Listen up! If you didn’t already know, it’s Earth Day this Sunday, April 22nd. What’s Earth Day you ask? Well, here you go:
The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
Sounds hard. But you know, it doesn’t have to be. Making a real change is all about many small, individual sacrifices adding up to big differences. With that in mind we’ve put together a few simple suggestions to help you get your green on this weekend in honor of everyone’s collective Mother!
1) Don’t Drive! Seriously, try it. Don’t drive at all this weekend. Ride your bike. Walk. Explore your immediate surroundings. Pay attention to the earth beneath your feet. Breath deep, rest easy.
2) Going to the store? Bring your own bag. Totes!
3) While you’re at it, try carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go. Fill up whenever necessary with the help of Tapit Water. Their handy dandy app will find you great, friendly filling stations so your cup will runneth over all weekend.
4) Go garbageless. “What?!?” you say. Don’t play dumb, you heard us. Try not to create any trash this weekend. If you do make some trash, try and keep it to one small bag’s worth that you don’t toss till Monday. Go for it! We dare you.
5) Start a compost pile. Composting is so simple and will make your conquering of #4 that much easier. Items destined for compost don’t count as trash.
6) No air conditioning! Simple.
7) No type of forced air of any kind. Simple. This goes for everyone. We know it’s still cold in some parts of the world but this weekend, wear a sweater!
8) Limit your electricity use. We would like to suggest no artificial lighting from sun-up till sun-down. You can do it! We’re rooting for you.
9) Recycle. Make a conscious effort to sort and recycle whatever trash you may produce this weekend.
10) Take public transportation. If you aren’t going to walk everywhere and you don’t own a bike but you’ve sworn by #1 then hop a train, bus, ferry or whatever form of public transit your city or town offers. It’s quite possible this will lead to great frustration if you are not in Boston, New York, Chicago, or San Francisco but it will be an educational experience and much easier on Mother, that we can promise.
11) Shop local. Make a point of only going to locally owned businesses this weekend. Say hello to the owners. Make it a point to engage in your neighborhood.
12) Refuse napkins and paper towels. Just try to be a little neater when eating that falafel.
13) In fact, refuse a bag, even if you don’t have one with you. What, you have to use… your hands?! JK. But really, that’s what they’re good for!
14) Buy organic food. Hey, eating organic isn’t just about keeping your body toxin free but about supporting food producers that don’t pollute by using harsh chemicals to make their product.
15) Turn off the water while you brush your teeth.
16) If its yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.
17) Unplug your appliances when you’re not using them, even all your rechargers for all your gadgets.
18) Speaking of gadgets. Recycle your old electronics. Check out Earth911 for local recycling sites listed by items accepted.
19) Don’t take super hot showers. It takes a ton of power to make your water that hot.
20) Forget using a dryer if you’re washing clothes. Hang them outside or on a line in your bathroom.
21) Only use scrap paper for everything.
22) Giving a present? Wrap it with old magazines and newspapers.
23) Turn out the lights behind you.
24) Water your plants with the boiled water you used to make pasta.
25) Turn the screens on your devices lower so they aren’t as bright – this will save on power if they are plugged in or wireless.
26) Skip the elevator, take the stairs.
27) Crush all your bottles, cans, boxes and anything that can be condensed before throwing it out. (That is if you ignore #4).
28) Don’t stand with the fridge door open.
29) Don’t stand with the freezer door open.
30) Don’t check the food in the hot oven with the door open. (By the way did you know that every time you open the oven door, you need to add 10 minutes to your cooking time? Yep. That will keep you out of there.)
31) Don’t eat meat.
32) Donate time or money to an eco-cause, find a local one on Ioby.
Did we miss something? Probably. Tell us what you plan to do this weekend to give some good lovin’ to our Mother!