Top 10 Ways To Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Revitalize our Earth

Sydney Lee  |   Monday Apr. 1st, 2024

We’ve all heard the term Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, but have you thought about what that really means? Opportunities to positively impact our environment are more simple and accessible than many people think, and a few small changes in everyday life can result in a long-term positive effect on our planet. As Earth Day approaches, we can reconsider the choices we make now with regard to our future. Check out these top ten ways you can help the Earth, starting today.

Ride Your Bike
The weather is warming up and springtime is just around the corner. It’s the perfect time to pull your bike out of the garage, clean off the dust, and fill up the tires for a ride this April. Not only does this decision impact the environment, it also improves your health and wellness. Something as simple as taking your bike to work each day can boost air quality and keep Bozeman’s blue skies bright and visible. If riding a bike isn’t the best option for you, take a look at carpooling or public transportation to reduce emissions this Earth Day.

Shop at Local Farmers’ Markets
One of the 2024 Bozeman farmers’ markets kicks off June 18th and runs through September 10th at Lindley Park. Here, you can get everything you need for some delicious springtime meals. Shopping at local farmers markets impacts the environment in a multitude of ways. The reduced use of plastics, less waste due to spoilage of foods during travel time, and a decrease in emissions while in transport all combine to significantly affect our environment in a positive way. At bozemanfarmersmarket.org you can check out a list of vendors and their offerings to find something that appeals to you. Don’t forget the Saturday Market at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds from 9 am – 12 pm, and the Livingston market Wednesday afternoons. Big Sky and Manhattan also offer weekly farmers’ markets.

Reduce Use of Single-Use Plastics
Reusable water bottles are all the rage right now. Everywhere you look, people are staying hydrated with the latest popular brand. While this is great for the environment, it’s important to recognize all the additional ways we can reduce single-use plastics. Carrying a reusable grocery bag is a great example, and many stores provide a credit when they’re used. Forgoing a straw, or bringing your own washable straw with you when you go out is a great start. Being mindful of what you buy and how much waste is associated with each product can benefit us all.

Go Paperless
An easy way to help the environment with Earth Day coming up is to log in to your computer and switch your communication preferences to paperless. Going paperless helps the trees by lessening deforestation. It also reduces emissions from the transportation generated by bills being delivered to you month after month for each correspondence. You can go paperless in other ways too, like taking advantage of technology. Switching from a monthly print calendar to an online system can make all the difference. Banking online, unsubscribing to unnecessary junk mail, and keeping online notes and records all seem like small acts, but when combined, they make a big difference to our planet.

Compost and Garden
For an at-home way to help the planet, consider starting your own garden, and composting. Planting a garden is fun and rewarding, providing you with food that tastes delicious. In addition, you can fertilize your garden with your own food waste, putting it to good use rather than into the trash. 

Plant a Tree
Perfect for the whole family, early spring is the best time to plant a tree. The cool, wet weather allows the tree to establish roots and thrive in its new home. Not only do trees provide oxygen, they are also vital to wildlife habitat. Adding trees to an approved area or your own backyard helps the planet for years to come. Enjoy the warming weather and springtime outdoors by planting trees with family and friends to celebrate Earth Day this year!

Volunteer for a Highway Clean Up
Another great option to enjoy the outdoors while still making a difference is to volunteer for a highway clean up. While you can volunteer as an individual for dedicated roadside cleanups, groups and programs can also get involved through the Adopt-A-Highway program. This program involves a two-year agreement between the group and the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) during which the roadside is cleaned twice per year by the group. The MDT supplies most of the necessary equipment to keep volunteers safe and efficient during clean up. This opportunity not only saves taxpayers money, but also keeps Montana and the planet clean. 

Cut Back on Meat
As Montanans, meat can be a big part of our diet. Even cutting back one day can reduce the negative impact the industry has on our environment. Not only is it expensive, it also results in a high amount of emissions that negatively impact the atmosphere. If meat is too big a part of your diet to cut back on, try shopping locally as often as possible. Luckily, our Bozeman Farmers’ Markets have options for you to check out.

Support Pollination
As you get started on planting your garden, make sure to consider pollinators while doing so. Including native plants in available spaces encourages pollination, a necessary part of our planet’s health. Pollinators, like birds, bees, and butterflies carry pollen from one place to another. This allows flowering plants to reproduce. Flowering plants are more than just roses and daisies; we rely on them for food, directly and indirectly. So, this Earth Day, consider mixing fruits, vegetables, and beautiful native flowers all in the same plot. This helps pollen travel far and wide, and keeps our planet healthy and thriving.

Conserve Water
The first and best way to conserve water is to check your home for functioning equipment. Making sure your toilets don’t run and that your faucets don’t leak can save thousands of gallons of water each month. The next way to save on water is to make different choices every day. A shorter shower, or turning off the faucet as you brush your teeth helps save water year after year. Conserving water can be easy and impactful, without too much change in your lifestyle.

Celebrate this Earth Day on Monday, April 22nd by adding some of these options to your daily routine. Many of these not only benefit our planet, but your individual health and wellness tool. Even one change can result in a domino effect of positive impacts on the environment. Together, we can breathe new life into Montana and the planet, and restore its beauty in honor of Earth Day. 

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