The first Earth Day April 22, 1970 was a wake up call for us to take more action toward protecting our environment. Gaylord Nelson, a Senator from Wisconsin was the thought leader for the day. It marks the start of the modern environmental movement and the first Earth Day had around 20 million participants. It was estimated over a billion people participated in Earth Day this past weekend. This is a tremendous gain in participation. However, I still think if you didn’t know it was Earth Day it was hard to tell. We need to keep the momentum moving forward. Colleen Donnelly of ValleyCrest put together this list of 10 things to do on Earth Day and beyond. It gave me some great ideas of how to keep things moving forward:
- Start Your Own Urban Garden– Start an organic garden in your backyard or on a patio or windowsill to cut down on the carbon emissions you’d emit going to and from the store. You’ll be eating nutritious food free of pesticides and chemicals that do more harm to your body than good.
- Conserve Water – Quite frankly, we’re doing a terrible job respecting one of natures most precious resources. Take shorter showers, only use the dishwasher when it’s full and be mindful of over watering your garden
- Plant a Tree & Bring Plants Indoors – Trees slowly remove carbon from the atmosphere. One tree might absorb as much as one ton of carbon over a 40-year lifespan. It’s also estimated that 15 to 20 houseplants can purify the interior of a 1,800 sq. ft. house by removing low levels of carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.
- Reuse Your Shopping Bags – Paper or plastic? How about neither. Bring reusable grocery bags.
- Get Active – Take a hike, ride a bike and walk or run as much as you like. Outdoor fitness connects you with nature and allows you to create your own energy instead of wasting it at the gym.
- Adopt Eco-Eating Habits – Takeout King or Queen? Cook at home once a week to cut back on the packaging that’s wasted on to-go meals. Even better, go meatless one day per week to help to save 51% of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Stay Local – Capture the essence and beauty of your neighborhood. Dinner date downtown? Cancel those plans for a restaurant within walking distance. Support your local Farmer’s Market to beat the 15,000 miles produce can travel to get to your local grocery store. Yikes!
- Find a Celebration In Your Neighborhood – Get educated about climate change and how you can help. Visit the EPA’s Earth Day website to find out what’s going on near you.
- Recycle – Recycling is key to preventing unnecessary trash in our landfills. Donate unwanted clothing, kitchen accessories and trinkets. Throw a “swap”party with your friends. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
- Power Down – Unplug any unused appliances in your household. Your energy bill will thank you for that later.
Thanks Colleen for these great suggestions and thanks for helping to keep the momentum going all year long!