From the awe-inspiring shimmer of Siberia’s Lake Baikal, to the jaw-dropping crystal-clear blue of Oregon’s Crater Lake, to the spectacular glacial Lake Wakatipu, nestled in a rugged New Zealand mountain range, our planet is filled with marvel and majesty. Thickets of forest, vast mountain landscapes, prairies and meadows stretching to the horizon - such is the astounding beauty of planet Earth. Look around, take it all in, and ask yourself: “What can I do to protect, preserve, and nurture our planet and its natural treasures?”
Nature heals and soothes. It nourishes. It holds all living beings in its care. On this Earth Day - and every day – let us resolve to do our part in protecting Mother Earth.
Here are 10 things we can do to protect our planet:
If you live near a lake, creek, river, or stream, help stem the flow of contaminants into water bodies by planting trees and shrubs to prevent soil erosion. Eroding soil can wash into storm drains, carrying contaminants with it. Plant hardy, native plants that require little or no watering. Plants with deep roots will help keep soil in place and will distribute water into the ground, helping to recharge groundwater resources.
Be careful what you pour down the drain! Never pour chemicals, paint, oil, household cleaners, pesticides, or medicines down the drain or flush them in the toilet. These hazardous chemicals will eventually make their way to nearby waterways, jeopardizing water quality and contributing to the development of harmful algal blooms.
Excess fertilizer on your lawn and garden can be washed into stormwater drains, which then carry the chemicals into local waterways and fuel the development of toxic algal blooms. Do your part by limiting the use of fertilizers and herbicides on your lawn. Consider using slow-release fertilizers and improving the health of your landscape over time instead of using large amounts. But keep in mind that even organic fertilizers contain nitrogen and phosphorus, which can contribute to harmful algal blooms in nearby waterways. This is why limited use is so important.
Reduce your carbon footprint by making your home more energy efficient. Switch to energy-efficient appliances, use LED light bulbs, wash laundry in cold water, and replace oil or gas furnaces with an electric heat pump. You not only save money on your monthly energy bills but may even get some money back in the form of tax credits! In the U.S., the new federal climate law known as the Inflation Reduction Act increases the Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit from $500 to $1200 for qualified improvements.
Going solar is another money saver that will also help reduce your carbon footprint. You can install solar panels on your roof or, if that’s not feasible, you may be able to subscribe to a local community solar program. Both options allow you to save on your monthly energy bills while feeding power back to the electric grid. You may even qualify for a tax credit!
If you’re in the market for a new car, consider buying an electric vehicle (EV). As more manufacturers produce EVs, less expensive models are coming onto the market. The Inflation Reduction Act offers tax credits and incentives for EVs, battery storage, and battery charging stations. You may qualify for a tax credit of up to $7,500 if you meet certain requirements.
Adopt a local storm drain and pledge to keep it clear of leaves, trash and other debris. Storm drains help manage water and prevent flooding. When water can’t flow, it stagnates and spreads contaminates.
Think of all the things we buy: clothing, electronics, furniture, everyday household items - all produce carbon emissions at some point, from manufacturing to transporting the products to market. The United Nations estimates every kilogram of textiles produced generates about 17 kilograms of CO2 equivalent. Do your part in helping to reduce harmful emissions by repairing, reusing, and recycling. You’ll save money and help save the planet in the process!
Help reduce GHG emissions by reducing your use of gas-burning vehicles.
Walk, bike, or use public transportation when you can. You’ll get exercise, save gas money, and help reduce GHG emissions at the same time!
Install rain barrels to collect water and help reduce stormwater runoff into the watershed. Runoff can be contaminated with pollutants, which can lead to the creation of harmful algal blooms. The added bonus? You can use the water you’ve collected to water your lawn and garden, helping to conserve Earth’s most precious natural resource!
We hope you’ll consider adopting all 10 recommendations for helping to protect our planet and reduce the impacts of climate change. The theme for Earth Day 2023 is Invest in Our Planet. That is what we at BlueGreen Water Technologies are doing: investing in solutions, investing in communities, investing our time, sweat, and money into cleaning up harmful algal blooms, healing water, and helping to remove the primary driver of climate change. On this Earth Day, we pledge to continue our hard work and do our part in helping to save the planet.