Kids Hope Alliance News Story Teaser Image
Five Sustainable Habits to Start Incorporating into Your Life
April 24, 2024
Although every day is Earth Day, we dedicate April 22nd of each year to show our support for protecting the environment.

How Earth Day Came to 

Fifty-four years ago, the first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. Senator Gaylord Nelson recruited young activist Denis Hayes to put together some efforts to raise awareness about air and water pollution. Earth Day 1970 was a huge success and continues to be the largest secular day of protest in the world. We continue to celebrate this special day every year. In honor of Earth Day 2024, here are five sustainable habits that I hope you consider incorporating into your life. 

Invest in a Reusable Water Bottle 

I started using reusable water bottles when I was in high school. Someone gave my dad a water machine and he would fill up the water jugs at Publix, so we could fill our water bottles up at home. Years later, we still use that machine. To this day, it has the best tasting water I’ve ever had.  

Taste aside, having a reusable water bottle is a great idea for so many reasons. For one, it saves money. Instead of buying cases of single use water bottles, you can get a water machine, like my dad, and fill up your jugs once a week. Or even easier, you can get a water pitcher/dispenser that filters the water straight from your kitchen sink! My sister and I currently use a Brita dispenser, and it is very hassle-free. Reusable bottles are easy to keep up with because pretty much every public location has water machines on site. So, go ahead and get a reusable bottle so you can save the planet, and your wallet.

Eat All Your Food 

Your parents had a point when they stressed how important it is to not throw away your food. Not only is food waste a humanitarian concern, but it’s also something that has a negative affect on our planet. About 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted globally each year. That’s a stifling number considering starvation is still an issue, but that’s a discussion for another day. When food is wasted, the energy and resources it took to produce the food is wasted as well. When food ends up rotting in landfills, it produces methane, a greenhouse gas more powerful than carbon dioxide. 

To avoid contributing to this issue, here are some practices to start incorporating: 

Make a shopping list: Winging it at the grocery store can lead to a lot of unnecessary purchases, and even over purchasing. Before you go shopping, see what you actually need to buy, and buy things you will actually eat. 

Pay attention to items with a shorter lifespan: If you buy a lot of fresh produce, meat, or seafood, make sure you’re keeping up with it. Sometimes it can be tempting to stock up on fresh items, but if you know you won’t be eating it all, it’s ok to cut back. You can also consider freezing items to prolong their lifespan.  

Be mindful and creative: When preparing your meals, don’t make more than you can eat before it goes bad. If you don’t like leftovers, avoid them by preparing smaller portions. If you have to deal with unwanted leftovers, try your best to re-construct them into a new meal. And if you have produce that is over-ripening, make them into smoothies, juices, jams, baked good, soups, stocks, etc.  

Utilize Reusable Bags When Grocery Shopping 

Reusable shopping bags are great because they are affordable, durable, hold a lot of groceries, and best of all, help reduce the use of single-use plastic bags. Plastic bags are filling up landfills and flooding into oceans because they take between 20 and 50 years to decompose. This pollution is killing wildlife by poisoning, trapping, and choking them.  

Another pollution issue we encounter is micro plastics making their way into our soil, food, and water. This happens as plastic is decomposing and large pieces of plastic break into smaller ones, traveling through the ecosystem and food chain.  

Developing the habit of using reusable bags may take some time, but after a while, it will become your norm. And you’ll be a sustainability superstar. 

Eat Less Meat 

Please hear me out on this one. Although all food production uses resources, meat and dairy production has the largest impact on our environment. It requires immense amounts of land, feed, water, and energy to raise animals to feed billions of people. Almost 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the production of livestock, eggs, and dairy. More greenhouse gas is produced from livestock production than the entire global transportation industry.  

To help grasp the facts stated above, here’s an illustration from The Monday Campaigns: If everyone in New York City chose a (soy) veggie burger instead of a ¼ lb. beef burger for Meatless Monday, it would save the equivalent CO2 emissions from charging 2.6 billion smart phones. 

That’s why reducing the amount of meat you consume, even if it’s for one day a week, can make a difference. I challenge you to start participating in Meatless Monday. After getting used to it, you may even start doing more meatless days!  

Consume Less 

If you were to go through everything you own, I wonder what you would find. Do you use many of your items on a regular basis? Are you noticing a lot of clutter? Do you own a lot of pointless stuff?  

It’s so easy to buy things we don’t need, or even really want. But I suggest being more mindful when you go shopping. Take time to think about how the item you’re planning on buying will add value to your life. Actually use what you already have. Consider participating in activities that don’t require you to keep buying things. Lastly, I would suggest window shopping! It’s ok to walk around the store and enjoy what you see, but not make any purchases. At the very least, you’d be saving money.


I made a lot of suggestions in this blog post. Some may be more difficult to incorporate than others. But even if you start practicing one sustainable habit, you’ll be doing your part in making a difference for our planet.  

“There is no planet B. We have to take care of the one we have.”-Richard Branson  

By: Madison Beckford