Earth Day is April 22, but you don’t need a special day to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly life.
Here are easy ways to celebrate Earth Day any day of the year in the comfort of your home, and save money while you help save the planet.
Embrace Green Energy
If you want to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, it’s time to start exploring ways to reduce your grid energy consumption, with such renewable energy sources as wind and solar power.
If you live in a private home in NYC, consider installing a few solar panels on your roof to help to power your home. New York State offers financial incentives including financing for installing solar panels.
Likewise, you could replace your traditional water heater with a solar-powered version. There even are solar ovens to cook some of your meals.
If you are considering transitioning to to green energy, be sure you check climate and wind conditions in your neighborhood to identify the most optimal source of renewable energy.
A good place to check your weather is to use a hyperlocal weather intelligence platform. If the climate in your area is particularly erratic, it’s a good idea to use a combination of grid electricity supply and green energy
Switch to a Plant-Based Diet
Including more plant-based meals in your diet is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
Even if you aren’t open to the idea of becoming a vegetarian, it’s easy to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your meals.
Make sure your meals include plenty of salads and soups made using fresh produce. You can take this up a notch by building a produce garden.
Even if you live in a NYC apartment, you could create a mini herb garden on your balcony or a sunny windowsill.
While you’re at it, you should consider reducing your consumption of packaged food, especially single-serving items.
Whether you’re munching on a packet of chips or gorging a burger from your favorite fast-food joint, you’ll end up generating a ton of waste that’s going to make its way to the landfill.
Instead, embrace a zero-waste lifestyle by cooking most of your meals at home.
Luckily, NYC has an abundance of farmer’s markets – there’s at least one greenmarket in each borough. Here’s the full list on the NYC government website. Bring your own re-usable shopping bag to further minimize waste.
No, you don’t need a spacious backyard to make your own compost. Even if you’re living in an apartment without a balcony, you can compost food waste without filling your kitchen with a foul odor.
Follow these tips for the right way to start composting.
Start by collecting all your biodegradable waste and layering it up in a compost bin. Turn and mix the pile occasionally to aerate it. Also, make sure you use the right amount of green and brown waste to facilitate decomposition.
If you aren’t open to the idea of composting at home, you can also try finding a community garden in your neighborhood. Or you can join various Facebook groups to connect with avid gardeners and organic farmers who are willing to take in your biodegradable waste.
Organize a Watch Party
One of the key aspects of celebrating Earth Day is to make people more aware about issues plaguing the environment. Just because you can’t join an in-person Earth Day event this year, you can still do your bit to raise awareness.
Choose a relevant and insightful documentary on the environment and organize your own virtual watch party. Invite your friends and family members to join virtually and make sure you spend some time discussing the movie and impact after watching it.
Popular picks for Earth Day include Netflix documentaries, such as Our Planet, Night on Earth, and The Game Changers.
See our NYC on the Cheap list of Earth Day events all week, including a FREE screening of Chasing Coral, a documentary about saving the world’s coral reef.
Join Virtual Events
Part of the joy of Earth Day celebrations is the sense of belonging to a community of environmentally conscious human beings.
Various organizations, such as the Earth Day Initiative and NYC Parks Department, are hosting online meetups and activities to help you connect with other like-minded individuals. Make sure you invite your friends and family members to participate in these events with you.
How are you planning to celebrate Earth Day this year?
Share your suggestions in the comments section below.