Guest Author - Tricia Krietzberg
Winter is not yet over, but I think this cold, blustery season has outworn its welcome. Though we still have not received the amount of snow that my children would most enjoy, it has been very cold. As I sit and dream of the warm spring sun flooding my face, I can’t help but remember that Earth Day is right around the corner. Every year, I try to plan environmentally conscious activities for my family and my Girl Scout Troop to participate in as a celebration of Earth Day. And now is the time to start planning.
So, for 2009, I’ve come across a few great ideas that I wanted to share with you so you can mark this special day as well.
“MARCH” FOR EARTH DAY
This world’s first virtual “march” on Washington was created four years ago by Care2 and The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, and they are doing it again. The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund is the very same group that created “eyeonpalin.org” in their efforts to expose Sarah Palin’s shameful promotion of aerial hunting. For this year’s Virtual March, the theme is “No Species Left Behind,” and its intent is to push Congress to vote “no” to legislation that threatens our planet and its resources.
When you go to Care 2 and register to “march,” a letter to your congressmen is automatically generated. That letter urges no votes to legislation that will open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the coasts of California and Florida to oil drilling. You will also be asking Congress to not allow developers to take over our national parks, you will be asking them to preserve the Endangered Species Act and to keep laws on the books that prevent mercury and pesticide pollution. So far, more than 101,000 people have joined the march.
PROJECTS FOR KIDS
Though people of all ages need to care for our planet, it is particularly important to involve children in environmental activities so they can demonstrate a life-long desire to preserve our planet. Bring together the PTA, or Girl or Boy Scout Troops, or religious groups, to plan an educational awareness activity for Earth Day. You can host a poster contest, or an essay contest, or a beach clean-up. You can plant flowers, or a community garden, or you can start a recycling program and invite all members of your group to join in. Check out the Earth Day Network’s Earth Day in a Box site for more ideas. You can also check out events that have already been registered, and download a planning kit.
SIMPLE THINGS TO DO AT HOME
We have all heard about how saving energy and reducing waste will help keep our planet healthier for longer. If you haven’t yet taken this advice to heart, Earth Day is the time to start. First, ditch the plastic bags. The reusable fabric shopping bags are everywhere these days. Spring for them – you’ll feel good about it. Second, just replace those old incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. Not only will you save energy, and thus save the planet, but you’ll save money on your electricity bills. And, drive less. Either carpool, or use public transportation as often as possible. Better yet, if you are within walking distance to your job, or the store, go ahead and walk.
These are just a few ideas for how you can celebrate Earth Day. No matter whether you choose to host a full-fledged Earth Day volunteer activity, or do your small part in your day-to-day routine, every little bit helps.
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