Through actions big and small, we all can celebrate Earth Day, every day. Here are 10 tips to help you do it.
Earth Day is a day when many people look for ways to make changes in their own lives to live greener. Many environmental agencies and conservation groups offer simple, practical advice; we've compiled some of the best into the following 10 tips and reminders that can help anyone to celebrate Earth day the right way.
- Follow the 3 R's. Look for ways you can Reduce, Reuse and Recycle throughout your home, which saves natural resources, energy and money, and reduces waste sent to landfills. At Abbott, we're following these same principles across our operations – and as a result, we now have 23 "zero waste to landfill" sites around the world.
- Conserve energy at home. From turning off lights and electronics when not in use, to using a programmable thermostat, to changing your air filter regularly, there are many small things you can do to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while saving money on your utility bills. For more ideas, click here and here.
- Reduce paper waste and junk mail. Think twice before printing things at work and home. You can reduce your mail by using online payment options that avoid paper bills. And there are services that will remove your name from unwanted mailing lists to reduce junk mail.
- Recycle your electronics. Perhaps your trash is someone else's treasure. Your old, unused or broken computers, tablets, phones and other electronics can often be recycled for free by stores, manufacturers and local governments (procedures vary, so check yours for details) – which saves natural resources and reduces air and water pollution at the same time.
- Give your car a break. Whether you're commuting to work or running errands, there's often many ways to leave your car at home, even a few times a week. Walk, ride a bike, carpool or take public transportation – you'll save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and often get more exercise and enjoy the time that you're not behind the wheel.
- Turn off the tap. Whether you're brushing your teeth, washing dishes or taking a shower, turn off the water when not needed. This is an area where our employees have played an important role – finding new ways to save water across Abbott.
- Replace your bulbs. Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) and LED bulbs may cost more than incandescent bulbs, but they will save money over the long run, last longer and use 70-90 percent less energy.
- Bring your own bags to the store. Use a backpack or bag from home, or buy reusable bags that you can keep in your car and use over & over – so you won't have to use paper or plastic at the store. And in some cases, reusing even saves you cash.
- Buy local. Buying local produce and other items reduces shipping distances from food sourced overseas, and also supports local businesses and communities. One example at Abbott: we set a goal to locally source up to 80 percent of ingredients we use for our nutrition products in India.
- Act local. Get involved in environmental work in your local community. Local schools, governments and non-profit organizations often offer opportunities for volunteers to get involved in cleaning up parks, restoring habitat and other efforts to make communities greener.
For more information on Earth Day, and for additional environmental tips, visit the Earth Day Network, www.earthday.org.
For more examples of how Abbott is protecting the environment, click here. For information on our broader work to build a healthier, thriving society, please visit our global citizenship website at: www.abbott.com/citizenship.