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Earth Day Activities

April 20, 2020

With Earth Day just around the corner, let's take a look at some ideas for easy, around-the-house activities you can do to help out the planet.

At the start of this year, along with learning to ride a bike, I resolved to be a little more eco-friendly. I wanted to try and be a little kinder to the only planet I call home, which meant looking into ways I could reduce my consumption of goods, reuse items I had already purchased, or recycling something when it finally became unusable. As a result, I've picked up a few new habits that lend themselves to great at-home projects.  Whether you are looking for ways to save the planet or just something to do from the comfort of your own home, these activites are sure to entertain.


I've been wanting to compost for a few years now, and I've finally found time to do it. Composting is relatively simple, rewards you with incredible soil, and best of all? It keeps food out of landfills. Food waste takes up a good portion of our dump space, which is such a shame because it can be turned into nutrient-rich compost right in your backyard. You can buy a composter, or you can make one out of a large trash can. Shoot, you could even dig a hole in your backyard and place your compostables there. That's what my dad did when I was a kid. The quick how-to for composting goes like this: place food scraps and ruffage, like leaves and yard clippings, into your compost pile, give it a good turn every now and then, and viola! You have made compost. For more info, check out Metro Nashville's website on composting

Glass Jar Projects

Since Nashville's curbside recycle doesn't pick up glass items, I've been finding ways to keep my glass jars in use. For the most part, I can use jam jars and pasta sauce containers for easy food storage, but it need not end there. Smaller jars like the ones that hold curry paste can store buttons or other sewing extras. I've filled up jars and decorated them to make easy bookends. I've even painted my own custom change jar that I call my "Emily Needs A Change" jar (once I fill it to the top, I'll treat myself to a little ice cream.) You can repurpose glass items into all sorts of cool art projects and pieces. 

Old T-shirt Ideas

In between binging shows and writing, I've been trying to put the new house together, which is less out of a need to be productive and more of a need to keep my hands moving and my mind preoccupied. While doing this, I have discovered I own roughly 1.4 million t-shirts. College shirts, work shirts, trip shirts, joke shirts, show shirts - I'm drowning in shirts. Some are getting donated, but for the ones that spark joy or are too ratty to be donated with dignity, I have some ideas. First, for all the sentimental shirts, cut out the words or images and assemble them to create a t-shirt quilt. Got a too small graphic tee from 2012 you still like but don't particularly want in the quilt? Turn it into a tote by cutting off the sleeves, cutting out the neck, and either sewing or tying up the bottom. And don't throw out those extra pieces! Save bigger pieces of fabric for future projects, and hang onto smaller pieces for cleaning rags. By having cleaning rags, you can cut way back on the amount of disposable paper products.

Got an Earth Day project you love? Share it in the comments! Happy Earth Day!

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Emily is the Branch Services Specialist at the Main Library. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and playing with her dog, Fern.