How to Celebrate Earth Day in Your Community

April 20, 2022 by Spectrum Credit Union

April 22 is Earth Day 2022 — a 52-year-old movement that now counts 190 countries and 1 billion people joining together on a day that emphasizes partnership for the planet. And while there are many ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle all around us these days, some actions are easier to incorporate into everyday life than others. Earth Day is a chance to explore the benefits of environmentally friendly practices, and start new habits that will add up and make a difference every day of the year.

The fact is, there are so many things — even small ones — that you can do to make an impact on the natural world we live in, and right in your own community, too. Looking for some great ideas? This year’s Earth Day theme is “Invest in our planet.” What will you do? Here is a mix of suggestions; for more ways to get involved and to find Earth Day events in your local area, head to the official website here.

Organize a cleanup. Help keep your local streets and streams clean and natural areas green by gathering family, friends or neighbors to join you in a community cleanup. Your jurisdiction or area park system may encourage volunteers at certain locations, or you may be able to choose a spot in a public area, park, trail, stream valley or subdivision that’s meaningful to you. Share before and after photos on social media to encourage regular trash pickup and debris removal year-round. Another super-simple idea? Pick up trash on your daily walk or run.

Shrink your “foodprint.” Buying local cuts the distance that food must travel to end up on your dinner plate, which means lower greenhouse-gas emissions and less pollution. Shopping at a local farmer’s market or joining an area food co-op nets you farm-fresh foods, plus supports small businesses. Check with your county or search the National Farmers Market Directory by zip code or city to find one near you.

Take steps to boost fuel economy. Finding ways to increase your car’s gas mileage saves money and the environment. Did you know that keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure that’s recommended for your vehicle can improve gas mileage by 0.6% on average — and up to 3% in some cases? And if you drive a hybrid or electric, here’s a tip: Pre-heating or pre-cooling the cabin while it's plugged in can help maximize its electric range. That’s because heat, air conditioning and entertainment systems can lower fuel economy on all vehicles, but they have a greater effect on hybrids and electrics.

Break the plastic bottle habit. Using single-use plastic water bottles will generally cost you more — and cost our planet, too. And, according to the Container Recycling Institute, 86% of plastic water bottles used in the U.S. end up as trash or litter — not recycled material. Make the switch to a reusable one that matches your style by choosing from top-rated bottles, and then stick with it — even if that means saying “‘no” to all the free plastic bottles you might be offered as a promotion.

Recognizing Earth Day your way

The sustainability impact of our everyday actions and choices matters when it comes to protecting the environment we all enjoy. And even small changes can be meaningful. Earth Day has always been a movement that encourages community spirit — which is exactly the kind of cooperative success and membership that your credit union is built on. Rediscover why we say “it’s better when you belong.”

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