While every day should be a day we treat the Earth with care, April is officially the 49th Annual Earth Month aka the perfect time to launch your efforts to reduce your personal carbon footprint. This year’s theme, “Plastic – More than Just Pollution,” inspires easy ways to start, just be reducing usage of single-use plastics. But in case you need more ideas, we’ve rounded up a list of the easiest ways for you to make a difference this Earth Month and beyond.
Stop using plastic straws. Plastic straws can’t be easily recycled nor do they decompose, littering oceans and harming marine life. So how to drink your iced latte without one? Luckily, several restaurants are making the switch. Summer House Santa Monica, Stella Barra, Mon Ami Gabi, Sweetgreen, Cava and more are all serving sips with paper straws. Starbucks has vowed to go strawless by 2020 with new sippable lids. You can even grab your own reusable metal or glass straw (Anthropologie & Co. has great options).
Recycle your clothing. The EPA estimates that roughly 5% of landfills are comprised of tossed textiles. But outgrowing clothes–or trends—doesn’t have to be wasteful or detrimental, particularly when retailers like H&M (Don’t Let Fashion Go to Waste) and The North Face (Clothes the Loop) will take your textiles and recycle them on your behalf (the discount is incentive enough!)
Go meatless one day a week. Did you know reducing meat consumption just one day a week is not only good for you, but good for the planet? While meat is a great source of protein, high-meat diets can contribute to disease, plus livestock agriculture contributes to nearly 15% of greenhouse gas emissions and require high use of resources like water and arable land. Luckily, your favorite fast casuals make a meatless lunch an easy (and tasty) reality – Bibibop, sweetgreen, Chop’t, Le Pain Quotidien, Modern Market Eatery and Chipotle all offer plant-based and vegetarian options. Check out some of our favorite #MeatlessMonday orders from these spots!
Go for a green beauty routine. Even your skincare and cosmetics can create plastic waste and include bad-for-the-planet ingredients when rinsed down the sink. Pay attention to your products: look for sustainable packaging options and natural-based ingredients to feel good, look good, and do good. Follain is dedicated to this mission, and Sephora, Ulta and Bluemercury carry lines that fit the bill. Try swapping your plastic product containers for glass or start with switching out one product in your regime for a non-toxic option this month.
BYOB (Bring your own bottle). Single-use plastic water bottles are the third most commonly found ocean debris. So why are you still them, especially when stylish, temperature-holding and virtually non-destructible options exist? This month, pledge to go 30 days with a reusable water bottle. Snag your Nalgene from REI, your Hydro Flask from L.L. Bean, or your Swell from South Moon Under to BYOB for 30 days!