Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 every year, and this year marks the 47th anniversary!
Across the globe, this special day is celebrated with festivals, rallies, celebrity support, and more. Here at Mister Kleen, we enjoy celebrating this special day by helping our clients in their continual efforts to enhance building sustainability.
While we certainly enjoy celebrating Earth Day each year, we do want Earth Day to be celebrated every day. Here are some 2017 tips for you to make every day an Earth Day:
Switch from plastic (and paper) to reusable shopping bags
Did you know that plastic bags take anywhere from 15 to 1,000 years to decompose, and only one (1) percent of plastic bags are recycled in the United States? Also, it takes 12 million barrels of oil to produce an estimated 100 billion plastic bags used in the U.S. each year, and about one (1) million birds, thousands of turtles and other sea animals perish each year from ingesting discarded plastic bags.
Using reusable shopping bags is one of the easiest every day tactics you can use to reduce the impactful harm that plastic bags have on our environment.
Switch from bottled to filtered water
Did you know that plastic (when not recycled) takes about 450 years to decompose? Americans purchase over half a billion bottles of water each week, and there are no real benefits to consuming it. In fact, most bottled water is deemed to be overpriced tap water, which ends up contributing to over 1.5 million tons of plastic in our landfills each year.
Switching from bottled water to filtrated water is one of the fastest, easiest, and smartest actions you can take to reduce this plastic material from ending up in our landfills. You can also save a substantial amount of money each year. Check out this cost comparison of bottled water versus filtered water here.
The environmental impact of filtered water is much lower than bottled water.
Save waste by switching from regular batteries to rechargeable batteries
There are many batteries, and the most common and readily available ones come in sizes such as A, AA, AAA, C, D, 9-Volt, or NiMH. Most people do not realize the impact regular single-use batteries have on our environment. Corrosive materials, heavy metals, and many other chemicals result in bad news for our environment when improperly disposed of. Rechargeable batteries on the other hand have a much less impact on our environment. Also, rechargeable batteries can be used over and over, and they consume up to 23 times less non-renewable natural resources than your standard single-use batteries. This results in you saving money, conserving resources, and better protecting our environment.
Shop at a local farmers market
Shopping at a local farmer’s market reduces pollution since small, local growers tend to use more sustainable practices, which includes fewer greenhouse gas emissions associated with transporting food from long distances.
Not sure where to find the nearest farmers market? Just type in the phrase, “Where to find the nearest farmers market near me” on Google and the search results will show you what is available nearby.
If you are interested in taking this one step further, then why not consider joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) co-op, where you can pay ahead of time for several months’ worth of food, and in return, you can get a box of fresh vegetables every week. You can find a local CSA at www.localharvest.org.
Use reusable microfiber cleaning cloths
Why waste money on paper towels when you can use reusable microfiber cleaning cloths? These nifty cleaning costs not only save you money when buying paper products, but they are also an excellent multi-purpose cleaning tool to remove dirt and debris from your desk, computer, sunglasses, phone, car, and so much more.
Turn off lights every time you leave the room to save energy
Did you know that 44% of electricity use in office buildings comes from light alone? When you exit the room, please be sure to turn off your lights.
Some lights have timers that will automatically shut off. These might be a cost effective measure to implement. Also, keep an eye out for Energy Star labels on light bulbs. Switching to these light bulbs will save money on electricity and reduce your carbon footprint by two-thirds.
Speaking of lightbulbs, have you considered purchasing LED bulbs? Your typical light bulb will use 60 watts whereas a LED only uses 10. LED light bulbs have dropped in price over the years as well, and they can last up to 25 times longer than your traditional light bulb. Not only does this save you money (in some cases in excess of $100 or more), but it will also help cut down on wasteful electricity use.
Use a coffee cup instead of disposable cups
You can save a lot of money by having your building occupants use reusable coffee cups versus disposable cups. Encourage your building occupants to bring their own cups from home, and maybe even have a contest to celebrate the individual who has the most memorable coffee cup. Perhaps this can be a regular contest to encourage people to bring in their favorite cups but to also help reduce the use of disposable cups.
Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.