Ever since the first Earth Day was observed in 1970, it has grown in stature till today it is an annual event championed by the United Nations to demonstrate support for environmental protection. As the realities of climate change and how it is affecting lives in all corners of the globe have grown clearer to us in recent years, the realisation that we have only one planet has hit home and the importance of promoting awareness of the Earth's environment and how to best preserve it for future generations is today beyond question. Earth Day provides a perfect platform for that.

Just as it is important not to engage in any activity that is harmful to the environment at this stage, it has also become clearer to us in recent years that if we don't take proactive steps to help protect the environment, then there will be severe consequences. In that vein, Earth Day is all about 3 major tenets, known as the 3 R's: reduce, reuse and recycle. Each of these elements is important to ongoing conservation efforts. While Earth Day is a day to promote these ideas, they really should become a part of every person's everyday life if we want to make a real positive change in the environment.

What do these three simple words mean? Reduce means that you should try to reduce the amount of waste that you throw out. Trash is becoming a major problem all over the world - we're running out of room to store it all. Reducing waste is all about being more conscious about the things that we buy and use.

It ties in neatly with the second concept, which is reusing. Reusing means taking things we might normally just throw out and finding a new use for them. There are lots of ways to reuse all kinds of items that you might not think twice about throwing in the garbage. You can reuse old milk jugs or soda bottles and use them to store water or other liquids. Or you can turn your food waste into compost for your garden. You can even take would-be trash and do something totally unique and creative with it.

Recycling refers to a way in which you can essentially reuse things, even if not directly. Recycling facilities accept items such as aluminium cans, glass, plastic, paper, cardboard, and other items, and reprocess it to be used again. While those 3 basic R's are a great place to start in a conservation effort, there are many other ways that we can help support the health of our Earth. Reduce doesn't have to just mean reducing trash, for example. You can also try and reduce the amount of energy that you use by buying energy efficient appliances or a hybrid car. Thanks to events like Earth Day, today the options are endless, and you hardly need to compromise your current lifestyle. You just need to be conscious, and commit.

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