Earth Day 2021: Easy ways to reduce waste, help restore the planet

Local News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Every year on April 22, people around the world do their part to address threats to our environment, ranging from climate change to plastic pollution.

Earth Day was founded in 1970 to raise public awareness about environmental concerns plaguing the planet. This year’s Earth Day theme is “Restore our Earth.”

Sustainability is one of the biggest issues facing the world today. The average American throws away 70 pounds of clothing each year. This is why repurposing is a great tool to help the environment.

Last year, Goodwill Industries of the Valleys kept over 11 million pounds of material out of local landfills. Instead of tossing items you no longer need or use, donate them to Goodwill to reduce waste.

“When you donate, you’re giving those items that you might no longer need, but somebody else might like, and then those funds are helping to support our mission,” said Chelsea Moran, marketing and public relations manager for Goodwill Industries of the Valleys. “It’s just a big circle when you donate you’re giving back not only to the environment, but you’re able to give back to your community.”

In the United States, each person generates at least 4.51 pounds of waste per day. It’s important to be mindful of how you dispose of your garbage.

According to the Clean Valley Council, by speaking to your kids at an early age about the environment, you can groom them into Earth-aware adults.

“It helps to put into practice good behaviors later and I think it helps when we also talk with our children about the impact it can make on animals and their environment,” said Courtney Carter Plaster, Executive Director of the Clean Valley Council.

Here are some simple tips you can follow at home to reduce waste:

  • Use reusable bottles, cups, and straws
  • Use your own grocery bags when shopping
  • Buy in bulk
  • Compost

In fact, since the theme for Earth Day 2021 is “Restore Our Earth,” EarthDay.org has 51 suggestions for people interested in making a difference and restoring the planet any day of the year.

For more educational activities, virtual events, etc. in honor of Earth Day, click here.

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