Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

April 22, 2011 is National Earth Day.  This year, Earth Day's theme is themed after A Billion Acts of Green.  The Earth Day Network is asking people to help the organization reach their goal of one billion acts of green.  They are asking you to contribute today by showing your commitment to the Earth by sharing an act of green.  So if you are looking to save the planet or if you are just getting started, here are several fun and creative ways to give back to Mother Earth.  

  1. Start a Garden. You can start a garden just about anywhere, like a small square patch in the backyard or a flowerpot on a balcony or windowsill. I just started my garden a few weeks ago and I planted a few different herbs and vegetables.  What’s in my garden?  I planted basil, green onions, parsley, chives, cucumbers and green peppers and I’m slowly watching them grow.   Here is a picture of my little home garden.  I’m very excited and I can’t wait to cook with some of these herbs.  
  1. Plant a Tree.  One great way to start planting trees is becoming a member of the Arbor Day Foundation.  Check out the website here for more information.  As a thank you gift for your membership, you can get 10 free trees to plan in your yard or send to someone else as a gift. 
  1. Recycle Craft Project. There are tons of craft projects for Earth Day, but this one from Anthropologie looks fun.  Anthropologie is hosting cork crafting and potting classes for adults and children.  Check here to find a workshop at a local Anthropologie.  Also, starting April 22nd, Anthropologie will donate ten cents to charity each time you go bag-free.  The donations will be divided equally among EarthCorps and The Chez Paniss Foundation’s Edible Schoolyard. 
  1. Reusable Grocery Bag.  Help the environment by using a canvas tote bag at the grocery store instead of plastic bags. 
  1. Energy Light Bulbs.  If you want to save money on your energy costs every month, buying new light bulbs is probably the easiest way.  I know that purchasing energy efficient light bulbs are a little more expensive than your average light bulb, but it’s worth it in the long run.  If every household in the U.S. replaced one light bulb with a Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb (CFL), it would prevent enough pollution to equal removing one million cars from the road.  CFLs last about eight times as long as incandescent bulbs. They only need to be replaced every five to six years.  CFLs use ¼ the energy of an incandescent light bulb.
  1. Turn Off the Lights.  Turn off the lights when they are not in use.  I know my co-workers in my office must think that I’m crazy, because I turn off the lights in the office all of the time. It drives me nuts when people leave the office for the day, and the lights are still on.  I think that it’s really it important to conserve electricity - think how much money you can save.
  1. Recycle.  You can recycle and/or reuse many items such as batteries, cell phones, computers and of course paper to name a few.  I found a great article from Real Simple magazine titled “How to Recycle Anything.”  It’s an A-to-Z guide of what can be tossed into which recycle bin – check it out here.
OXOX Natasha

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