EARTH DAY EVERY DAY TIPS

Waste Reduction: “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

  • 30-Minute Clean-up Challenge for 30 days in April to celebrate KTMB’s 30th anniversary and to celebrate Earth Day, every day! (#KTMB30, #trashtagreno)
  • Always remember that the cheapest and greenest products are what you don’t use. When shopping, look for items packaged in sustainable packaging! Check out Black Rock Refill, curator of eco-friendly goods in Reno. https://www.blackrockrefill.com
  • Food and Yard waste are the #1 thing we throw away in Washoe County. Start your own home composting or contact Down to Earth Composting to learn more!
  • In the past four years, two million single-use plastic bags per minute have been distributed across the globe. Recent bag bills have resulted in as much as 85% reduction of single-use plastic bags where enacted. Bring your own reusable tote bag or opt for paper bags!
  • Pack a green lunch! Make the easy transition packing your lunches using reusable bags and water bottles.  Use reusable utensils instead of disposable plastic utensils! Most plastic utensils are made out of polystyrene #6, a hard-to-recycle type of plastic. Of the 40 billion disposable utensils used every year, only a tiny portion is recycled. 
  • Skip the straw! Over 500 million plastic straws are used each day in the United States. Most people don’t think about the plastic straw and are shocked to learn that plastic straws are not recycled. 
  • Save a tree!  Every time you recycle a pile of papers a yard high, you save a tree from the chop. Use can also use cloth towels and rags instead of paper towels! Did you know that the United States is the number one user of paper towels in the world? 
  • It’s staggering how much food the average household throws away. Studies show that we buy more food if we shop when hungry. So eat before you shop! Combine that with a proper shopping list will help you to buy only what you need and reduce costs and food waste.

Water Conservation: The amount of water on Earth is constant, and continually recycled over time: some of the water you drink will have passed through a dinosaur

  • If you’re starting to plan for springtime planting, check out TMWA’s regionally-focused Water Efficient Landscape Guide for water-smart ideas HERE to find out about native and water-efficient plants in your yard use less water.  
  • Find it and fix it! An old leaky toilet flapper wastes upwards of 100,000 gallons of water. Leaky faucets and hoses can also be a problem. Find it and fix it! Learn more at www.smartaboutwater.com 
  • Did you know that groundwater makes up 30% of Nevada’s water supply? Automotive Products can pollute groundwater. Always dispose of automotive products at hazardous waste facilities. Check out KTMB’s guide for proper disposal information at https://ktmb.org/recycle/
  • Did you know that groundwater is the primary drinking water source for approximately 90% of Nevada’s public water systems? Inspect your septic system annually and pump it out regularly. Visit the EPA’s guide HERE. 
  • Did you know that there are approximately 600 public water systems in Nevada most of which use groundwater? Never pour toxic chemicals down any drain or dispose of them in the toilet. Flushing these products down the drain is also detrimental to septic systems and sewage treatment plants.
  • Always follow instructions for pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. Proper handling and disposal of these products keeps them out of groundwater and will protect drinking water in Nevada’s communities. 

Energy Conservation

  • Using fluorescent bulbs continuously contributes less mercury to the environment than using regular incandescent bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs use less electricity, and coal-fired power plants are the most significant source of mercury emissions in the air.
  • Lead with LED! LED lighting uses 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs and contains no mercury!
  • Keep it sealed! Cover food in your fridge or freezer with a lid or plate rather than foil or plastic wrap. This stops the food from drying out but prevents condensation and ice build up on the walls of the appliance, which uses more energy.
  • PowerShift by NV Energy helps customers save with a free Online Home Energy Assessment. This interactive tool provides a breakdown of your usage by an appliance, bill comparisons, with useful energy and money saving tips. Visit Powershift by NV Energy for details.
  • Replace older appliances with more energy efficient, ENERGY STAR appliances. Labels on these appliances will tell you how efficient they are and how much the cost will be to run. These adjustments will save you around 25% on your yearly energy bill.
  • Using wool or rubber dry balls will help separate your clothes and get more air distribution. The wool balls help absorb some moisture and further cut drying time. Visit blackrockrefill.com for other green alternatives!

Air Quality

  • Healthy families walk, ride, or skate to school for less driving to reduce air pollution. Every four-mile trip by bike rather than car prevents around 15 pounds of air pollution. You can also join a carpool or vanpool by visiting rtcwashoe.greenride.com. 
  • Sunlight+Nitrogen Oxides+Volatile Organic Compounds=Ozone! Reduce emissions that form ozone by driving less, refuel at night, keep tires properly inflated, keep your engine tuned, and be idle free. For more information on greening your commute, go to rtcwashoe.com 
  • Vehicles are the largest source of pollution in Washoe County. One way to keep it clean in Nevada is to be a smog spotter. Go to smogspotter.com for more information!
  • If you own or are planning to purchase an electric vehicle, NV Energy offers a special Electric Vehicle Time-Of-Use-Rate. This discounted rate is applied during off-peak hours between 10:01 pm – 8 am for charging your electric vehicle.

Other ways to save the Earth

  • Opt outside! Parks and other “green” environments can generally reduce stress and anxiety, ease depression, reduce attention deficit symptoms, and promote overall mental health.
  • Cook smart! Cooking meals from scratch is a healthier, more efficient option than buying processed food. Visit your local farmers market for fresh produce. The Riverside Farmers Market runs every Saturday morning from 9-noon at the McKinley Arts Center parking lot. 
  • Be informed. Subscribe to local and regional government mailing lists and attend community meetings, so you know about the plans and policies affecting your neighborhood, city, and region.
  • Be heard. Engage with your community and business leaders to advocate for environmentally sustainable and resilient homes, business practices, and infrastructure.
  • Work Saturday. Celebrate Sunday! Great Community Cleanup April 27th and then Celebrate all of your hard work on April 28th during the Truckee Meadows Earth Day. Visit tmearthday.com for details.

Thank you to all the partners who helped in creating and promoting the idea that Earth Day is Every Day!