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Make a difference this Earth Day and every day.

Even though the earth is essential to support us year round, we only dedicate one day to reflect on how we’re treating our planet. This Earth Day, as we brace ourselves for another year of extreme weather and wildfires exacerbated by climate change, we can’t afford to ignore our predicament.

Grab some headphones and listen to the Spotify playlist of Earth Day Blues while you read on. It’s a curated mix tape of music to inspire you to care for the planet. I’ve mixed together some of my personal favorite SF Bay Area musicians with popular artists, all within an eclectic acoustic bluesy folky groove. Music is medicine in these times.

In the aftermath of two huge hurricanes and more than 100 immense wildfires in the western U.S., none of us can afford to ignore the issue.

Some blues you can use to inspire action for Earth Day today, and every day.

Nearly everything we do produces the carbon dioxide that leads to climate change. Every person and business can be part of the solution. Doing so eases the deluge of frightening environmental news. What follows is a list of ways you can make a difference this Earth Day — and every day.

Simple daily actions help us stay connected to the issue. Start there and build on that.

1. Get outside and connect with the planet

Earth Day Treehugger

The easiest way to increase your connection to the planet is to see, smell, taste and touch it — literally. Go outside to appreciate plants, trees, flowers and animals on a regular basis. Studies show that even short “green breaks” benefit productivity and reduce attention deficits. Long ago, I learned from a college professor of deep ecology about the value of daily walks to the same location. Observing changes the seasons bring to one place gave me a sense of wonder and reverence for the miracles in nature. It’s a great alternative to sitting meditation for people who work indoors most of the day. Make time and space for yourself, employees and kids to get some air. Build time into schedules for breaks or days off to enjoy nature.

2. Take Responsibility for Your Waste Impact

Reduce the environmental footprint of your business. Recycling is important, but reducing your use of resources — including avoiding plastic altogether — is more efficient.

Simple actions add up.

I found that building on small consistent actions feels better than taking on too much at once. For more than a decade, I’ve carried my own coffee cup and shopping bags. I refused plastic straws and bags whenever possible.

Earth Day Recycle

I’ve saved thousands of disposables from landfills by doing this. I appreciate businesses that offer easy ways to avoid unnecessary waste, and there are many consumers like me who will notice, if you do, too. Do what you can, and don’t stress.

Become aware of your own carbon footprint and reduce your impact.

 

California offers a small business carbon footprint calculator that makes it easy. The state even offers a Funding Wizard for financial incentives, grants, and rebates to make upgrades affordable. As we approach this Earth Day, do some research to find out what resources and incentives your state offers to businesses who embrace environmental efforts. Americans emit approximately 17 tons of carbon pollution per year. Commuters, CEOs and others who fly frequently emit the most carbon pollution per person. Compensate for these lifestyle choices by donating to projects that offset carbon emissions (see below for more).

3. Donate to projects that offset your carbon footprint

This Earth Day, think about donating to CoolEffect. It’s a nonprofit organization enabling individuals and organizations to support carbon-busting projects across the globe. Contributing to their projects, rooted in real science and tangible actions, is one way to offset your carbon footprint.

Projects range from replacing open, wood-burning cookstoves with a more efficient alternative in Honduras, to protecting rainforests in Peru from deforestation, and funding renewable energy wind turbines in Costa Rica.

The best carbon offset projects protect endangered species and provide social and economic benefits to the local inhabitants. Most Americans can offset their entire year’s carbon production for about $70.

 

Inspired? Wait till you learn about the plight of the ⛄⛄⛄…

Learn about CoolEffect’s #SaveOurSnowmen campaign and how you can do even more for the planet at the end of the original version of this post, which appeared on the GoDaddy blog