352Creates wants to wish you a Happy Earth Day by encouraging you to try these creative ways to be sustainable. Earth Day is a day where we can celebrate the beautiful planet we live on, and also learn how we can take steps to preserve our planet and move to a more sustainable lifestyle. By making these changes, you can save resources to help make Earth a more sustainable planet.
1. Create a plastic bottle planter
According to National Geographic, it takes about 450 years for one plastic bottle to decompose. Instead of throwing the plastic bottle away, use it for art and household projects. Cut a plastic bottle in half and use it as a planter. The plastic can be decorated with stickers and paint or kept clear to watch your seeds grow.
2. Bring your own reusable cup
Using a reusable water bottle or coffee cup can reduce the amount of plastic in landfills and save money. According to the Earth Day Network, people who use a reusable water bottle every day save about $266 per year. Additionally, only 2 percent of Starbucks customers use their own cups. These types of paper and plastics aren’t recyclable in most markets and end up in landfills. Over 60 billion paper coffee cups end up in US landfills each year.
3. Save your jars
Many items, such as various sauces and foods like pickles, come in glass jars. These glass jars can be saved and used as cups or storage containers. Many healthy lunches can be packed in jars as well.
4. Start a community garden
Plant seeds in a small section of your neighborhood. You don’t need a large space, and can use leftover scraps and waste from fruits and vegetables. It is easier to implement sustainable practices in groups, and it is a fun learning experience for both children and adults.
5. Donate items to local shelters and charities
Instead of throwing items away, donate them to local shelters and charities. The Office of Sustainability at the University of Florida encourages employees and students to lead more sustainable lifestyles. On Wednesday, April 24th, they are hosting a Spring Collection Day. This is a one stop to donate unwanted household items, clothing, hazardous waste, old electronics, furniture, appliances and non-perishable food items. These items will be donated to organizations like Habitat for Humanity, UF Field & Fork Pantry, Alachua County Tools for Schools and HealthStreet. Additionally, they will dispose of harmful, hazardous waste that can hurt the environment free of charge.
Celebrate this Earth Day with these creative ways to be sustainable. Being kind to our environment and planet can go a long way. Make sure to share the creative ways you are sustainable with #352Creates.
Happy Earth Day!
-by Gianna Drayer