10 No-Cost Ways to Celebrate Earth Day
Earth Day is 39 years old this year. What started out as a hippie, feel-good, Utopian idea has turned into a global event. Earth Day is celebrated by all walks of life–including individuals, government and businesses of all sizes.
In order to make this event more than a one-day publicity stunt, what can be done to turn this holiday into a more far-reaching movement?
Here are 10 no-cost or low-cost ways to promote Earth Day and make it a more lasting event.
1. Start a recycling program … and go out of your way to use it. Many cities have the big blue recycle dumpsters and a regular trash bin for their usage. Separate out the trash and really try to increase your recycled products by 20-25%.
At work, make it easy to recycle. Have different bins located throughout the business to make paper, plastic and aluminum bins readily available. Insist on 100% compliance–no paper should be tossed out –it should all be recycled.
2. Drive less. Combining trips based on proximity will not only reduce gasoline consumption, it will also save you time and reduce air pollution.
3. Carry reusable totes. The average reusable tote bag is used an average of nine times per month. Think about the reduction in the number of plastic or paper bags that can be made if every person used a reusable bag for all their shopping needs.
4. Choose reusable water bottles or mugs. Many quick serve restaurants and convenience stores will allow you to bring your own sports bottles for filling–and some will offer a discount in place of the cost of the cup. Some coffee chains or donut shops will also allow you to bring your own cup in for filling — which will reduce landfill waste.
5. Do not buy bottled soft drinks (including water). Use fountain drinks instead (in your reusable bottle) which are more economical to transport, as the water is added locally at the source–reducing gasoline consumption and minimizing its carbon footprint.
6. Start a vegetable garden. Whether you create an outdoor garden or an indoor herb garden, growing your own food is both rewarding, as well as eco-friendly. You will prevent pesticides from entering the water streams and you will develop a hobby that encourages a back-to-nature experience.
7. Support businesses that are environmentally-friendly. Whether they are local or national, businesses that are doing their part to become environmentally-friendly deserve your patronage. After all, if you don’t support them, who will.
8. Shop at local farmers markets. Not only will you be supporting local farmer and small family businesses, but you will be cutting back on buying produce which is often trucked in, or flown in, from other countries or states at a high cost of fuel usage.
9. Plant a tree. Yes, I know Arbor Day is only a few days after Earth Day, but you can never plant too many trees. A full grown tree can help convert about 600 pounds of pollutants into pure oxygen–the amount a family of four needs to breathe every year.
10. Talk to the kids. It takes a generation or two for any social change to take place. Think of civil rights, for example, of a social change that has taken nearly two generations to progress to the point where it is today. Educate the children, and within the next 15-25 years, the planet will become greener.
Happy Earth Day…and Beyond. Maybe next year will be Earth Week, then Earth Month, etc. If not officially recognized for more than one day, at least it can be celebrated all year long.