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It’s Almost Our Favorite Day of the Year

Did you know that Earth Day was celebrated by over a BILLION people last year?

That is an incredible number, right?

It’s been celebrated since 1970 and has since become the world’s largest day for environmental awareness and the world’s largest service project. It is often marked by planting trees, doing litter cleanups, or engaging in other volunteer projects.

In honor of Earth Day 2019, we’ve compiled a list of things you can do personally to reduce your impact on the planet, as well as some fun upcoming events to help you choose how you want to celebrate Earth Day!

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

Here are seven actions you can take at home to celebrate our beautiful Planet — that are completely FREE!!

  • Skip meat once a week. Eating vegetarian once a week will reduce your household footprint by 700 pounds of carbon annually. It also saves valuable water resources.
  • Subscribe to electronic statements and pay bills online. If every US household received electronic statements, then we could save 18.5 million trees.
  • Use a power strip. Save electricity by plugging appliances into a power strip and turning them off completely when not in use, including computers.
  • Wash laundry in cold water and air dry. Switching the washer temperature setting from hot to warm can cut energy use in half and using the cold cycle reduces energy use even more. Let clothes dry naturally as often as possible and use longer drying cycles on a low heat setting to save energy.
  • Take back the tap. In Salt Lake City, the tap water is safer, cheaper, and more sustainable than bottled water. Plus it comes from our mountain snowpack! Stop buying bottled water and use refillable bottles instead.
  • Leave the car at home. The Utah Division of Air Quality estimates that if every driver along the Wasatch Front were to give up driving for just one day per week, it would keep 6,500 tons of emissions (or 85 times the weight of the International Space Station) out of the air.
  • Keep Recycling! Recycling is still the cornerstone of a successful waste management program and is essential to a sustainable community. It conserves water, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and saves raw materials. Here is a breakdown of 2018’s recycling stats:

(Source: Waste Management, May 2018 stats)

Salt Lake City collects recyclables from an estimated 45,000 residential homes, and 1,100 small businesses and multi-family complexes every day, five days per week.  An average of 750 tons of material are recycled each month.

Recycling this amount of material each month saves the equivalent of:

  • 7,379 mature trees (91,427,200 sheets of copy paper)
  • 3,030 cubic yards of landfill space (the annual space needed for 3,891 people)
  • 2,353,583 kWh of electricity (enough to power the needs of 225 homes)
  • 2,604 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions
  • 4,011,430 gallons of water (enough to meet the daily needs of over 50,000 people).

The benefits of recycling clearly outweigh the current challenges we’re facing! Here is a reminder of what goes in the recycling container.

If you would like info on saving even more money and carbon emissions check out our Household Energy Action Items and The UN’s Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World.

As promised here are just a few of the events happening in SLC to celebrate Earth Day:

April 20: YP’s Earth Day Volunteer Project

April 20: Hogle Zoo’s Party for the Planet

April 20: SLC Public Library’s Earth Day Celebration for kids and families

April 22: Tracy Aviary Earth Day Celebration @ The Jordan River

April 22: Kiitos Earth Day Celebration (21 + up only)

April 22: Church and State’s Earth Day Celebration

April 22: Urban Habitat Noxious Weed Pull

April 22: Seven Canyons Trust, JRC, and Young Living sponsored Weed Pluck

You don’t have to wait for Earth Day to celebrate. We all can take care of our environment each and every day with simple actions like picking up trash, drinking from a reusable cup, and continuing to recycle!

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