10 Ways to Honor Earth Day Every Day

Protecting the environment matters to everyone — at work, at home and in the community. Here are things we all can do to help.

Sustainability|Apr.19, 2024

Protecting a healthy environment is important to us all today, and for future generations.

That’s why Abbott has had a longstanding commitment to minimizing our environmental footprint and protecting precious resources. Our 2030 Sustainability Plan includes science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions, as well as goals to sustainably manage water use and reduce the environmental impact of packaging and waste in our operations.

Building on this work, Abbott employees have long recognized Earth Day and World Environment Day with events at work and in the community. But these aren’t one-day activities. Rather, they reflect our deep and lasting dedication to making the world a better, healthier place for future generations.

So, in honor of the occasion, here are 10 ways each of us can celebrate Earth Day every day. Even small changes, taken together with the efforts of others globally, can add up to meaningful change and positive impact for the environment. 

  • Follow the 3 R’s. Look for ways you can Reduce, Reuse and Recycle throughout your home. You’ll save natural resources, energy and money, and you’ll reduce waste sent to landfills.
  • Conserve energy at home. Turn off lights and electronics when not in use. Use a programmable thermostat. Switch to LED bulbs. Invest in energy-efficient appliances. There are so many small things you can do to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions — while also saving money on your utility bills.
  • Eat healthier for a healthier planet. What we eat, and how that food is produced, affects our health as well as the environment. About a third of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are linked to food. Consider eating more plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts, which generally require less energy, land and water resources.
  • Recycle your food waste by composting. Composting is nature’s way of recycling and is one of the most powerful actions we can take to reduce trash in landfills, address climate change and build healthy soil. Check in your community for ways to compost locally, or explore composting in your backyard.
  • Cut down on single-use plastics. Skip the plastic straw or substitute with a reusable one. Bring reusable bags or a backpack when shopping. Opt for a reusable water bottle. All these things help keep single-use items out of landfills and waterways.
  • Give your car a break — or go electric. Whether you’re commuting to work or running errands, you just might be able to leave your car at home, even a few times a week. Walk, ride a bike, carpool or take public transportation. You’ll reduce greenhouse gas emissions and get more exercise. Or if you need to drive or ride-share, consider whether an electric vehicle is an option for you.
  • Turn off the tap. In the home, there are a lot of things you can do to save water. Whether you’re brushing your teeth, washing dishes, or taking a shower, turn off the water when it’s not needed. Check for water leaks. And run your dishwasher and washing machine only when they’re full.
  • “Plant native” to protect biodiversity. Restoring native plant habitat is vital to preserving biodiversity. By using native plants — meaning, plants that occur naturally in the area where you live — in your garden and landscaping, you can help nurture and sustain habitat for birds, insects and other animals. Native plants will also thrive in the soil, moisture and weather of your region, which means less watering and maintenance, as well.
  • Buy local. Buying local produce and other items reduces shipping distances from food sourced overseas, and also supports local businesses and communities.
  • Act local. Get involved in environmental work in your local community. Local schools, governments, and non-profit organizations often offer opportunities for volunteers to help clean up parks, restore habitats and be a part of other efforts to make communities greener.

This article was originally published on April 20, 2017, and updated on April 19, 2024.