10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day's 40th Anniversary
(by Karen Misuraca from Suite 101)
The launching of Earth Day on April 22, 1970 marked the start of the modern environmental movement, when U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin announced his idea for a nationwide teach-in day on the environment. That year, 20 million Americans participated. By Earth Day 2007, an estimated one billion people participated in events and activities around the world.
Earth Day 2011 is a reminder that it's easy to be an eco-friendly resident of the planet. Here are ten ways to get involved:
Green at Home
Earth Day Flag - John McConnell
- Play your part: participate in Earth Day campaigns and events (earthday.org/take-action). Check out the Earth Day Network for ideas and activities, year round (earthday.net).
- Join a community garden or plant your own. Besides veggies, diverse native species are best for creating habitat and reducing chemical use (single-species gardens are vulnerable to insects and diseases, droughts and storms). Replace your lawn with native grasses, or use a push mower (cutting a lawn for an hour with a gas-powered mower creates as much air pollution as a 100-mile car ride.
- Plant a tree: help to reduce heat and absorb by planting trees on your property, and get involved in tree-planting in your town (www.mypureplanet.org)
- Pay attention to your food: become a locavore, and when not possible, a fair trader. Eat organic, eat local, eat seasonally, eat fair trade.
- Shop differently: read labels, avoid over-packaging, buy sustainably-grown coffee, ask where your food comes from. Check out products on GoodGuide.com; use your iPhone to scan bar codes to get GoodGuide ratings.
- Volunteer: help maintain parks and preserves in your area.
- Stay tuned: subscribe to earthweek.com (A Diary of the Planet: News in Science, Health, Weather, Environment and Nature).
- Write your legislators: ask your representatives to vote for cap-and-trade climate and energy legislation. Sign a clean energy petition (epoweramerica.org).
- Do one thing: walk or bike to work or school. Switch from plastic grocery bags to reusables. Green up your office (greenofficeweek.eu). Turn off your computer when not in use. Lower your driving speed.
- Travel responsibly: plan your vacations around the natural world (nature.org/aboutus/travel). Use video conferencing and web conferencing instead of traveling to business meetings. Coordinate your daytrips with the Seasonal Events Almanac, from wildflower blooms to bird, animal and whale migrations; seal haulouts, butterfly gatherings, fall leaf sighting, etc. Take an outdoor "staycation" around your region, or an adventure trip with an eco-friendly tour company Read National Geographic's "Intelligent Travel" blog (blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blogs/intelligenttravel/).
Celebrate Earth Day with Alter Eco
Join us to celebrate Earth Day across the Bay Area with delectable Alter Eco organic and fair trade dark chocolate!
- Tuesday, April 19th - Receive a sample of Alter Eco Dark Chocolate at select BART stations from 6-9am while supplies last!
- Thursday, April 21st - Enter to win a free year of Alter Eco Dark Chocolate among other prizes at our booth during the BART Blue Sky Festival from 11am-2pm at Justin Herman Plaza.
- Saturday, April 23rd - Stop by our booths at Earth Day SF or Earth Day Berkeley for a tasting of a variety of Alter Eco Dark Chocolate bars.