Get Your Green On!

22 Apr

It’s Earth Day today.  You know, once upon a time I was actually an active member of the Environmental Awareness Club at school.  I have wonderful memories of doing beach cleanups and thing of that nature.  I think it helped me to realize that everyone individually really can make a difference.  In honor of Earth Day, I’ve decided to shamelessly copy a list of things you can do today to celebrate Earth Day from the wikiHow page.

How to Celebrate Earth Day

  1. Plant trees. As the date also roughly coincides with US Arbor Day, over time Earth Day has taken on the role of tree-planting. Planting trees helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, clean pollution, secure soil in place to prevent erosion, and provide homes for a lot of biodiversity.
  2. Learn more about the environment. Earth Day is a good time to make a commitment to learning more about the environment and how you can help to protect it. Borrow some library books and read up on an issue such as pollution, endangered species, water shortages, recycling, and climate change. Or, learn about a region you’ve never considered before, like the Arctic, the deserts, or the rainforests. Think about the issues that concern you the most and if you haven’t done so already, join a local group that undertakes activities to help protect the environment in your area.
  3. Reduce, reuse and recycle all day long. Buy as little as possible and avoid items that come in lots of packaging. Support local growers and producers of food and products – these don’t have to travel as far and so reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Take your drink container with you, and don’t use any disposable plates or cutlery. Recycle all the things you do use for the day or find other uses for things that you no longer use. Carry a cloth bag for carrying things in and recycle your plastic bags.
  4. Get children to recycle their old toys and games. By giving their old toys and games to younger children who could make use of them, older children learn two lessons: One is about giving to others and the second is about reusing and recycling instead of throwing things away. Adults can also do this with clothes, electrical items, books and more. Learn about product exchange communities like Freecycle and other alternatives.
  5. Rid Litter Rid litter from our roadways. Many groups use the weekend of Earth Day to clear roadways, highways and neighborhood streets of litter that has accumulated since the last clean-up day. Many companies donate gloves and bags for clean-up groups and villages organize bag pick ups. Once the group has collected the trash and placed the recycled bags along the road, get the village public works department to pick the bags up. It’s a wonderful community project. Great for scout troops, rotary clubs and the like.
  6. Teach others about the environment. Teachers, professionals, students, in fact anyone who cares about the environment and is willing to teach others, can all provide environmental lessons for others. Most schools already celebrate Earth Day in the classrooms with activities but there are many other ways you can teach about the environment. For example, give a speech at your local library on how to compost with worms; take a group of children down to the recycling center to show them how things are recycled; recite nature poems in the park; offer to teach your office colleagues how to make environmentally-friendly choices at work during one lunch hour. Everyone has environmental knowledge they can share with others.
  7. Wear green and/or brown. Dress in environmental colors for the day; think “tree”! Wear badges if you have them that carry pithy summaries of your environmental views.
  8. Engage others in conversations about your environmental concerns. Don’t be bossy or pushy, just tell people some facts and then explain your feelings about them. Encourage them to respond and if they have no opinions or they seem to not know much, help them learn some more by imparting your environmental knowledge in a friendly and helpful manner.
  9. Cook a special Earth Day meal. Plan a menu that uses locally produced foods, is healthy and has minimal impact on the environment. Favour vegetable and bean products, as these use less resources to grow than mass-farmed meat. If you still would like meat, look for locally produced, organic meat. Try and have organic food completely. Decorate the table with recycled decorations made by you and your friends.
  10. Consider buying a carbon offset to make up for the greenhouse gas emissions you create on the other 364 days of the year. Carbon offsets fund reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through projects such as wind farms, that displaces energy from fossil fuels.
  11. Ride your bike. Use your bicycle or other forms of human powered transportation to commute to work or school and to run errands.
  12. Remember: Every day is Earth Day. Anything to help our environment is a perfect thing to do on Earth Day and every day. Don’t restrict yourself to just one day a year; learn about how you can make a difference to environmental protection all the time. And put it into practice – every day!

Get out there and do it!

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