In honor of Earth Day this April 22 and beyond, EPA urges the public to make simple steps to help protect our environment. The “Pick 5” initiative highlights the actions citizens can take in the categories of water, air, land, energy, waste and advocacy.
“On Earth Day, EPA reaches out to people of every age, race and economic status to ‘own’ the environment, to commit to environmental protection as one of your top priorities,” states EPA’s Earth Day Web site. “Why is this important? Because many people don’t see ‘environmentalism’ as an important issue in their lives. When actually having clean air to breathe, water to drink, and a neighborhood safe from toxics is important to ALL of us!”
Choose at least five actions from EPA’s Pick 5 list to celebrate and protect our environment not only on Earth Day, but all year round:
- Use only the water you need, and reuse when possible.
- Dispose of solid and liquid wastes and medications safely.
- Protect your local water source from pollutants, excess pesticides and garbage.
- Pass on gas! Take public transportation, carpool, plan your day to reduce trips and vehicle emissions.
- Make sure your home’s air is healthy. Learn about indoor air pollutants from indoor energy use and toxins.
- Reduce your potential for exposure to mercury.
- Plant a tree – or many trees.
- Waste not, burn not: Prevent additional air pollution by finding alternatives to burning your waste.
- Use pesticides safely, and reduce or eliminate pesticide use whenever possible.
- Give composting a try and allow your food scraps to gain a new life.
- Learn about “greenscaping.”
- Learn about the native species and the negative effects of non-native plants and animals in the environment.
- Save energy at home by choosing energy-saving appliances and looking for the Energy Star label.
- Go renewable! Create your own power from wind, the sun, water or biofuels.
- Find alternate ways to reduce use of diesel and other fuels for transportation, production and energy.
- Reuse and “upcycle.” Take something that is disposable and transform it into something of greater use and value.
- Recycle metals, plastics and paper.
- E-cycle: Recycle and/or properly dispose of electronic waste such as computers and other gadgets.
- Share your commitment to the Earth. Share your tips and stories on Facebook and on Twitter (use hastag #p53).
- Raise awareness by talking to others about the state of the environment, locally or globally.