10 Ways to Make an Impact this Earth Day (and every other day, too!)
At IN Food, we think it’s important to contribute to the health of our planet. A little can go a long way, if we all put in some effort. Sharing our knowledge and working together, these ideas can help reduce our carbon footprint. Please, join us in making a difference for our planet this Earth Day. We only have one, after all.
- Bike to work: As you know, cars and buses need fuel to run and bikes do not. Not only are you reducing carbon emissions when you bike, you’re getting exercise as well. Win, win. Don’t have a bike? Try out Minneapolis’ shared bike system, Nice Ride! Here at IN, we’re proud to say 33% of our employees regularly commute to work on bike.
- Carpool or bus: If you are ride sharing, you are also cutting down carbon emissions. Plus, you’d be surprised at how quick you can zip through the carpool lane and how many more pages of a book you’re able to catch up during a commute. Cross your fingers that Minneapolis will get on board with UberPool or shared rides through Lyft in the near future.
- Compost and Recycle: If you’re not doing these yet, it’s an easy way to lower methane emissions from landfills and decrease your carbon footprint. Check with your city about pick-up options or drop-off locations. If you live in Minneapolis, check out the composting (organics) information here.
- Trash pick-up: Do you walk during your lunch break at work? If so, this is SO EASY. Bring a bag and gloves and pick up any trash on your route. This prevents litter from going into the sewer, which leads to the oceans, and possibly into animals’ bodies. Let’s help all those ocean creatures out!
- Shop used: There are plenty of stores that sell repurposed clothing. If we shopped used more often, there’d be less clothing going into landfills, and there are options from classic thrift to high-end to vintage here in Minneapolis: Buffalo Exchange, Rodeo Drive and The Golden Pearl. When buying new, try not to purchase disposable clothing. Cheap clothing has a short lifespan and ends up in the landfill, sometimes after a single wear! (The average American generates 82 pounds of textile waste annually.) If you’re going to buy new, buy something that will last and will stay on-trend for years.
- Repair/repurpose: Rather than throwing items away, where they’ll ultimately find their way to a landfill, tailor or sew clothing. Have your shoes repaired by Shooli. Let old furniture live on by repurposing with a new look.
- Reduce single use plastics: Carry a reusable water bottle rather than buying plastic bottles. Ask servers at restaurants for drinks without a straw. Use reusable food storage containers instead of zip-lock bags. Bring reusable grocery and produce bags when shopping. A sobering tidbit for all of us to think about: each U.S. resident uses almost one plastic bag per day, compared to shoppers in Denmark, who use roughly four plastic bags a year.
- Save on household energy: Purchase energy efficient light bulbs and appliances. Turn off any lights you aren’t using, even if you leave the room for a short period of time. Change your furnace filters regularly. Invest in high quality insulation. Want to go big? Invest in a green roof, solar panels or a geothermal system.
- Eat a plant based diet: Did you know, a person who eats a plant-based diet saves slightly less than 1 ton of CO2 from being emitted annually? That’s huge! Even though that may be tough, try to have one or two days a week without meat. “Meatless Monday” is common for those trying to cut back.
- Sustainable support: Back companies that have a sustainable impact. For example, Woodchuck plants a tree for every purchase made. Etsy off-sets 100% of carbon emissions from deliveries. Lyft is committing to 100% renewable energy.
These are just ten of the many ways you can contribute to the health of our planet. And although Earth Day is a great time to double-down on sustainability efforts, it shouldn’t be the ONLY time you do so! Here in our office, we’re trying to make small lifestyle adjustments every day in order to maximize the impact for our planet, and we encourage you to do the same.