Today is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day
On this important occasion, we have compiled a list of some easy ways to live more sustainably today and every day of your life. Check out our suggestions and links to Earth Day supporting local and national websites for more details!
Reduce your use with the following tips.
-If you can, buy in bulk – Not only does bulk shopping save money, but it reduces plastic. It’s easy to split up bulk items into smaller reusable containers later.
-Cancel unnecessary mail. Unfortunately, junk mail is still relevant to many of our mailboxes. Take the extra time to cancel these mailing services to help reduce paper use and mailbox volume.
-Cancel unneeded email subscriptions to reduce energy use. If you spend hours every week sifting through junk email, now may be a good time to reduce your email subscriptions in order to spend less time online.
Reuse items with these tips.
-Maintain clothing and shoes. Keep up with your wardrobe by taking damaged shoes to a repair shop and damaged or ill fitted clothing to a tailor.
-Bring your own bag. Take a reusable canvas bag with you when shopping to cut down on the demand for plastic bags.
Recycle properly with these tips.
Pittsburgh offers curbside pick up for clean plastic bottles and jugs (without caps/lids), aluminum and steel cans, mixed paper, and glass that are placed in a clearly marked blue recycling bin. Flattened and bundled cardboard is also collected when placed into a separate blue recycling bin
Visit the City of Pittsburgh Recycling Website for more details on what can be recycled appropriately.
-Shut down your computer at night. Opting to shut down overusing a screensaver does not affect your computer’s lifespan (Energy Star). So, power down!
-Unplug idle electronics. Devices like TVs, microwaves, and printers use standby power, even when off. Some chargers continue to pull small amounts of energy, even when plugged in (a good judge of this is if a charger feels warm to the touch).
-Turn off the lights. It might sound trivial but be conscious of the lights you have on. Avoid using lights in rooms with daylight and that aren’t being used.
There are now options for utilizing renewable energy ranging from on-site solar geothermal solutions to changing your grid supplier. In Pennsylvania, homeowners have access to solar energy from Solar Photovoltaic (PV) or Solar Thermal Systems, geothermal energy from Geoexchange Systems, wind energy from Wind Turbines, hydropower from Water Turbines, and more. Read more about your options here.
-Fix leaks. Leaky faucets are unavoidable and can add up to a lot of wasted water. Remain vigilant on fixing leaks in your home.
-Invest in low-flow fixtures and aerators. The standard maximum flow rate for showerheads is 2.5 gallons per minute, based on current U.S. regulations. By comparison, a low flow showerhead uses 2.0 GPM or less.
-Run clothes and dishwashers only when full. Today, the convenience of appliances make it easy to overuse them. Save water by only using appliances when at capacity.
-It’s no secret that it rains a lot in Pittsburgh, so why not capitalize on the weather? Install a rain barrel to capture water which you can then use for outdoor watering later.
With Your Community – Looking for a way to give back to your community? Organizing a Neighborhood cleanup is a great way to do just that while also making your neighborhood a better place to live. For a community cleanup to be successful, it must be well-planned. From picking the right project to recruiting enough volunteers, putting together an effective event takes effort. Click here for details on how to organize a community clean up.
With Your Family – Want to clean up while continuing to social distance? Practice stewardship with your children by organizing a family cleanup. Picking up litter is a fun, simple, free activity that can have instant results for your child and your community. Click here for details on how to clean up your area in a safe way.
When you’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this year, you can do your part to help build a better Pittsburgh region and eat sustainably by dining at (or in this case, ordering from) Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants. These restaurants commit to performing selected actions toward making improvements in the areas of energy, water, waste, food sourcing, people, and nutrition. Nearly 150 restaurants have earned designation as a Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurant. They are working hard to build vibrant communities and support environmentally friendly practices.
Not just today, but every day, you can take steps in your life to support a healthier planet. Go to the Earth Day website to learn more about the ongoing efforts to make every area a healthier and happier place to live.