Earth Day has always been about celebrating the earth and all it gives us. The Ayurvedic practice, from which Radha Beauty was started, is centered around the idea that Mother Earth gives us all we need. It is a practice that uses naturally derived products, like essential oils and plant-based skincare, to purify our skin and bodies. But Earth Day is a bit different in 2020 when we are limited by shelter-in-place orders or social distancing guidelines. So how can we celebrate our special planet this year?
Let’s go more in-depth:
Plant a Garden
This one is a great idea because it’s in your own yard, can produce beautiful flowers or healthy vegetables, and can teach kids about self-sustainability. If you live in an apartment, you can introduce house plants that will help filter and clean the air in your space. Research the best plants for your soil type and the amount of sun they will get. This is important, as too much or too little sun can affect the way your plants grow!
Susan von Seggern told us that her family spends every earth day working in their garden to get it ready for summer! This is an activity that they did not have to change due to COVID-19. "While my family will be celebrating Earth Day by working in our garden."
Planting a garden is eco-friendly for multiple reasons. It can support wildlife such as bees and butterflies, which are important to our ecosystem. If you plant vegetables or fruit, a garden can reduce travel to stores and reduce travel pollution and mass processing plant production. Lastly, it’s beautiful and contributes to a healthy and vibrant mind, body, and soul.
Use Recyclable Beauty Products
Think about all the beauty products you use in a year, from hair to skin to makeup. Find beauty brands that support recycling their products and even use eco-friendly packaging. For example, all of Radha Beauty’s essential oils come in recyclable glass containers. Check with your city or county to determine the proper recycling protocols, but most places require cleaning out the entire bottle until it is empty and dry.
Sign Up for your City’s Recycling Programs
Many cities have recycling programs when you sign up for your trash service. You can sign up for a recycling bin. Ours is the same size as our garbage can, and we fill it up every week. Many cities also have yard work and clothing recycling programs. Make sure you’re cleaning out empty packages before recycling and following the proper procedures according to your city’s program. You may think you’re “helping” by recycling everything, but recycling things that are not recyclable can cause issues in labor, time, and even affect whether other items can be recycled.
Thomas Woznicki with Combined Resources said that a great way to still celebrate is by making a change that will benefit the earth for years to come.. start recycling! "While Earth Day events may be cancelled due to COVID-19, we are still encouraging companies to create recycling programs! We are doing our part by offering free recycling audits to help businesses determine the best plan for them."
Choose Recyclable Food Packaging
Our food uses a LOT of plastic packaging. From your freezer to your pantry, food storage can be wasteful. Opt for glass or cardboard packages that can be recycled. Buy fresh produce as much as you can. Butchers and meat counters will often wrap fresh meat in paper packages instead of the Styrofoam packages you find on the shelves. Another easy swap is to use fabric or reusable snack and sandwich bags. Amazon has a whole host of these bags that you can try out and wash either by hand or in the dishwasher. Skip out on the plastic produce bags and use reusable cloth bags or just wash them well at home. Use reusable shopping bags and recycle your plastic bags when you have to use them (check your local groceries for recycling programs).
Take a Walk or Go for a Bike Ride
We are lucky to have the Cuyahoga Valley National Park right in our backyard, so there are plenty of spots to take a walk or go for a bike ride. Make sure you’re being smart about this in the time of COVID-19. If the parking lot is full, find somewhere else to go. Cross the road to pass other people if you’re walking in a neighborhood. Always make sure you’re keeping 6 feet apart from each other, except for the people you live with. But also, don’t let this scare you: smile, wave, and say hello to fellow adventurers. We’re all in this together.
Deb Fiorentino with Phat Scooters recommended that on Earth Day and everyday for that matter we limit or preferably stop using traditional cars all together. Deb recommends walking for shorter distances and switching over to an electric car if you have the means to do so for longer distances. If an electric car is something you are not willing to pull the trigger on Deb says that electric scooters are a great way to get you around while producing minimal polution. "While practicing social distancing during these difficult months and celebrating Earth Day, individuals and families can explore the outdoors, enjoy fresh air, and reduce their carbon footprint at the same time."
Eating local is a simple way to support the local community and be eco-friendly. Eating local cuts down on travel pollution that occurs when big grocery stores have to ship in produce and meat. Support your local farms and the restaurants that buy from them! We had a local farmer’s market trying to set up an online payment and pickup system nearby. Although that trialed poorly here, your local areas might have more success. Check into farmer’s markets, local farms, dairies, and local restaurants to support your communities’ ecosystem.
Use Toxin Free Cleaning Products
Chemicals in cleaning products can have harmful effects to our planet. Chemicals like ammonia, nitrogen, and phosphorous are part of an EPA regulated group called Volatile Organic Compounds that are some of the worst chemical offenders to the environment. These products are in cleaners like dish soap and bathroom cleaners that wash down your drain and filter into the local waterways, harming fish and wildlife populations.
Swapping out your chemical-based cleaners with chemical-free cleaners is an easy way to help the environment. We have a few articles on how to use essential oils to clean your home, from all-purpose cleaners to toilet scrubs.
Try Cooking Vegetarian or Vegan Meals
You don’t have to be a committed vegan or vegetarian to make an impact. Swapping out one or two meals a week can lead to a cleaner planet. Many studies link the meat and dairy industries to the production of greenhouse gases, and agriculture farms take up precious land that wildlife needs to survive. While our farmers do AMAZING things for us, reducing your intake by just a few meals can help reduce your carbon footprint.