It starts with you!

On April 22, Earth Day is celebrated to raise awareness about environmental issues and encourage you to take action!

Did you know that plastic makes up 80% of waste in marine pollution? To make matters worse, fishes and sea mammals get entangled in plastic debris, leading to ingestion and suffocation.

And guess what? It doesn’t stop there. Global warming, deforestation, and overfishing are some other environmental issues that negatively affect our environment and continue to destroy our planet. But what if I told you, there’s something you can do to reduce your environmental impact? That way, you’re helping to protect the environment and Earth.

Here’s how you can celebrate Earth Day and preserve the planet for future generations.

Clean up in your neighbourhood or local park

A woman is in the park, cleaning up trash. (Earth Day)
GIF via Giphy

Nothing says Earth Day than cleaning up trash in your neighbourhood or local park. And if you invite your friends, it can be fun! Plus, you might be surprised by the amount of plastic you will end up with.

Go ahead and volunteer for a clean-up. There are many scheduled across the city of Toronto for you to get involved in.

Remember you’ll be working all day, so dress accordingly. You’ll need gloves, sturdy boots, and lots of sunscreen!

Swap out your kitchen and household products

Someone is covered in a trash bag and walking in the backyard. (Earth Day)
GIF via Giphy

There are staple kitchen and household products that we all use, whether its aluminum foil, sandwich bags, paper towel or trash bags.

Well, did you know you can buy biodegradable versions of them? The eco-friendly brand If You Care sells recycled aluminum foil, trash bags and other household products. The company strives to stay away from chemical or plastic use in their products.

Luckily for you, you can find this brand at Walmart and on Amazon.

Start gardening

Two bestfriends are planting flowers in a garden. (Earth Day)
GIF via Giphy

Its official, we’re in Spring! So why not start a garden? The weather is perfect to plant your favourite herbs and vegetables. Whether it’s cilantro, thyme, zucchini or lettuce, its really up to you!

Essentially, you’ll need garden soil and seeds to get started. And don’t worry, you can purchase them from any Home Depot near you. Likewise, don’t forget to grab gardening supplies, you’re gonna need them!

Reduce food waste

Different fruits, vegetables and meat are on display. This includes oranges, pineapples, broccoli, potatoes and kale.
GIF via Giphy

One of the many simple ways in which we can fight climate change is by reducing our food waste. When food goes to landfills and decomposes, it produces methane (greenhouse gas) which is harmful for the environment.

By following these tips food waste can be reduced significantly:

  • Take an inventory – This involves keeping stock of what’s inside your pantry, freezer and refrigerator. I mean, you don’t wanna break the bank on groceries right? So always check your inventory before going to the supermarket.
  • Only buy what you need– Whenever you’re going grocery shopping, always have a list. That way, you can buy the essential food items you need. A good tip would be to buy fruits and vegetables in a limited quantity as they have a shorter shelf life.
  • Freezers are your best friend – It’s the perfect way to prevent certain foods from going bad easily. For example, meat and vegetables last longer once frozen.
  • Create a meal plan – Planning your meals ahead is helpful for using up all your groceries. You’re less likely to waste food once your meals are planned for the week. Not to mention, you’ll have leftovers to eat on your busiest days.

Think before you print

A guy is dressed in a leather jacket and smiling. (Earth Day)
GIF via Giphy

With our professors slides available on Blackboard, there’s no need to print them. Not to mention, we submit our assignments as a pdf or Word document.

So the next time you’re considering printing a document, ask yourself this question, “Do I really need to print this?” Chances are you don’t. Plus, it’s easier to access digitally either way!

Take action

A woman is holding recyclable plant pots and flowers are planted inside.
Photo via Unsplash by Daniel Öberg

Keep in mind, safeguarding our environment begins with individual actions. This Earth Day, let’s heighten our awareness of how our behaviour impact the planet and aim for sustainable living.

Celebrate Earth Day and support environmental preservation. Embrace these eco-friendly practices now. By doing so, you’re not just acting on Earth Day, but committing to sustainability every day.

Feature image via Unsplash by Daniel Öberg

Looking for more? Here are some sustainable initiatives at Humber College.

Follow IGNITE on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok for all things student life.