Each year on Earth Day, millions of people around the world join forces to make a positive impact on our planet. But you don’t have to wait until April 22 to get started. You can celebrate Earth Day any ole day – in fact, why not celebrate it all month long.
Check out these fun and meaningful activities you and your family can enjoy this month in honor of Earth Day. Who knows, maybe these actions will lead to some new habits or hobbies that will benefit Mother Earth year-round.
1. Plant a tree
We know it might seem obvious, but you really can’t go wrong with planting a tree. Trees are great for the environment and a perfect way to celebrate Earth Day. They help preserve the soil, they provide oxygen which improves air quality and they support wildlife. A strategically planted tree can also save you 20% on energy costs. What’s not to love? Just remember, before you dig, call 811 to identify buried utility lines. The last thing you need is to hit a line.
Don’t have a tree to plant? No worries. We are partnering with the Arbor Day Foundation to give away 1,000 trees to our customers. This partnership allows us to play a significant role in making our community better and more beautiful. Check back on Earth Day, April 22 to register for your free tree here.
2. Pick up trash
We’ve all driven by a ditch or field littered with trash. What an eyesore. Why not gather a group of friends or family members to do a little litter patrol? It’s a great way to spend some time outdoors, hang out with friends and make your community prettier. You can even get your cleanup project on the map. To make it more enticing, set up some friendly competitions. Maybe the person who picks up the most trash wins a prize. Whatever you do, make sure everyone wears gloves, solid shoes, long-sleeved shirts and long pants. If you’re picking up trash along a highway, it’s also a good idea to wear a safety vest.
3. Cut out the plastic grocery bags
Gather all of those cloth bags you’ve collected over the years and use them during your grocery trips instead of getting plastic bags. It’s easy. Simply leave them in your vehicle so they are handy when you stop to shop. It takes a little getting used to - don’t fret if you keep forgetting the bags in your vehicle at first - but eventually it will become habit. And you will be playing a significant role in eliminating plastic bag waste.
4. Start composting
Instead of throwing food waste away, compost it. You might be surprised to learn that food waste is a huge contributor to climate change. By collecting and composting food waste, you are not only creating nutrient rich soil for your garden and plants, but you’re helping reduce waste that would otherwise be sent to the landfill.
5. Change your paper bills to digital
A great place to start is with your Black Hills Energy statement. To sign up for eBill just log in to your account (or create one if you don’t have one yet) and click on “Enroll in eBill.” You can also sign up here.
6. Buy locally-sourced food
By purchasing food grown close to home, you reduce the pollution created when products are shipped or trucked long distances. Another great side effect is that you’ll be supporting producers who live in your area.
7. Use a reusable water bottle
Forget those single-use water bottles. Buy a reusable bottle, plaster it with fun stickers and refill as needed. Think of the impact this would have on the amount of plastic in our landfills if every person practiced this easy habit.
8. Turn out the lights
Save electricity by shutting off lights when you leave a room. Better yet, choose energy efficient light bulbs … but remember to shut those off, too. Check out our energy efficiency programs and DIY tips for more ways to help the planet by saving energy.
9. Bike more, drive less
Instead of hopping in the car for that trip to a friend’s house, hop on your bike instead. You’ll save gas, cut down on vehicle emissions and get a little exercise to boot. What’s not to love?
10. Cut down on waste in your home
During this last pandemic year, we’ve all been spending a lot more time at home. This means we’ve also been producing more waste at home. Now is the perfect time to think about how we can reduce that waste. Try to purchase items packaged in paper or glass rather than plastic. When you can’t avoid plastic, avoid single serving packaging. Buy the big container of yogurt instead of single servings. Make sure to recycle your plastic, glass, aluminum and cardboard.
So there you are – a list to get you started on your Earth Day celebration. Get the entire family involved and have a little fun with it. Keep in mind that you are making your world a better place. It’s rewarding to know that even small gestures can add up to big gains. Happy Earth Day everyone!
Black Hills Energy Blog
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