What now? Earth day is over, but that doesn't mean that there aren't still ways you can be eco-friendly. A good friend once told me to live everyday like it's earth day.
It's always great to be conscientious and not throw your trash on the ground; or remember to recycle your soda bottles; or turn the water off while you're washing your hands. Every little action counts, so the more little actions you do, the bigger the result.
It's important to remember that our impact is great, no matter how small our actions are. Every time you throw your trash in the trashcan instead of on the ground it's a small action with a great impact. So we should keep these little actions going throughout the year.
A great side effect of having eco-friendly habits is that even when you don't know it, people are watching. You never know when your actions are going to inspire others to action.
With busy schedules it's sometimes hard to remember to think about the environment. However, if you can keep up an action for long enoug,h it will eventually become habit and you will no longer have to remember to do it.
According to Phillippa Lally and colleagues from University College London, it takes about 66 days for a behavior to become a habit. So if you want to turn off the water while brushing your teeth, just remember to do it for about two months and then you won’t have to think about it anymore.
Keep up the little actions you are doing, because everything matters. Changing too much at once never accomplishes anything, because it's easy to fall back into old routines. It's almost impossible to quit cold turkey.
Don't become overwhelmed with everything you are not doing; just try to create eco-friendly behaviors a little at time.
You might be surprised how much those little things add up by the time the next Earth Day rolls around.
Amanda Wheeler is a Danville resident who has worked as an educator at the Cincinnati Zoo. She is currently pursuing her master's in zoology.