13 Ways You Can Help Save the Planet on Earth Day

Levi Strauss & Co.
April 13, 2015

Here at Levi Strauss & Co., our company and our products are Made of Progress. We take bold steps to do the right thing and have a long history of firsts. As it relates to sustainability, we’re thankful for the opportunity to move the apparel industry forward.

But we also believe every person who wears our products has the power to impact change as well. Through small actions — for example, washing less — we can make a big impact. Our LCA Pledge may be wrapping up soon, but here are 13 ways you can take action to make the environment healthier on Earth Day. But why stop there? Commit to adopting at least a few of these sustainable practices on a regular basis.

  1. Plant A Tree This might be the most obvious Earth Day activity — and the most popular — but its benefits extend far beyond the act’s symbolic nature. Trees help filter pollution from the air, provide homes for wildlife, help recycle water, and prevent soil loss.
  1. Pick Up Litter This simple act requires nothing more than a bag and willing, gloved hands. More than 1.9 billion tons of litter end up in the ocean every year. By taking just a few hours to clean up your sidewalk, you’re helping save endangered marine life and keeping plastic out of the seafood we all enjoy.
  1. Bike To Work Bike To Work Day might not be until next month, but there’s no reason you can’t switch up your commute now to make a significant environmental impact. Motor vehicles alone are responsible for 31 percent of total carbon dioxide and 81 percent of total carbon monoxide released in the U.S.
  1. Volunteer At An Earth Day Event In Your Area Not sure how to make a difference solo? Join a team. From cleaning beaches to restoring habitats, there are multiple opportunities to participate in an Earth Day activity that interests you. Research first and consider rallying your friends, children, and acquaintances to come along.
  1. Buy Local Food Transporting food over long distances emits hundreds of pounds of greenhouse gasses. Plus, according to the Institute of Food Research, the majority of produce in grocery stores has often lost almost 45 percent of its nutritional value by the time you purchase it. Buying local is not just good for the planet — it’s good for you too!
  1. Unplug Appliances The typical American has 40 household appliances plugged in at any one moment. Even when turned off, they still gobble up energy, costing you money and consuming precious resources. Decrease energy use by unplugging your coffeemaker, television, radio, and lamps (to name just a few) when they’re not in use.
  1. Watch Your Water Use Hopefully, you’ll be ringing in Earth Day by completing our LCA pledge of washing less. Unzipped recently gave you the lowdown on 17 other ways you can save water everyday, from knocking minutes of your shower to reusing your towels. Pledge to do at least a few of them on Earth Day, and for weeks to come.
  1. Commit To Purchasing Sustainable Apparel Make a statement with your pocketbook by buying sustainably produced apparel. Whether that’s abandoning fast-fashion pieces in favor of more timeless and durable options, shopping vintage, or investing in our Water<Less collection, adoption of sustainable shopping habits will change the future of the industry.
  1. Go Paperless If you’re receiving pay stubs, credit card bills, or phone bills via mail, consider updating. It is the 21st century, after all. Added bonus? You’ll cut clutter.
  1. Write A Letter We don’t shy away from making a statement here at LS&Co., and you shouldn’t either. Write a letter to your Congressional representatives demanding that they take action on climate change. Tell them you want their support on clean energy and energy efficiency.
  1. Switch Light Bulbs The incandescent bulb is (mostly) dead. Commit to never buying another inefficient bulb again, and make the switch to LEDs, CFLs or halogens. Unless incandescents are updated to comply with new energy standards, you soon won’t have a choice.
  1. Skip The Bottled Water Plastic water bottles are an environmental epidemic. They take over 1,000 years to biodegrade. When incinerated, they produce toxic fumes. And U.S. landfills are overflowing with more than two million tons of them. Get your H20 fix from the tap; America has some of the cleanest tap water in the world and the Bay Area is near the top for cleanest in America.
  1. Start A Compost Food scraps and yard waste make up 20 -30 percent of what humans throw out. Composting keeps your leftovers out of a landfill, reduces your use of chemical fertilizers, enriches the earth’s soil, and encourages production of beneficial bacteria and fungi.