Earth Day is an annual call to duty for taking care of the planet. That care comes in many forms, from creating less waste and buying more recycled goods to finding ways to conserve the resources we already have. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to do better that look as good as they make us feel. Here are some of our favorite ways to help preserve our favorite spot in the solar system.
Sea Turtles Eco-Flex paper straws
If you’re looking to reduce the amount of plastic in your life and in our oceans, these Sea Turtles Eco-Flex paper straws by Aardvark will help. Proceeds from the sale of these straws, which are almost 8 inches long, benefit the Sea Turtle Care Center in South Carolina. $4.99 for a pack of 24 at aardvarkstraws.com.
Driftwood Flatweave Bamboo Roman Shade
Bamboo is among the most renewable resources in the world, and this Driftwood Flatweave Bamboo Roman Shade from Home Decorator’s Collection is pretty enough that you won’t even mind pulling the shades down during the brightest days to save a little on indoor cooling bills. From $24.84 at homedepot.com.
Dimmable LUNNOM bulb
If you miss the warm glow of incandescent bulbs and the vintage feel of Edison filaments, this 2-inch 400 lumen, dimmable LUNNOM bulb will help you get the look you want while still saving energy. The brown-tinted clear glass bulb gives a soft light, and it looks just as good on its own as covered with your favorite shade. $7.99 at ikea.com and IKEA stores.
Bee’s Wrap reusable wraps
Stop buying disposable cling film and plastic baggies, and reach for Bee’s Wrap reusable wraps instead. Made from beeswax, organic cotton, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin, they’re washable in cool water, and create a tight seal using just the warmth of your hands. $21 for a 3-piece kit which includes one sandwich wrap and two medium wraps, at beeswrap.com.
The delicate curves of this Cantina Carafe are made from recycled glass, so it’s a beautiful pairing of eco-consciousness and design. The 37-ounce container stands 11.5 inches high and is hand washable only. $38 at anthropologie.com.
Rachio for lawn care
What Nest did for home temperature control, Rachio is trying to do for lawn care. The device, available in three versions, uses software that lets homeowners run sprinklers from their phones. The app facilitates watering schedules based on local weather forecasts, vegetation, soil types, and more, cutting down on excess water usage and water bills. From $199 at rachio.com.
Green Solid Linen Throw
Snuggle up under this cozy Oeko-Tex-certified, ethically and responsibly manufactured Green Solid Linen Throw. It is the perfect classic addition to any room. The 100 percent Belgian linen throw measures 50 by 60 inches. $85 at craneandcanopy.com.
Pebble art by LI artist
Designed by Long Island pebble artist Dina Curasi, these one-of-a-kind works of art incorporate elements she finds in nature. Find them at Wit & Whim, 6 Carlton Ave., Port Washington.
Hydaway collapsible bottle
Bring water with you and you won't have to buy plastic bottles when you're away from home. The Hydaway is a 21-ounce portable, re-usable, collapsible bottle that folds up to a tiny 1-inch thick pocket sized puck. The bottle, available in 12 colors, is dishwasher safe and BPA-free, and features a flip-up straw. $20 at hydawaybottle.com.
Sustainable toilet paper
It might not be the first thing you think about, but using sustainable toilet paper is a great way to help the planet. Who Gives a Crap makes two versions of its 3-ply rolls -- a 100 percent three-ply bamboo line, and a 100 percent recycled line. Neither uses a single tree, and the company donates 50 percent of its profits to help build toilets in developing countries. $30 for a 24-pack of recycled, or $52 for 48 rolls of bamboo at us.whogivesacrap.org.