Earth Day, April 22, is the perfect time to start applying daily changes to your life that will benefit the earth we all share.
We are all capable of making a difference wherever we go.
Whether you are recycling, upcycling, volunteering your time to clean up the community or growing your own garden at home, you can impact this world.
Here are five ways to start your journey to becoming more environmental friendly.
— Compiled by Martha Especulta
Recycle, reuse and create
Unwanted waste builds up rapidly and is disposed of in many ways, a couple being landfills and incineration. Those lead to land, air and water pollution.
Before throwing away your unwanted items, try making use of the things that can be reused for other purposes. There are countless ways to create something new from unwanted products.
Glass-based products such as candle jars, wine bottles and jam jars can all be reused for utensil holders, flower pots and decorative placements. Metal cans and plastic bottles make great starter flowering pots or watering vessels.
Paper products such as old magazines, books, loose-leaf paper, giftwrap and out-of-date calendars can all be recycled into book marks, envelopes, collages, origami or scrapbooking.
The ideas are endless. Get together with your friends and family and come up with fun ideas to upcycle unwanted products into useful items. Remember to place your waste into the correct recycling bins to avoid pollution.
If you do not have a recycling bin at your house you can request one from your city or visit community recycling centers.
Give and thrift
Donating unwanted items is another great way to help the environment and the community by giving back to those in need. You can donate your items to thrift stores, churches, schools, the Salvation Army and other organizations.
And you never know what gently used item you may find in one of these places.
Many of my belongings are second hand items and they’re great.
I have bought clothes, shoes, books, movies, handbags, art supplies and many other things that are as good as new at resale shops.
Not only are you repurposing items, you can save money, too.
Another idea is to get with your friends and collect items you may not need anymore and trade amongst each other.
Currently at Eastfield, you can donate fabric and T-shirts to the “Land Loom” tapestry.
Join artists Analise Minjarez and Sarita Westrup noon-2 p.m. each Thursday in April in the Vibee lounge to work on the tapestry.
At home gardens
Start your own garden and grow your own fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs in your backyard.
Items typically tossed in the trash are great garden tools.
Egg cartons and other cardboard-based products can serve as starter flowering pots and later used for composting.
To create your own natural compost, you just need to recycle green food scraps that contain nitrogen such as leaves, plant trimmings, fruit and vegetables scraps, tea bags and coffee grounds.
Next you will need carbon-based items such as dead leaves, branches, twigs, wood chips and shredded newspaper. Mix both ingredients together with water and allow them to decompose naturally.
The result a natural fertilizer, plus food scraps stay out of the trash and aren’t wasted.
Use recycled bins or milk jugs to collect rainwater for your plants to avoid overusing water. Buy seed packs cheap at Dollar Tree. Four packs of vegetable, herb, fruit or flower seeds cost $1.
If your backyard does not have ideal soil for gardening, try creating a raised container garden with potting soil.
Growing your own goods, flowers or trees prevents more waste and helps prevent air and land pollution. Have fun and watch your garden come to life.
Keep the community clean
Littering is the leading cause to pollution.
It affects our local lakes, ponds, drains, waterways, animals and so much more.
Volunteering your time and helping clean up the litter around your local park, streets, schools and other places in need of help will benefit our environment tremendously.
Enjoy your time while you are out there making a difference. Encourage family and friends to join you.
Volunteering opportunities are everywhere.
For more ideas on being a friend to the planet, visit EarthX event Apri 20-22 at Fair Park. Register online at earthx.org to attend for free or pay $5 at the gate.
Don’t forget to ride DART to Fair Park for a more sustainable trip. Have fun and learn more about your impact of the environment.
Daily changes last a lifetime
To help decrease air pollution, try carpooling with friends and family, go on walks, ride your bike or skate and get out and enjoy nature. Sign up for a free student DART GoPass to have free access to environmentally friendly transportation around the Dallas area.
Before leaving your house, unplug any unused electronics to save in energy.
Invest in solar powered appliances, rechargeable batteries, tote bags, reusable bottles and long-lasting items to preserve energy, eliminate waste and save money.
Purchase fruit and vegetables from farmers markets to support local growers and reduce packaging material waste.
Be considerate of your actions wherever you go and soon you will be becoming more aware of your impact on our planet.