6 ways to celebrate Earth Day

With today's growing level of environmental awareness, the vast majority of people are starting to understand how important sustainability is to the planet's resources and ecosystems. Whether it's working to create urban gardens, or simply turning the water off while brushing your teeth, there are many steps you can take on the path toward sustainability. So roll out the green carpet, put your eco-friendly hat on, and get ready to help preserve the place you call home.

Here are six ways to honor Earth Day:

1. Spread the word
Whether you know a little or a lot about the environment, share whatever you have by sending special Recycled Earth Day Cards with tidbits of information to your loved ones. Talk about specific issues that you care about the most. Do some research and include some statistics about climate change, water waste or greenhouse gas emissions – everyone likes numbered stats! This is a great way to celebrate Earth because not only are you spreading awareness, you're doing something out of the ordinary by sending a special greeting card, which needs to be done more often.

2. Cook a fresh, organic meal
Host a dinner party for friends and family and plan a meal that uses locally produced foods – it's healthy and has a minimal effect on the environment. Feature dishes with fresh produce like fruits and veggies. These items are more sustainable because they require less energy and resources to grow than mass-farmed meat. Additionally, organic foods are grown and processed with special farming methods that use recyclable resources and promote biodiversity. This means your food is free of synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes and inorganic fertilizers.

3. Volunteer
Are you looking for a way to give back to the environment? A great way to get in touch with Earth is to get down and dirty with Mother Nature. Join like-minded community members in doing something to help the world become a more sustainable place to live in. Whether you sign up to attend a cleanup of local parks, bodies of water or the streets, you're one step closer in helping protect the environment.

Check out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and browse though the list of special Earth Day events taking place in your area. If nothing seems appealing to you, consider starting your own environmental group. Extend the invite to your friends, family, coworkers and neighbors to join you in making a difference.

4. Opt for different modes of transportation
According to Slate, for each gallon of gas your car burns, about 19 pounds of carbon dioxide is released into the air. It's easy then to understand that vehicles are one of the greatest causes of pollution on Earth. With that being said, steer clear of your car and consider different modes of transportation. Take public transportation, or enjoy the outdoors by riding your bike or walking to the store. If you have a relatively long commute to the office, arrange a carpool with some of your coworkers.

5. Switch your lightbulbs
By making the switch to compact fluorescent lightbulbs, not only will you save money on your electric bill, you will simultaneously save energy, too. According to Energy Star, if every home in America replaced one incandescent bulb with a CFL, it would save enough energy to ignite more than 3 million homes.

6. Go solar
Installing solar panels on your roof isn't the only way to do this, so don't fret if you don't own a home or have the finances. Consider the amount of time you spending charging all of your electronic devices. A lot, right? Well, with today's technological advancements, you can purchase small, solar-harvesting devices from pocket-sized phone chargers to portable panel kits. By going solar, you're able to save money on your bill, and help conserve some of Earth's energy one smartphone at a time.