With Earth Day happening at the end of the week, now seems as good a time as any to learn about the do's and don'ts of eco-friendly behaviour.

Earth Day is commemorated annually on 22 April in an effort to show support for environmental protection and eco-friendly behaviour. The first Earth Day, organised in the United States in the year 1970, lead to one of the largest single-day protests in human history. The theme of this year's edition is 'Invest in Our Planet', challenging people all around the globe to take protective action towards the environment.

Not only does the upcoming awareness day reflect a great moment to revise one's own environmental attitude, but it also represents the perfect opportunity to learn more about the do's and don'ts of eco-friendly behaviour. So, let's see with how many of the following you are already familiar!

Adjusting your shopping behaviour

Our shopping behaviour has already improved a lot in recent years, though legislature occasionally had to step in to make it happen. By now, bringing your reusable shopping bag has become customary, with most people only falling back on the plastic alternatives when there is no other way of carrying stuff.

But don't think that this where the effort stops! You can still cut down on plastic packaging while selecting your groceries. Do look for loose goods, which in return ensures that you create less unnecessary waste. Don't forget that most of our fruit and vegetables already come in natural shells that protect them, and which you can simply clean before consumption.

Do make sure that you prioritise local produce when only possible. Why get an apple which has been transported hundreds of miles if you can opt for one that grew on the sunny hills of Steinsel? Don't be ignorant to where your food comes from!

You can of course avoid all these steps if you choose to only buy from eco-friendly businesses. Do think about transparency when looking for good alternatives to major stores. Eco-friendly behaviour is often the strongest asset of small businesses, which is why they tend to provide full insight into their operations and suppliers on their websites. Don't underestimate how many ways there are to create more sustainable supply chains and thereby create an eco-friendlier environment.

There will always be limits to how much waste you can avoid altogether, so do make sure to familiarise yourself with local recycling centres and waste collection services. And don't forget to check out this article if you are interested in more recycling tips!

Reducing your carbon footprint

It may be comfortable for Dutch people to opt for their bicycles due to the Netherlands' lack of hilly terrain, but no country makes it easier to use public transport than the Grand Duchy. Do consider integrating busses and trains into your daily commute, after all, they are free of charge!

This also affects travel. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that you have to be a thousand miles from home to switch your mind off. So instead of looking at cheap flights for your next trip, do check out where the more sustainable alternatives can get you.

Do consider night trains with sleeping options if you still look to get as far away from the Grand Duchy as possible. You may be surprised as to how well one sleeps on a rolling train and by the time you get up, you're almost at your final destination already.

If you find yourself unwilling or unable to do any of the aforementioned steps, then do think about reducing your carbon footprint by curbing your meat consumption. Though not as often the focus of public debate, the meat sector is still responsible for a significant fraction of greenhouse gas emissions, which means that every effort to change eating behaviour also affects the environment.

Reducing your energy consumption

Do think about organising your electric devices in a way that you can use multi-outlet power strips, which can easily be switched on in the morning and off in the evening. This allows you to save energy and works particularly well with televisions, sound systems, and kitchen appliances.

Replacing traditional light bulbs with light-emitting diodes, short LEDs, can also be of help. Don't forget that they are more efficient, have an increased longevity, and are ideal for frequent on and off switching.

Conserving and protecting our waters

Finally, don't forget about one of our most essential resources: water. You can easily help conserve it by taking shorter showers. You should also be careful not to wash any dangerous chemicals down the drain.

For the home and garden owners among you, do think about getting a rainwater collection barrel so that you no longer have to rely on your tab to water the green. Not only does that help recycle water, it is also cheaper in the long run.