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By: Lauren McRae
In 1970 both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Earth Day were created in order to help protect human health and the environment. You can help celebrate Earth Day (and Earth Month until the end of April!) by making eco-friendly choices or starting new "green" habits.
Being eco-friendly doesn't have to be complicated, expensive or difficult. You can easily make small adjustments to your regular routine to go green. Below are just a few ways you can reduce, reuse or recycle.
Recycle: Your home or work environment most likely has recycling bins for you to use. Make the decision to sort your trash, and add the appropriate items to your recycling bin like cardboard, newspaper, glass or plastic.
Electronic recycling: Find a certified and responsible drop-off location for electronics to make sure that the recycling is done properly.
Compost: According to the Chicago Botanic Garden, compost is a superb soil amendment, topdressing, and mulch that can be used on lawns, garden beds, around trees and shrubs, and in containers. In addition, compost is the ultimate soil conditioner since it improves both texture and structure, and is perfect for growing vegetables and flowers.
Your leftover food and food scraps can be turned into compost and so can your leftover grass clippings or leaves. In some areas, your food scraps can be added to your yard-waste bin. But you can also create your own compost pile without much work or expense.
Save water: The water you use in your house can be cut down dramatically with a few small changes. Installing a low-flow toilet can turn your 6-gallons of water per flush into less than 2-gallons per flush. Fixing leaks can also help you save hundreds of gallons of water per year.
Reduce toxic chemicals: One of the easiest ways to cut down on toxins in your home is to make your own cleaning products. Switching your daily cleaner to white vinegar, baking soda or non-toxic soap is very inexpensive and effective.
Transportation: Consider leaving the car at home one day this month, and try an alternative method of transportation. Check out your local transit center for information on the bus or train. You may live in an area where riding your bike is an option, too. If none of these is an option, see if any of your coworkers would be interested in setting up a carpool.
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