Once upon a time, Earth Day was a celebration. Now, it's a call for action. It's a yearly reminder that our planet is in trouble and there's lots for us to do, now, to save it. Leonardo DiCaprio has a tendency to take the stage here and there and talk about the planet, instead of himself. A noble act for a celebrity — they typically want to make long humble speeches about all the people who helped them get to where they are. But not Leo — he's taken him time in the spotlight seriously.
He uses his celebrity as a soapbox to teach the world about climate change and wildlife and land preservation. He's so serious about it that he's created his own foundation, aptly named The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. There he enlists the help of a team of tenacious environmentalists who both support existing causes and fund additional Earth-saving initiatives.
Say what you want about the man – he could probably cut back on a few of his private jet trips, he should probably quit smoking and do some more carpooling — but he does use his fame for good and his power for change. These are 12 things that Leo (or at the very least, environmentalists) wants you to pay attention to on this Earth Day:
Be Energy Efficient
Make sure you're using the greenest and most efficient lightbulbs in your home. Not only will it save you money, but it will help to reduce your carbon footprint. It's a fast, easy and cheap upgrade.
There's no reason for plugs to sit in the wall sockets all day. Be mindful of what you have plugged in and consider how much power you use on a day to day basis. What can you cut out? Do you need to blow dry every day? Do you need to use the oven when you can use the microwave? Thing about what you can unplug.
Planes are not green, and they're not cheap either. When it's possible, opt for a train or bus. Obviously you can't avoid flights entirely, but be mindful of the fact that it increases your carbon footprint most significantly.
Service Your Car
Did you know that having low air pressure in your tires can cause you to use more gas? Make sure you regularly tune up your car and inflate your tires. You might be driving around a car that's increasing your footprint more than you know.
Consider Other Power Options
If you can't afford to add solar power to your home, you can at least be mindful of properly heating and cooling the house with the use of blackout curtains to keep the sun out during the day in the summer and the sun in during the day in the winter.
The closer you are to your food source, the less energy is used getting it to you. Eat local farm fresh food whenever available. Try to limit processed foods — even though they're delicious, they're not green, and take a lot more of natural resources to make.
Eat Less Meat
You don't have to give up meat if you don't want to, but be aware of the fact that it's uses a ton of energy and there are other equally enriching protein options. Try to eat local meat whenever possible and try having a day or two a wee where you don't eat it at all.
Stay Away From Plastic
Most plastics end up in landfills. Avoid purchasing foods that have a lot of plastic packaging. Always opt to shop at the farmers market, in bulk or at a waste conscious market.
It's different in every city, so you'll have to take the time to look up the rules and regulations but take the time to do it! The least you can do to manage your waste is properly recycle it.
If you and your buddy are going to the same party, go together. Independence is great, but limited carbon emissions is better. There are already way too many cars on the road, there's no need to add to the congestion. Carpool whenever possible.
Buy your clothes second hand whenever possible and reuse containers that can be washed. Before you throw something away, stop and ask yourself if it can be used to anything else.
Don't be overwhelmed by these concepts. Take the time to educate yourself on one topic that touches you personally. Whether it's waste reduction, wildlife conservation, or ocean preservation, spend some time reading articles and finding ways to get involved. You don't have to be rich or famous to make a difference.