Are you doing your part to be kind to the Earth? Though it is not the official Earth Day, why not try to make every day Earth Day? There are many ways to show support and provide protection to our environment through the kindness of our hearts. When exploring your local parks or recreation areas, something you may notice is that there should not be human waste, meaning, there should only be biodegradable natural materials produced in nature by nature. Sadly, this may not always be the case, finding many traces of human activity from the trash left behind. Luckily, there are many simple ways of reducing this pollution of natural areas. These ways include the reduction of waste, reusing items, and recycling things that you are no longer using.
The best way to prevent trash is by reducing the amount of trash you create. Reducing waste helps the earth while also helping you save money and resources. Simple ways to reduce waste is by limiting the number of things you buy, especially new items. Try looking for items that are second hand and donating household things you no longer use or need also will help reduce waste from being created. When you do purchase necessary items, try to avoid plastic products and take fewer trips by buying in bulk and plan ahead by creating meal plans and a list of items needed. To do these things to reduce waste, it may require you to change your daily habits and to start considering how much waste you use in your daily activities, but these key methods will show the earth true kindness and appreciation by limiting the amount of waste that could cause pollution.
If reducing the amount of waste is something you struggle with, try reusing daily items. By reusing items, it conserves resources while also causing less waste. Reducing waste will cause less pollution and save you money on disposal cost and will make items that are necessary available to those who cannot afford them. Many reusable items are replacements for things that are daily single-use items. Some simple ways to increase how you reuse items include: packing lunches in reusable containers instead of plastic bags, using rechargeable batteries, looking for products in reusable packaging when you shop, donating unwanted clothing, furniture, books, toys to charities, repairing things instead of replacing them, using glass or plastic containers several times before recycling or disposing of them, reusing envelopes, and making craft projects with discarded items.
Finally, if we cannot reuse an item anymore, it may be able to be recycled. Typically, community recycling programs accept paper, cardboard, glass bottles & jars, aluminum cans, tin cans, and plastics #1 and #2. Other programs may accept scrap metal, antifreeze, motor oil, vegetable oil/ fat, batteries, electronics, printer cartridges, tires, textiles, and other items. Recycling is a great and simple way to be kind to the earth. Recycling involves separating materials, collecting them, processing the materials, remanufacturing those materials into new products, buying those new products, using those new products. This will save energy, conserve resources, reduce pollution, cut waste disposal cost, save valuable raw materials, and ultimately reduce trash in landfills. Landfills are the largest human source of global warming in the US, and they can pollute groundwater, attracts rodents, creates dust and noise pollution, and wastes materials that could be reused or recycled.
By taking these few steps of reducing, reusing, and recycling waste, you will show how you spread your kindness to the Earth. Get your family involved by volunteering for park clean up days, taking a hike and bringing a bag to pick up trash along the way, and starting a compost pile or worm bin. These few small changes in your daily activities will make the world not only cleaner but healthier for future generations.
By Olivia Parks, Naturalist