Earth Day is a time for us to reflect on our impact on the environment and consider ways in which we can be better stewards of our planet. However, the truth is that the choices we make every day have a significant impact on the environment, and we should be thinking about our role as Earth ambassadors beyond just this one day of the year.

Here are some ways in which we can be Earth ambassadors every day:

  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle: This is one of the most basic and effective ways to reduce our environmental impact. By reducing the amount of waste we produce, reusing items instead of throwing them away, and recycling whenever possible, we can significantly reduce our carbon footprint.

  • Conserve water: Water is a precious resource, and we should make an effort to conserve it whenever possible. We can do this by fixing leaks, taking shorter showers, using water-efficient appliances, and not wasting water unnecessarily.

  • Choose sustainable products: When we buy products, we should consider their environmental impact. Look for products that are made from sustainable materials, are energy-efficient, don't use batteries, and are designed to be reused or recycled. Be careful of products that require special facilities to be recycled as most cities don't have these facilities available to them and many of these products end up in the dump. 

  • Reduce energy consumption: Our use of energy has a significant impact on the environment, and we should make an effort to reduce our energy consumption whenever possible. This can be as simple as turning off lights when we leave a room, using energy-efficient appliances, or not running our cooling and heating systems unnecessarily. You can also opt for using public transportation and carpooling instead of driving alone.

  • Support local and sustainable agriculture: The food we eat has a significant impact on the environment, and we should make an effort to support local and sustainable agriculture. This means choosing foods that are grown using sustainable farming practices, growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs, or buying locally grown produce. Most importantly, reducing our meat consumption.

  • Plant trees and support conservation efforts: Trees play a vital role in the environment, and we should make an effort to plant trees and support conservation efforts whenever possible. This can include donating to organizations that work to protect wildlife and their habitats, volunteering for conservation efforts, and planting trees in our own communities. Planting additional trees may not require more than a phone call or an email as many cities have set aside budgets for planting a minimum number of trees. You can also reach out to your local municipality to have them replace trees that have fallen or rotten.

  • Educate others: We should make an effort to educate others about the importance of being Earth ambassadors. You can share tips on social media, and talking to friends and family members about the impact of our daily choices on the environment. You should also share your knowledge of free resources! Many more people will take advantage of free trees and other services when they're made aware of their existence.

  • Don't give up: Many times I have heard people talk about their frustrations with not making an impact. They feel their contributions are too small for the immensity of the climate crises, but they're wrong. Our wallets speak, our actions speak, and every drop of water plays a roll in creating a beautiful spring or a waterfall. Your actions, no matter how small, matter. They matter for us today and they model behavior and values for our kids in the future. 

Being an Earth ambassador is not just something we should think about on Earth Day. It's something that should be a part of our daily lives. By making conscious choices to reduce our environmental impact, we can help to create a healthier and more sustainable planet for future generations.

April 22, 2023 — Barbara Chernyukhin