I thought it was only appropriate to write today's message in green. Earth Day 2012 is just around the corner. The 42nd annual Earth Day is on April 22. I love to celebrate Earth Day as a family because it shows our children that we care and it's a great time to really focus on good environmental practices in a fun way. You can commit to doing something to celebrate by going to "A Billion Acts Of Green" at this link.
I have committed to planting my garden on that day, which is why I need to get finished preparing it! We plan to do this as a family. We are also planning to go to the movies that day to watch the new Disney movie "Chimpanzee", which looks to be very touching and is a true story. The movie is being released on April 20, but we are going to wait till the 22nd and watch as part of our Earth Day celebration. See the preview at http://disney.go.com/disneynature/chimpanzee/. During opening week Disney nature makes a donation to save chimpanzees for each ticket sold.
Need more ideas? Here are some easy ways to celebrate:
- Plant a tree. Simple. Or plant something else. This idea is especially good if you plant something native to the area. Plants that are imported from other areas can damage ecosystems.
- Walk or bike to school/work. If this isn't possible, carpool. Fewer cars on the road is still the end result and that means less carbon emitted.
- Organize a clean up. Get your family and even friends together to pick up trash at a nearby park or along the streets of your neighborhood.
- Clean out the garage or attic. Instead of throwing things away, take them to the Habitat for Humanity Home Store or another local organization. Things that can't be reused can be recycled. See how much you can keep out of landfills.
- Build a birdhouse and nail it to a tree in the yard. Don't have trees? Nail it to the porch railing, facing away from the house or apartment. This can be as simple as cutting a hole in a milk carton and hanging it!
- Visit a local organic farm. Most will let you volunteer to work for a day or part of a day to get a close up perspective on how things are done on the farm. This helps to farmer and educates you and your kids. Take home some fresh produce at the end of the day!
- Join a CSA. Community supported agriculture is a great way to support local farmers. Pay a fee in the spring and get a basket or box of fresh, in-season, produce each week during the farms growing season. This helps reduce carbon emissions also because you aren't buying food that traveled from other states on big trucks.
- Go to the Farmer's Market. Get to know local growers and get some good eats! Or just purchase a plant to put in the ground when you return home.
- Let the kids pick up leaves, flowers, grass, etc. from outside and use it to decorate a sheet of newspaper or recycled paper. Cut a frame from a cereal box and let them color the frame. Then hang it or gift it to a grandparent proudly!
- Been putting off recycling at home? Make 3 bins and designate a spot for them. One is for plastic, one is for aluminum, and one is for cardboard and paper. You'll find this will account for most of the trash that you've been sending to the landfill.
- Start a compost bin. A very basic bin can be made with a circle of chicken wire. Cut a space at the bottom that will allow you to reach in with a shovel to turn the compost. Or you can buy a bin at the hardware store. Never put animal products in your compost. If you season your vegetables with butter or drippings, those are animal products and those vegetables should not go in. Yard clippings and produce scraps should go into the bin. This is a great way to make free organic fertilizer.
- Write a letter to your congressman asking for less government funding to big industrial growers and more support for small family farms that use organic sustainable practices.
Have some great ideas not listed here? Share them please! And after Earth Day is over, upload your photos at http://www.earthday.org/2012 to inspire others.