The weather is warming up, flowers are starting to bloom and, here at Deupree House, we're all getting ready to spend some time outdoors, enjoying the planet in all its springtime splendor. With the celebration of Earth Day turning 45 years old this year, many of the ecologically-mindful residents in our senior apartments have begun to think about ways to enact positive earth-friendly change—right here in our own community.
If you’re looking for a way to honor the occasion, here are four options to consider if you want to help make every day a little bit greener!
1. Donate To an Earth-Friendly Non-Profit
If you'd like to contribute to a worthy cause in honor of Earth Day, consider choosing organizations such as American Forests, which uses your donation to plant trees in areas that are in need of dense forests. If you'd like to help give fauna and flora a boost, take Project Greenify’s recommendation and donate to a non-profit like the Wildlife Conservation Network— which tops the list of eco-friendly charities in the US.
If you're thinking about donating to a charity but would like to get a little more information about an organization first, Charity Navigator has important, up-to-date information on various environmental charities to help you make an informed decision.
2. Start Recycling Unwanted Items
Recycling items like newspapers, plastic and glass bottles or aluminum cans is a great start to keeping items out of landfills. Seniors who live in an apartment or retirement community should talk with their residents’ association about the building’s policy on recyclables. If you aren't sure if a particular can, bottle or other container is safe for recycling, the city of Cincinnati offers a helpful recycling guide here.
While recycling your waste is a good idea, don’t just stop their: Consider how you can repurposes other unused or unwanted belongings as well. Donating old clothing, furniture and home goods to a charity such as Goodwill keeps these items out of landfills and puts them in the hands of those who can put them to good use. Even passing items on to neighbors can be a small step with a very big impact.
3. Make Your Voice Heard
Change starts with you! Advocating for more ecologically responsible choices in your community helps give the planet a voice, both on Earth Day and throughout the rest of the year. Not sure where to start? Speak up at resident meetings about how the community can make more environmentally conscious choices: opting for eco-friendly lighting and appliances or working toward LEED certification for buildings. You are a vital and respected part of your community, so you have the power to speak up for some very important changes. You can even make your own home an example through small steps such as switching from incandescent light bulbs and being diligent about recycling cans and bottles.
4. Be Cautious about Energy Use
Altering your daily routines just a little bit—turning off the light when leaving a room, shutting the tap when brushing your teeth, and so on—add up to a lot of difference throughout the year. By staying conscious and proactive about your energy usage and keeping waste to a minimum, you are making yourself part of a movement that ultimately helps the planet thrive. Invite your friends and neighbors to join you in these energy preservation steps, too! One person makes a difference, but an entire community joining the cause has an even bigger impact.
The measures you take today will make the planet a greener, brighter and healthier place to live for your children, your grandchildren and future generations beyond them too!