April 22 marks the 47th anniversary of the founding of the modern environmental movement, more commonly known as Earth Day. It’s a day to celebrate our beautiful planet and a time to promote the importance of creating a clean and sustainable environment.

Climate change and global warming are two of the biggest challenges facing the planet. Rising temperatures have resulted in heavy flooding, severe heat waves, drought, melting ice caps and rising sea levels around the world.

Your Health and the Environment

Looking at the big picture can be overwhelming. So, let’s bring it down a few notches and focus on how the environment directly affects your health. Water, land and air pollution caused by toxic emissions, illegal dumping and other activities can cause heart disease, cancer, cystic fibrosis, respiratory infections and other serious health conditions and diseases. Hopefully, those are incentive enough to pitch in.

Go Green

Earth Day 2017You’ve probably heard about the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Hopefully, you already do these things at home, school and in the office. But why limit yourself? Try some of these fun and easy ways to go green. After all, every little bit helps.

  • Get moving. Kansas City is a definitely a car-friendly town. Getting from Point A to Point B in our sprawling city is almost impossible without one. Still, try taking an alternate form of transportation from time to time. With a little planning, RideKC can pretty much get you anywhere you want to go. Bicycling is gaining in popularity, and carpooling never goes out of style. And, of course, we can always put one foot in front of the other and walk.
  • Dig in. Test out your green thumb by growing a garden. Start simple with peppers, potatoes and tomatoes. If you don’t have room for a garden, you still have options. Container gardens are easy to care for and don’t take up much space. Or, join a community garden.
  • Eat local. Farmers Market season is here. Fresh produce is tastier and healthier than anything you’ll find in the grocery store. Seek out area farmers who don’t use chemicals on their crops and who are kind to their animals. If you enjoy eating out and want to support local farmers, try some of the farm-to-table restaurants around town.
  • Clean Green. Another easy way to help the environment is to swap out chemical-laden cleaners for ones with safer, less toxic ingredients. Not only do they help the environment, they also help your health.

Finally, books are considered the modern gift for a 47th wedding anniversary celebration. We figured they could work for an Earth Day celebration, too. Check out these Earth Day reading recommendations.