Since its initiation in 1970, Earth Day has become a worldwide phenomenon. According to Earth Day Network, more than 1 billion people in 192 countries participated in Earth Day events in 2012.
I am ambivalent about Earth Day events. On the one hand, a billion people attending Earth Day events across the world will garner a lot of media attention and possibly that of our business leaders and politicians. On the other hand, putting on thousands of events and having a billion people travel to them represents a substantial carbon footprint.
Before you head off to your local Earth Day event:
- Reflect on why Earth Day was created in the first place.
- Make a commitment to take at least one green action—and then do it.
10 Ways to Go Green for Earth Day
To help get you started, below are 10 ideas for ways to go green for Earth Day.
Give Your Car the Day Off
Earth Day venues may offer discount coupons or raffle tickets to those who walk or cycle to the event. Municipalities often provide free public transportation on Earth Day. Is it too far to walk or cycle, or no bus in your area? Stay home and celebrate.
Renew Your Green New Year’s Resolution
According to Statistic Brain, 36% of the people who make New Year’s resolutions don’t make it past the first month. If you are in that camp, renew your green New Year’s resolution or make one on Earth Day.
Get Your Hands Dirty
Getting your hands dirty is a good way to celebrate and do something productive on Earth Day. Participate in a beach, river, or park clean up. Plant a tree or a garden. Start a compost pile.
Just Say No to Bottled Water
Earth Day is the perfect day to make a commitment to say no to bottled water—forever!
To Buy or Not to Buy
You are sure to find products and services for sale at an Earth Day venue. Refrain from buying stuff you don’t need. Do take the opportunity to stop by a local organic farm booth and sign up for a share, or arrange an appointment with a solar company to visit your home and evaluate your roof for solar panels.
Pick 5 for the Environment
Join the international “Pick 5 for the Environment” movement by visiting the U.S. EPA Pick 5 website and choosing 5 green actions.
Power down your electronic devices, yes—smart phones too. Go outside and enjoy the natural beauty and wonder of the earth.
Invest Your Green in Green
Tired of low savings and CD interest rates? Considering changing your retirement account portfolio? Invest in a green company or allocate part of your 401k or IRA assets to a clean energy or green industries fund.
Make Monday’s Meatless
Make a commitment to reduce your carbon footprint by not eating meat at least once a week. Take the Meatless Monday pledge.
Read The Lorax
Engage people, young and old, in a discussion about the environment by reading Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” with them and then talking about it.
Angel Cat Image Note:
I received the “Angel Cat Proudly Flying the Planet Earth Flag, Which Flies Above All Others” postcard, from Gail Johnson of the Johnson Framing Studio in San Luis Obispo, CA, www.johnsongalleryslo.com. The original painting “Peace Cat” is by Paula Zima, www.paulazima.com. I fell in love with this postcard and keep it on my desk. This should become the official flag for Earth Day.