Today is Earth Day, fam. Over the years, the demand for a greener environment has only gotten louder — especially when the impact of a poor planet on POC and the poor are taken into consideration. Here is a list to help begin to address how that process can happen.

1. Make your own all natural cleaning supplies with ingredients already in your kitchen

DIY is the wave and has always been instrumental throughout human history. The use of all natural products — products you probably already have at home — not only saves you money and the environment, but your health as well. According to the American Lung Association, many commercial products contain harsh chemical ingredients that can prove harmful to your health.

“Manufacturers are not obligated by U.S. law to list all ingredients in consumer products. Products that are labeled ‘green’ do not necessarily mean they are safer,” the ALA said.

However, with simple, everyday ingredients — like lemons, hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, baking soda, olive oil, and salt — you can make everything from a carpet cleaner and stain remover, to a toilet bowl cleaner and air freshener.

Asides from house care, there are plenty of DIY solutions for your melanated skin. My personal favorites, which I do at least once a month, are tumeric, honey, milk face masks, and this egg, honey, olive oil hair mask.

2. Stop the (junk) mail; go paperless

Going paperless not only saves the environment, but receiving online notifications and emails for payments reduces the risk of notices getting lost in the mail and arriving late. Living a paperless life is also extremely easy, just contact your provider.

For those situations where you can't go paperless, like junk mail, there are solutions for those too. There are numerous websites designed to help remove your name and address from various mailing lists. Parents, grandparents, aunties, and uncles are also susceptible to junk mail so sharing information, is always caring.

3. Use re-useable

Stop.drinking.bottled.water. The costs of buying cases of bottled water can certainly add up. According to experts, the average adult should be consuming the equivalent of about 7.5 plastic water bottles a day. Who’s going to carry that many water bottles around? In addition to being impractical, disposable plastic water bottles are awful for the environment and potentially hazardous to our health.

The solution: reusable water bottles. They are not only cost-effective, but they are also practical. You can fill up reusable bottles nearly anywhere for the gorgeous cost of nothing. And, to make sure you are always drinking that good-good, you can buy a bottle with a built-in water filter. Starting at just $10, these bottles turn free tap water into liquid purity, whereas a plastic bottle can cost anywhere from $1 – $4.

The same goes for bringing reusable cloth bags and totes with you when you go shopping. Many stores across the country have implemented a .4 to .10 cent surcharge for each bag they provide. Leaving a few totes in the trunk of your car for whenever you go on a grocery run can not only save you a bit of change per trip, but will go a long way towards saving the environment.

4. Change your light bulbs

Our parents’ bulbs aren’t cutting it anymore. According to, old school bulbs, “use most of their power to produce heat rather than light.” And so, halogen bulbs are quickly becoming a thing of the past, as they also do not last as long.

Now there are two choices:

Compact fluorescent light bulbs — which are a bit more expensive than the old school bulbs, but they last way longer. The downside is they contain mercury and so disposing of them in the trash can be harmful to the environment. LED bulbs are a great alternative. Though more expensive than CFL bulbs, they last longer and contain no mercury.

5. Use power strips to make unplugging easier

In your kitchen, you probably have a microwave, coffee machine, toaster, electric kettle, and whatever the newest version of the George Foreman Grill is, all plugged up and ready to go. For what? Just in case you decide to host an impromptu brunch on a Wednesday morning before work?

And what about the living room? A television, DVD player, gaming console, some sort of Roku/Apple TV situation, and those speakers you paid too much for before the Superbowl. Do I have to mention the bathroom? With your electric toothbrush, blow dryer, flat iron, electric razor, and clippers, it is simply a lot.

When all these items are not in use, they surge “phantom power” that is costing you money. Buy a powerstrip, better yet buy a surge protector if you want to protect your products.

Items like your refrigerator, cable box, and wifi, you will want to leave plugged in, so those you can plug separately or use different power strips. But for items not often in use, you can plug and unplug them as a group to save you time (from having to unplug them individually), money, and the environment.

Now check these out:

Ring the Alarm: It’s Time Black Folks Get Serious About Climate Change

Here’s How The Clean Air You Breathe Is Being Threatened By Trump And Wheeler’s Dirty Plans

This College Student Sacrificed His Spring Break to Pick Up Trash On Miami Beach