Guest Author - Catherine Ebey
Earth day falls once a year on April 22. However, the earth should be celebrated year round instead of just once a year. The environment gives us so many gifts that are essential to live. The following list includes a few things that you can incorporate into your daily life to remember the earth and give back to it.
We often hear how valuable is it to recycle but when you really stop to think about a mountain of trash being dumped on top of other mountains of trash inside one large lot reserved only for the waste we throw away every day, the idea of recycling really hits home. Just google ďlandfillĒ and you will see what Iím talking about.
Make it a goal to recycle everything you use in one day. For instance, if you pack a lunch, recycle the plastic bag in which you put your homemade sandwich. Rinse out the bottle your soda came in and throw it into the recycling bin as well.
You can take this one step further by buying easily recycled products. Easily recycled products include canned goods, plastic or paper wrapped packages. Try to avoid uneasily recycled products like aerosol cans or glass.
For every product that you recycle, that is one less product dumped onto that mountain of trash in the landfill.
2. Walk around
Do you live within walking distance to work? By walking distance I mean anywhere from 0-2 miles away. If the answer is yes, give walking to work a try. Not only are you saving on gas and getting exercise, you are sparing the earth from more pollution. When you walk, really walk. Get up a little early and admire nature around you. Can you identify the birds and plants that you see? If birdsong isnít really your thing, grab your iPod and listen to some of your favorite tunes on you walk while you observe nature.
If you donít live within two miles of work, try riding your bike. You would be amazed at how accomplished you feel when you ride your bike to and from work. Your ride to work gives you time to really wake up and think about things before settling into the humdrum work routine. Your ride after work will help you unwind from a day of sitting at your desk or running from table to table.
While you are walking or riding to work, I pose just one challenge for you. Try to notice five different things in nature that you didnít really notice before. Are the spring flowers blooming? Are the leaves changing colors? Did one of your neighbors plant something new in their garden? Let yourself observe the world around you.
3. Plant something
Play around with different gardening ideas. You donít need a full backyard to plant something green. IF your space is limited try setting a vase of lucky bamboo on your kitchen table. Have your child help you plant a spring bulb in a pot and watch it grow. Plant a herb garden in a window sill container to throw a little freshness into your nightly dinner. If you have a black thumb, try orchids or air plants. Theyíre nearly impossible to kill and look gorgeous.
Anything green you have growing in your environment contributes oxygen to your surrounding environment. In turn, you give the plant carbon dioxide and water (or a gently sprayed mist from a reusable spray bottle in the case of orchids and air plants). Not only will a plant add a touch of beauty to your surroundings, they will give you clean air to breathe.
4. Buy a reusable coffee cup
Do you go to a coffee shop once a week? If you do, thatís 52 cups thrown into a landfill a year. You can throw that entire 52 cups into the metaphysical recycling bin if you grab a reusable coffee cup. I prefer Tervis; the brandís really durable. You can save a little patch of earth from the landfill and you can probably earn yourself a discount at the coffee shop. Most coffee houses offer discounts to customers who bring their own mugs.
Add a little flair to your reusable coffee cup by decorating it with paint pens or sharpies. Some stores also sell reusable coffee cups that you can put a picture in. Whichever coffee cup you choose whether it be a sleek and stylish stainless steel cup or a homemade cup decorated with paint pens you are still doing your part to save the earth. Try putting that on for size, Superman.
5. Pick up trash
As you take your daily walk to work, if you notice trash on the ground pick it up and throw it away. Carry some hand sanitizer with you if you are worried about the gross factor.
A Far Side comic always makes me think about littering in the big picture way. In the comic strip, a man sits in front of a bowl heaped with all of the cigarette butts he ever threw on the ground. The devil looks at him and says, ďBon appetite!Ē Seriously, how much stuff have you thrown on the ground without thinking? Boost your karma points by picking some stuff up.
I hope these five tips will help you incorporate a little eco-friendliness into your day. Take the challenge and try incorporating any or all of these tips into your life for one week.
For a durable reusable coffee go cup, try this: Tervis Tumbler 16oz Berry Swirl Wrap Tumbler
For more information about earth day, read about how it came to be in this book: The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation