April is Earth Month, a time to appreciate this precious planet, reflect upon our personal impact on it, and brainstorm ways to exist on it both more efficiently and enjoyably in the future. Schools, companies, communities, and entire cities coordinate events throughout this month, promoting a platform for unity in an otherwise vastly divided world. Whether or not you decide to get involved in planned Earth Month, and especially Earth Day (April 22), activities, here are some simple yet permanent personal changes you can begin this month and implement for life, and celebrate Earth Day everyday.
Join a local food co-op or CSA. Organizations like these ensure that you are getting the freshest and most in-season, organic, and local produce and other grocery goods available. By shopping through a co-op or CSA you not only receive member benefits like prices just above wholesale, but aid in sustaining local business while lessening the environmental impact of food cultivation elsewhere. Plus, you can meet like-minded individuals in your community who you may never have known lived right down the street. Supper clubs, recipe swapping, book clubs, and plain old friendships evolve out of these kinds of organizations, and with them a whole new understanding and appreciation for food and nature. Easy alternative if you can’t find one near you: just start utilizing your local farmer’s market – same personal and environmental benefits!
Recycle and reuse fashion. If only I had known the 90’s were going to make a comeback! In all seriousness, fashion history indisputably proves that trends repeat themselves over the years. Take some time, especially right now as the seasons shift, to clean out your closet and donate the clothes you never wear to a consignment or vintage shop, then browse the shops’ racks for something “new.” If you have any qualms about wearing second-hand clothes or about consignment being high fashion, just check out the editorials of our vintage fashion blogger Laura Okia, aka Paper Mothball Vintage. Her photos are all the proof needed to see just how jaw–dropping vintage finds can be. And honestly, scouring the bins is half the thrill, nevermind finding a retro designer piece you know is one-of-a-kind.
Pack your own lunch. Now that you’ve got a beautiful bounty of fruits and veggies from the co-op, it’s time to fully take your health into your own hands. One of the biggest struggles in maintaining health, especially in terms of weight, is also one many are oblivious to: portion control. Even the freshest looking salad bars and latest health trend restaurants can fool the eye. Hidden ingredients and large servings can take a toll on your diet. Plus, organic options are not always the best, local options. On top of that, there’s excess packaging plus all the plastic forks, napkins, and individual salt and papper packets you know you just stuff into a junk drawer in your desk when you have to get take-out. Mason jars cost between $1-$2 in all their various sizes and are perfect for bringing soups, salads, stews, granola, smoothies – really anything – on the road with you. It will save you time and money at lunch and let you regain control of your meals, plus cut down on waste.