By Bryony Wardell
April 22 is a special opportunity for everyone to take a moment to care for the planet that takes care of all of us. Even if you don’t have anything planned yet, here are a few ways you can celebrate Earth Day 2016 on Friday, or any day of the year.
What better way to remind yourself how important the environment is? Take a moment to breathe the air, feel the sun, or enjoy the shade of a tree or the grass under your feet. Go for a hike, have a meeting or class outdoors, or just take a few extra moments on your walk to your mailbox or car to take in your surroundings.
Put Litter in Its PlaceLitter not only looks trashy, but it also pollutes the environment. Make sure to put trash in a trash can or recycle bin. If you see litter on the ground, pick it up. You can even organize a community litter cleanup event with organizations like Palmetto Pride.
Adopt a Beach
The Adopt-A-Beach program is part of DHEC’s Marine Debris Initiative and is a great way for businesses, civic clubs, school groups and neighborhood associations to make a significant contribution to the preservation of our wonderful coastal environment. Everyone who participates in a beach cleanup becomes a powerful advocate for the beach against litter.
The recycling industry has a $13 billion impact on South Carolina’s economy and it reduces the need to build landfills and incinerators – which leaves more land to enjoy and less pollution produced. Recycling supports the economy, keeps waste out of landfills – and it’s easy. From cans to car tires – there is so much you can recycle. Learn more about what and where to recycle in your community.
Prevent Food Waste
Did you know that food waste is one of the largest contributors of waste to landfills? You can help prevent sending wasted food to the dump by buying only what you need, donating surplus food to food banks and composting your food scraps into nutritious fertilizer for your garden. Learn more!
Spare the Air – Prevent Air Pollution
Here are just a few of the ways you can help improve air quality.
- Drive less: Cars are a leading source of air pollution. Try driving less by carpooling, shopping online, telecommuting or walking / biking when you can instead of driving.
- Drive smart: Don’t idle your vehicle while you wait, keep your tires and car tuned up to make sure it runs efficiently, and accelerate slowly and use cruise control to reduce emissions.
- Save energy: Turn off lights, TVs, computers, monitors and other personal electronics and appliances when you leave a room.
- Learn more
Only Rain Down The Storm Drain
Citizens and communities can help keep S.C.’s rivers, streams, lakes and oceans clean and healthy by preventing stormwater pollution. Storm drains lead directly to fresh water bodies where people swim and play, so it’s important to reduce potential pollution or litter that goes into the storm drains. Here’s how you can help:
- Lawn care: Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly and choose organic mulch or safer pest control methods whenever possible.
- Pet waste: Pet waste left on the ground can transport harmful bacteria into recreational waters after it rains. Take baggies with you and pick up after your pet and put pet waste in the trash can. Never put dog feces (bagged or not) or cat litter down a storm drain.
- Car care: Use a commercial car wash that treats or recycles its wastewater, or wash your car on your yard so the water infiltrates into the ground.
- Learn more
Remember, every little bit counts and we only have one earth to live on. So do what you can to show Earth some love this Earth Day, and every day.