How To Give Back On Earth Day This Year

by Kaitlyn Wylde

Earth Day might roll around only one time of year, but that doesn't mean our efforts to make the planet a better place need be limited to April 22. While every day is a great day to boost our efforts and join forces with our communities to make change, there are plenty of ways to give back on Earth Day in 2017 that will inspire you to do it the whole year round.

Because the thing about preserving and protecting our planet is that it's an endless effort. The work is never done. And the best way to make change is to involve the people around you and encourage each other to be consistent and contagious in your efforts.

Sure, reusing, reducing, and recycling is a great motto to celebrate on Earth Day (and seriously every one day of the year), but there's a lot more work to do. And while the concept of change can be overwhelming, there are so many small adjustments you can make in your every day life that will positively affect the planet over time. Here are some ways that you can give back on Earth Day, in addition to some practices that you can take with you for the rest of the year.

Volunteer To Pick Up Trash

Julie Denesha/Getty Images News/Getty Images

While you don't necessarily need to sign up to do this, there are plenty of organizations that would be grateful for your support. Picking up trash is a super easy way to make your community a better place and set a good example for others to follow.

Plant Seeds In The City

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

One of the easiest things you can do for the planet is planet seeds. Join a planting group in your community this Earth Day and learn about the native plant species as you plant.

Plant A Tree

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Planting a tree is not only a great way to leave a permanent mark on the planet, but an incredibly easy way to help the planet.

Consider Plant-Based Diet

Milos Bicanski/Getty Images News/Getty Images

A plant-based diet is more eco-friendly than a meat-based diet. If you were considering going meat-free, let this year be the year you give it a try. If that's too much of a life change for you, consider staring a meat-free Monday in which you devote at least one day a week to eating only plant-based foods.

Go Paperless With Your Bills

Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you're anything like me and don't even check your mailbox, it's a total waste for you to be receiving your bills in paper form. Go online and switch to electronic. It should be an easy option for most of your utility bills.

Eliminate A Waste Product

Matt Cardy/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Whether it's bringing your own tote bag to the grocery store or making your own toothpaste, knock out your reliance on one waste product by making a simple life change. The less trash you make, the more you help the planet.

Switch To Reusable Water Bottles

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Plastic water bottles end up in landfills or the ocean and are terrible for the Earth. Get yourself a reusable water bottle and take it with you everywhere. That way there's no need to ever use a plastic water bottle again.

Join The Climate Literacy Campaign

Mario Tama/Getty Images News/Getty Images

This cause is dedicated to ensuring that every student around the world graduates high school as an environmental and climate literate citizen, ready to take action and be a voice for change.


Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Composting can seem like a big, smelly, messy deal, but it's actually super easy. But if you keep your compost in the freezer, it's not messy or smelly. And if you live in the city, your weekly farmer's market will be happy to take your compost off your hands.

Buy In Bulk

Dylan Rives/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Buying package free bulk food items allow you to get the groceries you need without the waste you don't need. Whole Foods is a great place to go to stock up on package-free pasta, nuts, fruits, grains, and seeds.

Shop Local

John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Whenever possible, buy local food. The less transportation involved in your food sources, the less energy is wasted. It's always good to support local growers and suppliers.

Support The March For Science Rally

Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The March for Science rally will be on Earth Day at the National Mall. It will bring together scientists and supporters to demand that our leaders recognize the scientific truths across all disciplines, including climate change and other environmental issues. If you can't attend, spread the word and learn more here.

Donate To Oxfam America

John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you have the means, donate to Oxfam. They help farmers in developing countries adapt to climate change by providing relevant resources.