Every year, Earth Day reminds us all to do our part to keep our planet healthy. But there are plenty of ways to celebrate Earth Day that go beyond a single day on the calendar. We talked to three innovative organizations working for environmental good to show you simple - but powerful - ways to celebrate Earth Day all year long.
5 Gyres’ interactive map tracks efforts to ban harmful polystyrene plastic across the world and provides all the information you need to take action. You’ll even find easy-to-use, downloadable resources to help you introduce the idea of a ban to your local government. If you want to start smaller, you can take the “Nix the 6” pledge to eliminate polystyrene from your own home or download flyers to hand out to your favorite restaurants asking them to consider switching to biodegradable cups and containers.
"The most important thing you can do to combat this waste is to take our NixThe6 pledge not to use single-use polystyrene. Polystyrene, typically referred to as Styrofoam, is not easily recycled and toxic to our bodies - it should be banned everywhere. After taking the pledge, you can learn what you can do in your own community to ban polystyrene!"
Carolynn Box | 5 Gyres
Found in everything from takeout containers to straws to the lids of single-use coffee cups, polystyrene is extremely difficult to recycle and is a known animal carcinogen. Even more, manufacturing it is the world’s fifth largest source of hazardous waste. But with the help of 5 Gyres, you can work to lessen our dependence on this environmentally ruinous material.
With JouleBug’s user-friendly app, you can create eco-friendly challenges for yourself, your friends, a club you’re involved in or even your workplace. It’s simple: just record the sustainable actions you take each day in the app to earn points.
You can earn points for things like:
You can even connect to your utilities accounts to see how much you’re saving by going green. At the end of your challenge, not only will the app declare a winner but you’ll be able to see the collective impact your group made. No matter how much you value sustainability, curbing your environmental impact can often feel like a chore. JouleBug ensures that you can have fun all while doing your part for the planet every day.
"We started JouleBug to make sustainable living social, simple, and actually fun. By competing with your friends on Facebook and Twitter, you lower energy bills and reduce waste by playing your environmental part. That’s our inspiration.”
Caitlin Noll | JouleBug
TerraCycle’s Zero Waste Boxes take your household’s recycling to the next level—and the one beyond that. While your curbside bin can take care of the basics like paper, plastic bottles and aluminum cans, TerraCycle has solutions for the stuff your city’s recycling program isn’t equipped to handle. Action figures? Batteries? Auto Parts? Art Supplies? Just purchase a Zero Waste Box for whatever tricky trash piles up in your household, then send it back to TerraCycle once it’s full. Everything will be broken down and either converted into materials for new products, recycled or composted.
You can also participate in one of their free recycling programs, where TerraCycle partners with brands to collect and recycle their packaging or products. You’ll find free programs for Barilla Pasta, Febreze, Burt’s Bees and other brands you use every day.
“Individually, Americans produce nearly 1,700 pounds of waste a year and most of that gets thrown away. But it’s easier than most people think to make a positive impact on the environment. TerraCycle offers free recycling programs as well as Zero Waste Boxes to recycle over 100 waste streams such as coffee capsules, toothpaste tubes, food pouches, cigarettes and flip-flops that would otherwise be sent to a landfill or incinerated.”
Lauren Taylor | TerraCycle
A true zero waste lifestyle isn’t practical for most of us. But with TerraCycle, you can recycle as much as possible without the hassle of hauling each item to a different recycler.
While you’re out there battling polystyrene, racking up sustainability points and recycling like a pro, you can also:
Got your own way of extending your Earth Day celebration? Tell us all about it below!