Look up. Look Down. When you go about the day, how often do you soak up the wonder that surrounds you on this good Earth?

Rediscover the clouds, the grass underfoot, the bark of a tree. These marvels that so entertained you as a child are still there – they’re just often lost in the blur of our daily lives.

In 1970, some folks thought we were so far off track that they petitioned the UN for an international day to celebrate Earth.

What can you do to start your own tradition this April 22nd when Earth Day rolls around again? We’ve got a few ideas!

1. Swap your Trashcans: This idea is so easy and useful, you’ll slap yourself for not thinking of it. If you already do this, congrats!

In most households, the vast majority of waste created doesn’t come from food, it’s packaging waste. So, to up your recycling game – and ensure less stink hangs around in the kitchen – start using your large, regular trash container as your recycling bin, and use a smaller trashcan as your food waste receptacle.

If you go this route, you’ll also save a bunch of money on trash bags because you’ll usually be able to get by with just using the plastic bags from the grocery store for waste. Give it a shot!

2. Become an amateur scientist! If you don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, you might want to consider composting.

Whether you live in an apartment, or have a big backyard, composting is a great way to keep a lot (but not all) of food waste out of landfills so it can be used to grow a garden.

Here’s a great cursory write-up on how to get started! Cool with worms? There’s also vermicomposting, where the worms do most of the work!

3. Eliminate harmful chemicals from your world: There are arguments in favor of harsh cleaners and air fresheners – mainly, that they’re easy to buy and use, they work well with less scrubbing, and well, they smell nice.

Vinegar, borax, soap powder, lemon and water may not seem like good cleaning alternatives, but before the advent of modern cleaners this is what everyone used, and they work

4. Enjoy resource frugality: Okay, shoppers, this one is going to hurt. We know you love to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, but how good are you, really, at the first two “R’s”?

Do you wear clothing until it’s outlived its usefulness? How often do you then take that well-worn shirt and turn it into a rag? Beyond doing well by the environment, it also saves a lot of money in the process.

If we all invested a little bit more energy in reducing and reusing, we’d have to recycle less, and we’d live a more clutter-free, financially independent life. The government has a number of great suggestions on how we can get there together.

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