compost should include the following three elements: 

  • Greens: Green materials may include fruit scraps, vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, grass clippings, eggshells, tea bags, nutshells and more. These items add nitrogen to the compost pile. 

  • Browns: Brown materials may include twigs, dead leaves, shredded paper, cardboard, hay, straw, sawdust, wood chips, lint, cotton and more. These items add carbon to the pile.

  • Improve your home recycling system: If you have a home recycling system, assess how effective your current setup is. Are different materials getting mixed up in your bins? Do you need larger containers? A simple and clear system can streamline your recycling and make it as easy as possible.

  • Water: The water in a compost pile provides moisture to help break down the organic materials.

Follow these steps to begin a kitchen compost bin:


1. Purchase a container:
You can find small, inexpensive compost bins online or at your local hardware store. Consider where you'll place your bin before your purchase it so you can choose an appropriate size.

2. Prepare your compost items: To begin composting, gather green and brown materials. The EPA suggests using equal amounts of brown and green matter that have been chopped into small pieces. As you ease into this habit, it may be helpful to print a list of compostable items and post it on your fridge for quick access.

3. Add organic materials: Alternate between layers of brown and green matter, and add water to dampen the bin contents. As you add more items, try to maintain an equal balance of brown and green matter. You may need to record the items you're adding to ensure they remain proportional.

4. Turn the bin contents often: Use a hand trowel or small shovel to mix the compost pile often. This helps to stimulate microbial activity and avoid overly wet spots. 

9. Dispose of E-Waste Properly

Believe it or not, the old computers, televisions, cell phones and MP3 players you have lying around can play a role in your Earth Month contribution. Electronic items that you no longer use or want are known as "e-waste." Getting rid of e-waste is both challenging and dangerous as the items often contain heavy metals and other hazardous materials.

Dispose of E-Waste Properly

The first step in e-waste recycling is understanding what items may
qualify. Many moderate to large electronics can be recycled, including:

Cell phones

Computers

Tablets

Televisions

phone icon

Cell phones

computer icon

Computers

tablet icon

Tablets

TV icon

Televisions

Cell phones

Computers

Tablets

Televisions

VCRs

Stereos

Cell phones

Computers

Tablets

Televisions

Copiers

Chargers

VCR icon

VCRs

stereo icon

Stereos

copier icon

Copiers

charger icon

Chargers

When e-waste is sent to a landfill, the toxic materials inside them can make their way into the environment and waterways. Fortunately, there are electronic recycling methods that help reduce the amount of harmful substance exposure in the environment. E-waste recycling supports several additional benefits, including:

  • Creating green job opportunities

  • Encouraging and growing the recycling and refurbishing industry

  • Enabling the productive reuse of materials

The first step in e-waste recycling is understanding what items may qualify. Many moderate to large electronics can be recycled, including:

  • Cell Phones

  • Computers

  • Tablets

  • Televisions

  • VCRs

  • Stereos

  • Copiers

  • Chargers

If you have any of these items in your home and don't have a use for them, you can find a certified recycler to dispose of them. An online search can typically provide nearby locations where you can drop off your items. Many grocery stores and tech retailers provide e-waste bins for your convenience. If you're interested in cell phone recycling, you may be able to use an ecoATM near you for quick and sustainable recycling that gives you cash instantly.

Trust ecoATM for Your Device E-Waste Recycling

No matter what steps you take this Earth Day, even the smallest commitments make a difference. Being eco-friendly isn't always easy, but with ecoATM, selling your old electronics is effortless and rewarding. We make it simple to sell the cell phones, MP3 players and tablets you no longer need and get cash on the spot.

At ecoATM, we're dedicated to using safe and healthy methods. Our certified processing warehouse is committed to a "reuse, recycle, recover and dispose" management strategy. When you bring your cell phone to an ecoATM, you can trust that your device will be handled with the utmost responsibility.

Find a kiosk location near you to get cash for your environmental contribution today!