Today is Earth Day, a day that is celebrated to “mark the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970”. And while this is an international holiday celebrated across the globe, there are many ways you as an individual can honor the occasion and make a real impact on the environment.
The globe feels so massive that it’s easy to write off our responsibility as an individual. It’s hard to conceptualize how one person in a world of 7.7 billion can actually make a difference. But the truth is, collectively, each decision we make – whether that’s what brand or product to purchase or what habits to incorporate into our routine – adds up to create the reality of the environment we live in.
One small way we can make major impacts on the globe is monitoring and actively attempting to reduce the amount of waste we produce on a daily basis. Landfills can be detrimental to the environment in many ways, including climate change, endangering wildlife, and overall public health.
While there are lifestyle changes we can make to ultimately reduce the amount of waste produced, there are other solutions that involve less drastic alterations to your day to day. Recycling and composting are two alternatives to dumping trash in the garbage can that are significantly less harmful (and even beneficial) to the environment.
Recycling is a relatively widely accepted practice in most households. Composting on the other hand, a survey by the National Waste & Recycling Association found that 72% of people do not compost their food waste. This is likely largely due to the lack of knowledge and resources available to the general public. For example, some states are simply better for composting (like Ohio, Delaware, and Massachusetts), dependent on government regulations, access to farmland, and more.
No matter where you’re located, you can make the most of your situation by starting your own compost. You may think that if you live in an apartment or big city with no backyard you’re out of luck, when really, that’s not the case.
If you don’t have access to a private collection service that will do the heavy lifting for you, you can get your own compost bin that’s self-serving and can live inside your apartment. While a worm composter would work better for those who could place it on a balcony or outdoors, you may also consider a compost tumbler or countertop food digester. You can always go the financially friendly route of making your own compost bin out of things you have around your house.
Whatever your compost bin looks like, it can do wonders for the environment, which in turn impacts our daily lives. It doesn’t need to be a fancy contraption in order to make a difference, even the simplest setups can substantially reduce landfill waste. Happy composting!