Take steps to green your home, office, and environment throughout the year. Many of these ideas correspond to environmental celebrations going on around their respective week of the year, so each week – try something new!
Approximately 33% of the food consumed by humans is dependent, either directly or indirectly, on honey bee pollination. Here are a few steps you can take to help these important pollinators!
- Keep beekeeping in your area viable by buying local honey.
- Grow a variety of flowering plants in your garden and avoid using pesticides.
- Learn the difference between honeybees and other flying insects such as wasps/yellow jackets to prevent the inadvertent use of deadly sprays.
Source: Convention on Biological Diversity
Week of Year: 21
Ants in Your House?
Find ways to keep them outside and in their natural habitat instead of using pesticides to kill them.
- Set out cucumber peels or slices in the kitchen or at the ants’ point of entry. Many ants have a natural aversion to cucumber. Bitter cucumbers work best.
- Plant mint around the house or leave bags of mint tea in areas where they are most active.
- Soak a string in cayenne pepper, lemon juice, citrus oil or place a line of cinnamon or coffee grounds wherever you don’t want the ants to cross.
Source: Earth Easy
Week of Year: 22
Hold a clean up for World Oceans Day
Don’t live by an ocean? There are still things you can do to keep our oceans free of trash. Hold a cleanup at a local watershed, river or wetland where trash can evenutally make it to the ocean. After the cleanup make sure everyone is aware of proper trash disposal and offer tips for recycling and upcycling.
Week of Year: 23
Smile on the World!
Nothing speaks louder than positive actions to make the world a better place. Take some action!
- Use both sides of the paper
- Repair instead of replace
- Recycle or give away your used items
- Hang your clothes out to dry
Source: The Earth Cube
Week of Year: 24
Reduce Erosion and Preserve Topsoil
Land degradation has increased around the world as our human activities pollute or degrade the quality of soil, affecting not only food production but the overall ecosystems. What can we do locally to preserve our soil?
- Rotate the crops you grow in your garden.
- Use local mulch, especially in bare stops to help plants ground and prevent water runoff.
- Plant large plants such as trees and hedges to reduce wind speed.
- Minimize soil compaction by create permanent walkways and encouraging people to stay on them.
Week of Year: 25
Green Your Camping Trip
- Buy used gear – avoid more packaging and shipping waste by borrowing camping gear from family or friends.
- Pack it in, pack it out – make sure whatever you take to your campsite leaves when you do (food, trash, etc.)
- Use biodegradable soap – and wash dishes or yourself at least 200 feet away from streams or lakes.
- Keep fires small – only use sticks from the area that can be broken by hand.
- Enjoy the sounds of nature! Keep your voices low and avoid loud noises.
Source: Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
Week of Year: 26
Think Local this 4th of July
Let’s face it – it’s hard to “green” a fireworks celebration, but here are some ideas for an environmentally friendly 4th of July
- Instead of using paper plates at the party, bring out your everyday dishes and serving utensils. Have labels or charms available for guests to put on their drinking glasses.
- Ride your bike to a local fireworks celebration or have your own by banging pots and pans (the kids will love it), and having a star-spangled sing along.
- Buy your meat from the farmers market or purchase local poultry or vegetarian options from the grocery store.
- Use a propane grill which produces about half the greenhouse emissions as charcoal.
Week of Year: 27
Make Your Summer Eco-friendly
With summer in full swing here are a few things we can do for an eco-friendly summer:
- Stay hydrated with a BPA-free water bottle or sippy cup. (Stainless steel is a good option)
- Turn up the thermostat a few degrees and make sure it is serviced regularly.
- Take a solar recharger with you on vacation or even around the house to keep your devices powered.
- If you have painting projects, opt for low-VOC paints and recycle or reuse your leftovers.
Week of Year: 28
Know Your Ozone Action Days
Ozone Action Days are usually called on hot, muggy days with little wind, when the amount of ground-level ozone is predicted to approach unhealthful levels and the federal standard for ozone could be exceeded.
What steps should you take on Ozone Action days to help improve the air quality? Mow your lawn only when necessary and late in the evening or early in the morning. Avoid using outboard motors, off-road vehicles, or other gasoline powered recreational vehicles. If you are barbecuing, use an electric starter instead of charcoal lighter fluid.
Week of Year: 29
Change Your Diet to Protect the Earth
It can be overwhelming to try to incorporate every ‘green’ food tip in your diet, but even starting small can have an impact. Here are 2 tips to get you started:
- Eat Local – A trip to the farmers’ market or local grocer will reduce the miles your food has traveled to reach your plate, so fewer greenhouse gases will have been released into the air.
- Buy and cook in bulk – Buying in bulk (and using reusable containers) reduces the amount of packaging a household consumes. Cooking large dishes and saving for later reduces energy use.
Week of Year: 30