April 22 is the 43rd annual Earth Day. According to earthday.org, more than one billion people take part in Earth Day – individuals, communities, organizations and governments from around the world. This year, earthday.org is collecting and displaying images of people, animals and places directly affected by climate change as well as those helping to do something about it.
I hope you will participate too! There are lots of easy and meaningful things you can do. You can:
- It’s spring – plant a tree
- Sow some seeds for your garden
- Visit a local farm
- Change a conventional light bulb to an energy-saving compact fluorescent or LED one
- Pick up litter on the beach
- Take part in a trash pick-up
- Use a travel mug rather than a paper cup for your coffee-to-go
- Drink from a reusable water bottle rather than a plastic one
- Recycle newspapers, bottles and cans
- Start a compost bin in your backyard for kitchen waste
- Make a commitment to drive less and carpool or walk more
- Take public transportation
- Shorten your shower by one minute
- Shut down your computer for one hour
- Attend an Earth Day event in your area or volunteer
- Include your kids and grandkids and teach them about the importance of protecting our beautiful earth
End the day with an Earth Day Dinner Celebration with foods that are grown locally if possible and are gentler to the earth – organic vegetables and fruits, grass-fed, grass finished beef, free-range chicken or sustainably harvested fish and raise awareness about the origins of our food at the same time. You could host a potluck dinner with regional specialties, plan an earth dinner fundraiser for your favorite local organization, and have an earth day party for kids or a simple supper with your family or friends. If the weather is warm, try an earth day picnic. Use real cutlery, not plastic, real plates, not paper and cloth napkins. Seed packets make great place cards. For a more festive dinner, eat by candlelight and save energy; wash the dishes with non-toxic detergent.
Check your local newspaper or go online for Earth Day events in your town. Make Earth Day and Earth Dinner celebrations your new tradition. Never forget that simple steps really do make a difference!
EARTH_HOUR_3FingerClub_6560 (Photo credit: \!/_PeacePlusOne)
Saturday, March 23 marks the 7th annual Earth Hour when people from around the world turn their lights out for one hour from 8:30pm – 9:30pm. Earth Hour started with one city and has grown to over 7000, with one country to seven continents, and with two million people to hundreds of millions of people.
Earth Hour was created to:
· “To unite people and show our desire to protect the planet.
· To encourage and empower people to take action beyond the hour itself
· Create an interconnected global community and build on the momentum and action for a sustainable future.”
Earth Hour “has grown to become the largest mass participation event in history.”
This Saturday, why don’t you turn off your lights and encourage your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors to as well. It’s a small step with a big impact. Visit www.earthhour.org for information, challenges, suggestions, kids’ activities and more on helping to build a sustainable future.
Information compiled from earthhour.org
I consider myself an ardent environmentalist (I ought to be, right?) Even though I recycle and reuse almost everything and have been known to take things out of the trash that my husband threw away to recycle them; even though I always turn off lights when I leave the room and never leave the water running when I brush my teeth;
English: Compact fluorescent light bulb (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Even though I have replaced all my light bulbs with energy-efficient CFLs; even though I unplug small appliances when I’m away and use an energy-saving power strip that has made turning the television on even more complicated; even though I rarely eat meat and buy organic and local produce (just to name a few of my eco-habits), I was shocked when I recently took the Ecological Footprint Quiz and found out that I need 3.5 planets to sustain my current rate of energy consumption! The quiz, sponsored by the Center for Sustainable Economy, asks 27 questions about your lifestyle and the answers determine how much “nature” your lifestyle requires. It estimates “the amount of land and ocean area required to sustain your consumption patterns and absorb your wastes on an annual basis” and allows you to compare your ecological footprint to others’. My footprint was lower than “others”, but 3.5 planets is horrifying! Naturally, the quiz is not totally customized to your lifestyle. For instance, there was no place to put that I drive an electric car or that my husband drives a biodiesel one, nor that we have planted over 2000 trees on our farm where we are developing a life off the grid. Surely, this would have at least knocked one planet off my consumption level. Nevertheless, it was eye-opening and scary to say the least to see how much energy I actually consume and need in my daily life.
Go to myfootprint.org to take the quiz yourself. Sometimes a dose of reality is exactly what one needs to make positive changes in life. The quiz offers lots of energy-saving tips. Let me know what changes you plan to make!
Ecological Footprint Quiz Results (Photo credit: acordova)
The Earth seen from Apollo 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The earth is what we all have in common.
Wendell Berry – novelist, poet, farmer and social activist
Whatever your race, religion, nationality, background, political affiliation or sexual orientation, we all inhabit the same earth and we must all take care of it. It’s simple really – what’s good for the earth is good for you and what’s good for you is good for the earth.
April is Earth Month and April 22 is Earth Day – think about the green things you do everyday and add one more. Read through my blog for ideas:
Simple steps make a difference………….