Since its inaugural celebration in 1970, Earth Day has grown from a moment into a movement. Every April 22 the world comes together to both honor our planet and push for its protection. Of course, preserving our environment  - our home - is something that needs to happen all year round.

Here are fifteen simple ways to help preserve our beautiful Texas (along with everywhere else):

Reduce Single-Use Plastics

Plastic grocery bags require millions of barrels of oil to manufacture, emitting harmful chemicals, harming aquatic life, and annoying adhering to the underside of your car. Try reusable bags.

Use Renewable Energy

Whether you're powering your home or business, you’ve got options: wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower. For what it’s worth, Texas dominates wind energy production in the USA. Let this be a point of pride and flaunt to everyone you know, while simultaneously having solar panels installed on your roof.

Plant Trees

Maybe it sounds cliché but planting trees is one of the most notable ways to care for our planet. Trees provide food, shelter, and oxygen to all manner of creatures.

Compost

Set up a tiny corner in your yard to compost kitchen scraps and yard cuttings. Composting reduces landfill waste and contributes valuable nutrients to the environment.

Reduce Paper Usage

Use online billing services. Save paper, save trees. Free up your mail drawer for trinkets and candy.

Pack Reusable Containers

Stay hydrated with a reusable water container. Find your favorite color and dress it up with stickers. Just steer clear of single-use plastic bottles and utensils, those equally naughty cousins of plastic bags.

Conserve Electricity

Turn off the lights. Flipping the switch when you leave a room conserves energy. Saves you dollars too.

Protect Pollinators

Bees, butterflies, and their pollinating cohorts are integral to our ecosystem. Use natural alternatives in place of conventional pesticides to protect their habitats.

Eat Less Meat

Seems a taboo thing to say here in Texas with all our platters of burgers and barbecue. But plant-based diets are healthier and more energy-efficient for both the planet and the human body.

Recycle & Reuse

Paper, plastic, glass, metal - toss it in the recycling bins. If this isn't a convenient option, practice reusing what you can. The point is to minimize waste and reduce consumption.

Buy Local

Shopping locally cuts down on fuel consumption, air pollution, food waste, and the need for shipping/packing facilities. Plus it means investing in your own hometown economy. Contact the Abilene Farmers’ Market and the Abilene Fresh Market via Facebook for local produce.

Conserve Water

Take shorter showers, choose water-efficient appliances, and possibly even give into the baking summer sun and not water your lawn (bonus: your bill will be lower and you won't have to mow).

Support Conservation Efforts

Help protect the natural habitats of wildlife. Pick a cause you feel passionate about. I'm reminded of my teenage years when I longed to be a Greenpeace activist.

Reduce Fuel Emissions

Can't afford an electric vehicle? Look for opportunities to walk, bike, ride the bus, or carpool.

Educate & Advocate

Stay informed about the issues. Do your part to support leaders in the ongoing movement to care for and protect our home planet.

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Every Day is Earth Day: Caring for the Planet in Texas (and everywhere else)

Ways to celebrate Earth Day and protect our home.

Gallery Credit: Jana Keyes

This article is an update to Earth Day is April 22nd: 10 Ways to Care for Our Planet All Year Long.

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