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Earth Month: Tips for going green this April

April 22 is Earth Day, but the entire month of April is now recognized as Earth Month.

“I think it really is a chance to connect with Mother Earth, to bring awareness to environmental issues and to think about the choices we make that affect the planet,” said Jessica Correa, CEO and founder of environmental advocacy organization Random Acts of Green.

Correa said to give people some green ideas, they’ve launched a program coined Mother Earth’s Emoji Challenge.

“The main question is if Mother Earth were to react to us with an emoji, like if she were to laugh or cry or be angry, which one would she choose,” said Correa. “The whole purpose of the challenge is to make Mother Earth feel loved.”

Examples of the activities include: rethink your purchases, leave the leaves, repair an item, swap two wasteful products, try four vegan meals and learn about two animals.

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She said you can join online, take the challenge pledge and when you complete a task, upload the photo and tag Random Acts of Green.

“People think it has to be all or nothing, but you can do little things that seem small but when we put them all together it creates that ripple effect,” she said.

Correa said that with people spending more time at home due to the pandemic, it can be a good chance to add sustainable practices into your day. She said some ideas could be to install a rain barrel or composter, plant a vegetable garden or put up a clothesline.

“Because we are at home things like air drying your laundry have become a lot easier,” she said.

“It can actually be therapeutic to hang your clothes as well,” said Correa. “It makes you take breaks and get outside while you hang your clothes there.”

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At Peterborough GreenUP, a non-profit environmental organization, there are a number of sustainable products that can be used as alternatives to wasteful items.

“One I really like are the unpaper towels,” said program and resource co-ordinator Kristen LaRocque.

“They are locally made and machine washable so you can use them over and over,” she said. “They replace your single-use paper towels.”

She said a good way to make some easy changes is to think about items you often replace and explore reusable or refillable options instead.

“We have this soap made my Simply Natural Canada,” said LaRocque. “It is made with natural ingredients and you can refill the container instead of buying another item.”

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Correa said if you’re spring cleaning, ask yourself if you can repair an item before you toss it and donate what you can.

She also said it is important to spend time outdoors.

“We have all been getting a lot of screen time lately, be sure to get back outside and connect with nature.”

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