5 Eco-friendly Earth Day Swaps to Consider this Year

5 Eco-friendly Earth Day Swaps to Consider this Year

(NC) Living a more sustainable life is something many of us aim for year-round, but Earth Day, which falls on April 22nd every year, provides an annual reminder of what we can do to help the environment. Here are five ideas of sustainable swaps for your day-to-day life to help you get started.

Switch to solids
Many of us use various liquid soaps to clean dishes and laundry, and to wash our hair or body. But most of these liquid suds come in plastic containers and are watered down. Save the expense and reduce extra plastic waste by opting for bar soaps instead. There are bars made for dishes, and there are dissolvable sheets of soap for the laundry machine. Check your local health food store if your grocery store doesn’t stock them. And don’t worry – there are shampoo bars made specifically for different hair types, so you won’t destroy your mane.

Lose the old lightbulbs
If you haven’t changed out old incandescent lightbulbs for the LED variety yet, know that energy-efficient certified LEDs last 15 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use 90 percent less energy. If you tried them long ago and found them too harsh, look again. There are more warm tones of light to choose from than when they first came on the scene. Look for the “lumens” value to see how bright it will be rather than the wattage – the higher the lumens, the brighter the light.

Ditch disposables and duplicates
Many of us often grab single-use, disposable products, like a takeout coffee cup or a cotton swab. But these short-lived products only add to our waste. While some are biodegradable, it’s still best for the environment when we create less waste overall. So, swap in cloth bags, metal straws, glass food containers, washable cotton swabs, reusable water bottles and so on. But also keep an eye on how many reusable products you buy, too. Donate items that you rarely use, and resist the temptation to buy more.

Consider e-receipts
How often do you buy something, take your receipt and then toss the paper out, whether right when you get home or months down the line? Next time you’re shopping, consider saying no to a paper receipt – much of this paper has a coating that can’t be recycled. And the less paper we need to recycle, the better. Retailers are increasingly offering to email receipts, so you can still keep a record of the transaction. Having the digital copy makes it easy to find if you need to do a return, too. If you’re a business owner, give customers the option for an e-receipt before they have to ask – you’ll save on paper, too.

Opt for electric
Many of us must rely on a car or truck for work or life activities. If that’s you, consider the pros and cons of investing in an electric vehicle (EV). EVs can make a big difference to your carbon footprint and save you money on gas day-to-day. Compared across their life cycles, they are more environmentally friendly than gas or diesel. And you might be surprised at how much charging networks and battery range have improved in recent years.

If that sounds like an expensive swap, check out incentive programs for EVs. The Government of Canada offers incentives on the purchase or lease of light-duty vehicles for individuals and families through the Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles program. Businesses and other organizations looking to swap out larger commercial vehicles can check out the Incentives for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicles program for rebates on electric or plug-in hybrid vans, trucks, coach buses and more. These incentives are applied by the dealer when you buy the vehicle, and they can be combined with other applicable rebates.

Find more information on both of these programs by searching zero-emission vehicles on canada.ca.

If you live in the United States like I do, I asked Copilot
“Does the US Government offer incentives on the purchase or lease of light-duty vehicles for individuals?”
This is the answer I received.
Yes, the U.S. Government offers incentives for individuals on the purchase or lease of light-duty vehicles, particularly electric vehicles (EVs). Under the Inflation Reduction Act, consumers may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $7,500 for new electric vehicles assembled in North America. This credit also applies to used or previously owned cars, and there is a new commercial clean vehicle credit for businesses¹. Additionally, various states offer their own electric vehicle tax credits, rebates, incentives, and exemptions, which can be combined with federal incentives².

For more detailed information on these incentives and to determine the eligibility of specific vehicles, you can refer to resources provided by the Department of Transportation and Department of Energy¹. It’s important to check the latest guidelines, as these incentives can change and may have specific requirements regarding the vehicle’s assembly location and other criteria¹.

Source: Conversation with Bing, 4/4/2024
(1) Treasury Releases Initial Information on Electric Vehicle Tax Credit
(2) Every electric vehicle tax credit rebate available, by state
(5) Public Fleets | Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.

Just thought it would be interesting to add, what is available about EV here in the USA. Personally, I want to buy a Tesla! 😀 I have a sister who already has one and loves hers!

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Owner & creator of Overall Beauty Minerals - vegan mineral makeup line. Beauty blogger, writer of articles about pretty much anything to do with beauty, with product reviews. Lover of guinea pigs, supporter of no-kill shelters for small animals.
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