Happy Earth Day! What better way to celebrate, than by doing attainable things to beautify it.

If we want to keep the environment in which we live lush and beautiful, we need take care of it by doing little things in our daily lives. Slight changes in your daily routine are very impactful over time.   We’ve compiled actionable items that you (yes you!) can start or continue doing pretty easily. Yes, we make building easy, and we make being earth-friendly easy too.

Reduce the amount of plastic in your life and recycle what you do use. Plastic is everywhere, unfortunately, it’s not good for our environment. It does not break down over time, so it sits there filling up our landfills. How can you help?

  • Reduce. Seek out options that allow you to minimize your plastic consumption. Go for the glass or cardboard. Heck, they even make “bottle water” in cardboard now!
  • Reuse. Planning a trip to the grocery store? Say not thanks to the single-use plastic bags, and bring reusable grocery bags, I keep mine right in my trunk so they’re always with me.
  • Recyle. This should be a no-brainer. If you must use plastic, make sure you recycle it (most types can be!). Not sure what to recycle? Use this helpful guide with pictures! If you have kids (or if you’d like a more constant reminder yourself!), you could even print this and post it next to your recycling bin.
Image via Boxed Water Is Better.

Keep tabs on your carbon footprint. NASA states, since the Industrial Revolution began, humans have increased atmospheric Carbon dioxide concentration by more than a third. This is one area of the greenhouse gas pool that you as an individual can really have a dramatic effect on.   So how do you get started?

  • Telecommute or teleconference. If you have the option to forgo the meeting in-person, do it! By working together remotely, you can minimize fuel, emissions and hassle of travel for all involved.
  • Bike, take the bus or carpool to work. The less you can rely on your vehicle, the better. Bonus, if you bike to work, you get the added cardiovascular health benefit.
  • Eat less meat. This one can be a little controversial for some, especially in the Midwest. But, hear me out. If you’re able to eat less beef, you can really do some good for the overall environment. Bonus, it’s better for your health too.  According to Greenpeace, a diet heavy in meat increases the risk of obesity, cancer and heart disease.
  • Shop resale stores for clothing, home décor and books. Your chances of scoring a great find are even better now, thanks to Marie Kondo! By purchasing a resale item, no additional manufacturing took place. So you can feel good about scoring a good deal and helping out Mother Earth!
Image via thredUp & Fast Company.

Be even more energy efficient at home. Yes, all Veridian Homes homes are all certified energy efficient, and we are so proud of that fact. They come with LED light bulbs, energy efficient appliances, premium insulation, programmable thermostats and so much more. But, you can do more!

  • Checking your air filter. Every month, take a peek at your air filter on your furnace. If it gets too gunked up, replace it!  This will ensure it is efficiently pushing clean air throughout your home without strain.
  • Program your thermostat. All Veridian homes feature programmable thermostats, this is a smart and easy way to lessen your energy usage. When you are away, you can turn the heat down a bit in the winter or give the air conditioner a break in the summer.
  • Use less water. Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth or shaving, keep your showers to five minutes or less. Collect rain water for watering your plants, check out this pretty planter rainwater system!
Image via Hayneedle.

Plant all the things! And Compost! Have a green thumb? Great, let’s get planting! No green thumb, don’t worry our friends at the Bruce Company have a great expert blog that shares their tips and tricks with you, AND you can still compost.

  • Plant A Tree. Trees are crucial to our ecosystem, they provide clean air, shade so that grass and other ground plants can grow with less water, and of course they’re just beautiful to look at.  If you buy a $10 membership to the Arbor Day Foundation, they’re offering 10 free flowering trees right now!
  • Create a native rain garden. An easy way to add color to your yard, and sustain native plants, is to plant a native rain garden. Native plants are very accessible and priced well, you can find some nice varieties in Madison at the UW Arboretum’s Native Plant Sale (May 11) and in Milwaukee at the Schlitz Audobon’s Native Plant Sale (June 9).
  • Compost your trash. Keep trash out of the landfills by composting at home. An easy way to do it, is have a small bin indoors for kitchen scraps, like fruits and vegetables, egg shells, coffee grounds, newspaper and small pieces of cardboard. And then transfer to your compost area outdoors, you can find some really nice-looking and affordable bins – check out this guy from Target. Once your compost has been processed, you can use it to fertilize your outdoor plants, win-win.
Image via Flickr.

Clean up your community. Have you heard of the #trashtag Challenge? It is a really cool initiative where normal people get out in their communities and collect litter, sharing on social media with the hashtag #trashtag (#humblebrag). There are also organized groups that do this, think Adopt-A-Highway and county/city park volunteering efforts.

  • Park Clean Up, Madison.  Dane County Parks has a variety of opportunities to get involved with, from Paddle Clean-Ups to full-out Restoration Days, you can find something that strikes your fancy.  Learn more here.
  • Park Clean Up, Milwaukee.
  • Plan a neighborhood event.
Our Milwaukee Team posing for a picture before picking up trash!

Did you see our team out in the neighborhoods on Friday, April 19? We collected multiple bags of trash in 10 neighborhoods throughout greater Madison and greater Milwaukee. #trashtag Challenge accepted. Happy Earth Day!