Every year people around the world set aside April 22 to celebrate and advocate for a better and cleaner Earth. From biking to work to recycling old clothes, there are plenty of free activities you can do to mark Earth Day and every day.
Here are seven ways to celebrate and safeguard Earth’s beauty without spending a dime:
Recycle Old Electronics, Batteries, and More
Best Buy stores will recycle used electronics and appliances for free — you can even get in-store discounts for bringing your old stuff in.
AT&T has a trade-in program that lets you recycle old phones and tablets. In exchange, they will value your items and give you credit toward AT&T products.
Many auto parts stores, including NAPA and Advance Auto Parts, will recycle used-up car batteries (not to mention old motor oil); some even offer a gift card in exchange.
These are all national companies, but local groups are around to help keep electronics out of landfills too. You can find recycling options near you by googling “Where can I recycle electronics in” followed by the name of your city or town.
Clean Your Closet, for Good
Most clothes can be donated to resale stores like Goodwill. But if you’ve really worn out a garment or other textile product, recycle it! H&M has taken initiative by creating The Garment Collection Program. Drop off a bag filled with unwanted textiles (including sheets, blankets, and those holey socks) at any H&M store and they will send it off to the nearest recycling plant, where it will be sorted through by hand. Textiles that can’t be sold as secondhand goods will be repurposed or recycled into other products, like insulation. Best of all, H&M will give you a discount card for 15 percent off for every bag you bring in.
Leave the Car in the Garage
Motor vehicles produce about 75 percent of carbon monoxide pollution. Do you really need to use the car for all your errands? Try walking or biking for a day. (National Bike to Work Week starts on May 13; this might be a good opportunity to plot out the best route.) Not only will it boost your oxygen flow, it will make the air cleaner!
Avoid using electronic devices. Instead of turning on the TV or the computer, read a book, play a board game, or go outside and throw a ball around. Not only will you save money on your electricity bill, but you’ll probably sleep better that night, too.
Use your imagination! Write a song or poem about nature. Craft a DIY bird feeder or birdhouse (from recycled materials, even). Draw or paint pictures of the plants and animals around your home. Do whatever gets your creative juices flowing and gets you in touch with your environment.
Enjoy Nature, and Make It Better
Take a walk in a park are through the woods. One great way of appreciating the infinite variety of nature is to get out in it.
But don’t just look at stuff; make it better. Pack a few bags, and a pair of gloves and pick up any trash that you find along the way. There is nothing like seeing your community clean!
The first Earth Day in 1970 was marked by protests and demonstrations. You might not be up for marching in the streets, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a voice. This Earth Day, contact your senator or representative and let them know how you feel about the environment and what you think the government should do with and about it.
Find out how to contact your senator at https://www.senate.gov/senators/How_to_correspond_senators.htm, and your representative at https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative.
Written by: Vanessa Padilla for The Satruday Evening Post