Monday, April 21, 2008

What Are You Going to D0 For Earth Day?

Earth Day. Macy's is offering 10% off everything you buy if you donate $5 to a certain organization. Donate $5 buy a lot of stuff that will eventually end up in land fills. Yep, sounds like a futile way to celebrate Earth Day to me. 

I have never seen a greater consumer interest in Earth Day than I'm seeing this year. I don't watch a lot of TV, but the little that I did watch over the weekend (mostly cooking shows and a couple of reruns of MASH last night) were riddled with commercials describing what this retailer is going to do on Earth Day if you buy products from them or how that manufacturer has made their product "greener" by putting 30% less plastic in their bottle or removing one chemical from their toxic laden cleaning product.

Earth Day is not about buying. It's about doing. Doing something to improve the health of the earth. 

What are you going to DO for Earth Day?

Yesterday my boys and I showed up with a small handful of other residents to go clean up trash in areas of our town. We picked one of the parks and the Little League fields since we regularly use those areas. The boys worked pretty hard even if they did have to climb to the top of each piece of playground equipment because they were making sure there was no trash up there orclimb on top of the roof of each dugout for the same reason. They had some fun and did some good at the same time.

Tomorrow, on Earth Day, I'm going into my third graders classroom to read The Lorax and talk about how the kids and their families can do little things to "speak for the trees."

The things you do for Earth Day don't need to take a lot of time and they certainly don't need to cost any many. 

So if you want to DO something for Earth Day, here are some suggestions.

  • Walk or take public transportation instead of driving somewhere
  • Plant something - it doesn't have to be a tree
  • Take your kids somewhere you frequent - like the park or the ball fields - and spend 15 - 30 minutes cleaning up trash. If you have no kids, do it alone.
  • Bring your own reusable bags if you are doing any shopping
  • Take a mug to work so you don't use any disposable coffee cups
  • Educate yourself. Even if you've only got five minutes, head over to National Geographic's Green Guide site. There's some great information on it.
  • Eat lunch outside. Enjoy the world you want to help save.
  • Make an effort to recycle everything that can be recycled. 
So tomorrow on Earth Day, commit to DOING something, not buying something.
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Allison said...

Thank you for recognizing this! It seems that everywhere you look-TV, magazines, internet-companies are getting on the Green Bandwagon. I applaud them for starting but what about the rest of the year? Are they green then?
And you are right, Earth Day should be about what you DON'T consume and what actions you take to better you environment.

adrian2514 said...

Hey thanks for the great blog, I love this stuff. I don’t usually do much for Earth Day but with everyone going green these days, I thought I’d try to do my part.

I am trying to find easy, simple things I can do to help stop global warming (I don’t plan on buying a hybrid). Has anyone seen that is promoting their Earth Day (month) challenge, with the goal to get 1 million people to take their carbon footprint test in April? I took the test, it was easy and only took me about 2 minutes and I am planning on lowering my score with some of their tips.

I am looking for more easy fun stuff to do. If you know of any other sites worth my time let me know.

Robin Shreeves said...

Allison - Glad you agree.

Adrian - I'm a little skeptical of the quick online carbon footprint tests. I can't see how they can be close to accurate. I kind of put them in the same category as a Seventeen magazine "Is He Right for You?" quiz. A handful of generic questions can never give you an accurate result.

But, being aware that you do leave a carbon footprint, and doing what you can to minimize it is important. So even without a test, I know I need to be constantly looking for ways to conserve.

So even if the score you got wasn't accurate, I'm sure the tips that you were given after you got your score are very helpful.

Tomorrow I'm going to be putting up a challenge for May, so if you're looking for something else to do, come back.