As the 25th anniversary of WonderLab approaches, we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than to use “25” to celebrate Earth! We rely on Earth for food, water, and even the air we breathe, but humans don’t always treat it carefully. If you want to join us in improving the environment, here are 25 things you can do:
#1 – Recycle
Did you know you can recycle your electronics like cell phones and computers? Properly recycle paper, glass, plastic, and metal by emptying what’s inside and putting it into the recycling bin.
#2 – Choose reusable water bottles
Over 17 million barrels of oil are used to produce the demand for plastic water bottles. Find a newer, cooler reusable water bottle to use each day.
#3 – Compost
Starting a compost bin in your home will reduce food waste and create soil for your garden.
#4 – Conserve water
Use less water by turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth and only flushing the toilet when necessary.
#5 –Plant a tree. Trees give us food and oxygen. Planting trees saves energy, cleans the air, and helps combat climate change.
#6 –Open your windows. Air conditioning uses a lot of energy. So when it gets warmer in the summer, try letting fresh air into your room instead of turning the AC on.
#7 –Cozy up in the winter. Using the heat in your house releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. So when winter comes around, pile blankets onto your bed instead of turning the heat on.
#8 –Reusable containers for lunch. Using plastic bags for sandwiches and other lunch items can harm the environment long-term. If they end up on landfill sites, which most do, they take around 300 years to photodegrade!
#9–Donate toys instead of throwing them away. Throwing away your toys can pollute the Earth’s ecosystems. If you like sharing, share your toys by giving them to kids who might not have their own.
#10 – Walk, bike, or carpool. Driving pollutes the air, releases carbon dioxide, and can cause climate change. Try walking or riding a bike to school instead of driving.
#11 – Use rechargeable batteries. Regular batteries can cause water and air pollution. Rechargeable batteries have less of an impact on the environment and will save you money.
#12 – Unplug chargers. Chargers use energy, even when you’re not charging your device. Saving energy this way is a simple fix – just unplug your charger at the same time you unplug your device!
#13 – Take your leftovers home. When you go to a restaurant, take your leftovers home to avoid wasting food.
#14 – Take shorter showers. Did you know the average 10-minute shower uses about 18 gallons of water? So taking shorter showers will save both water and energy.
#15 – Use reusable grocery bags. Plastic grocery bags are non-biodegradable. Switch to reusable grocery bags to avoid these harmful outcomes.
#16 – Shop organically. Organic farming requires less pollution, soil erosion, and energy. So not only are you helping the environment, but you’re getting better nutrition!
#17 – Cut down your paper usage. In the United States, about 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away yearly. Try using digital forms instead of paper.
#18 –Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Lights can contribute to the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Turning off your lights can make a huge difference!
#19 – Switch out your lightbulbs. Lightbulbs release greenhouse gasses. Opting for an energy-efficient light bulb will decrease your energy usage.
#20 – Limit your laundry loads. Laundry takes up to 20 gallons of water per load. Consider how long you wore your clothes and if they are dirty before tossing them in the washing machine.
#21 – Shop sustainably. The creation of brand-new clothes can be harmful to the environment. Instead, ask your older siblings or friends to wear their old clothes.
#22 – Pick up trash. Cleaning trash can help restore animals’ habitats and keep them from swallowing or choking on trash.
#23 – Volunteer. Being an environmental volunteer can help conserve an area or endangered species.
#24 – Make a donation. If you can’t give your time, consider giving money to charitable organizations so they can do more for the environment.
#25 – Spread the word. Tell your friends and family what you’ve learned so they can help the environment too! When we work as a team, we can make a difference.
About the Author: Jess Black is an Indiana University student partnering with WonderLab for a class at the Media School. She is passionate about helping the environment and loves nature. She was inspired to write this blog post to encourage others to care for the environment.
8 simple ways to help the environment. Fastweb. (2023, April 3). Retrieved April 3, 2023, from https://www.fastweb.com/student-life/articles/eight-simple-ways-to-help-the-environment
Andersen, C. (2021, April 21). 41 ways kids can help save the planet in 5 minutes or less. The Healthy. Retrieved April 3, 2023, from https://www.thehealthy.com/family/childrens-health/kids-save-planet-in-minutes/%C2%A0
Jennifer Garner Follow. (n.d.). Plastic bag pollution – the problem and solutions. Share and Discover Knowledge on SlideShare. Retrieved April 3, 2023, from https://www.slideshare.net/JenniferGarner3/plastic-bag-pollution-the-problem-and-solutions
One Tree Planted. (n.d.). 22 ways that you can help the environment in 2022. One Tree Planted. Retrieved April 3, 2023, from https://onetreeplanted.org/blogs/stories/help-the-environment-2022
Reducing your environmental footprint: Sustainable showering. Peer Jacks. (2018, November 11). Retrieved April 3, 2023, from https://in.nau.edu/peer-jacks/reducing-your-environmental-footprint-sustainable-showering/#:~:text=Reduce%20Shower%20Time%20%E2%80%93%20Reducing%20the,save%20both%20water%20and%20energy. https://dpw.lacounty.gov/epd/plasticbags/articles/googobits_07-21-05.pdf
US Department of Commerce, N. O. and A. A. (2009, August 10). What can I do to protect coral reefs? NOAA’s National Ocean Service. Retrieved April 3, 2023, from https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/ocean/earthday.html