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  • Writer's pictureJessy

How I Celebrate Earth Day Every Day

I'm writing this in honour of Earth Day, which is coming up this week. Earth Day is important to me as an opportunity to take a moment to notice this amazing planet we live on.

I sometimes joke that I was raised by hippies. But for real, my parent taught me to notice the planet around me. I remember camping, collecting plants for my great grandmother's healing salve, my mom's kindergarten class ducks and chicks were an annual fun event- not to mention the year we kept the ducks and had 2 stray goats move into our shed too. I felt like I was on a farm and I loved it. I learned to identify birds from their calls and I never knew that this connection to the plant I have was not experienced by everyone around me.

I have heard an idea repeated over the years from my heroes in the world of environment, earth and animal health. The idea is this: The average city-dwelling person, who has no connection to the world around them, doesn't really care to do anything to help the world around them. It's so true. If you don't know about the birds, plants and bugs that live in your backyard, you wouldn't notice if they disappeared. You probably also wouldn't care. If you want someone to care about the world, educate them. Want some of my recommendations? Some of my favourite feel good documentaries are One Strange Rock, Virunga, The Biggest Little Farm and My Octopus Teacher. These are shows with little to no talk of how we are destroying the environment and lots of awe-inspiring things to make you feel more connected to this planet and it's creatures. Spend your Earth Day watching a documentary with your family and talk about it. Maybe it will inspire you to reduce your impact on the Earth.

How do I reduce my impact on the Earth? One thing I do is to try to limit my plastic consumption. On a simple level, you can make a few swaps at the grocery store. Include packaging as part of your decision making when looking at products. Do you need a box of single serving instant oatmeals? or could you portion out a bag into containers to bring with you to work? Instead of the plastic tub of baby spinach, try buying a bunch of spinach. I've found wrapping the spinach in a tea towel helps it to last longer in the fridge. Instead of using the plastic bags in the produce area, bring reusable produce bags (or even laundry mesh bags from the dollar store) to bag your loose produce.

Another way I reduce my plastic consumption is by shopping at a refillery. Refilleries purchase bulk products and let you bring your own containers in to refill your products. There is a refillery in Creemore (The Creemore Refillery) and Newmarket (The Earth Market) near us. There you can refill your shampoo, soap, cleaning products, oils and vinegars and many other items.

What about chemicals? What we put in our bodies, on our skin and how we clean what we touch makes a big difference not just on the planet, but on our own health too. Fragrance and harsh chemicals are hard on our bodies. We were driven, many years ago to change to a natural way of cleaning (due to eczema) and found that using natural laundry detergent, shampoo and simple coconut oil on our skin made a huge difference. I have even been making my own facial scrub and deodorant for a few years now - and they both work great. We make our household cleaning supplies using things like vinegar, essential oils and baking soda. Know what? It all works just as well as the highly chemical stuff and though we missed the perfumed 'clean' smell for a bit, now we find when exposed to a branded cleaner of any sort that the perfumes are hard on our lungs and chemicals are hard on our skin, so there's not much to truly miss. Hit me up if you want some specific recipes or check out Ignite Your Balance on social media or her mailing list for natural essential oil uses. Pinterest has some good natural cleaning recipes for anything from oven degreaser to carpet cleaner too.

90% of my small changes to help the environment save me money instantly...wohoo added bonus. Of course, if you are able to make big changes like installing solar panels, please do. Those changes make a big impact on the earth and pay back their installation cost. Now tell me about how you minimize your impact on the earth in the comments. Let's all inspire each other.

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