That’s right, children (of Mother Earth). Today, April 22nd, is Earth Day! Since its beginnings in the flower-child era of the 1970s, Earth Day has helped highlight the importance of maintaining a clean and efficient environment and reminded us that we should all be doing our parts to preserve the precious planet that gives us home. So we hope you’ll join us this year in celebrating the Earth by doing something that will contribute to the health of our happy little habitat. We’re not saying you have to go out and plant trees or install solar panels or anything. ‘Cause there are actually TONS of easy, no-cost ways to help the environment, and many of them end up helping you in return. Let us run a few crazy ideas by you…
1. Me, my selfie, and I
Selfies have had one hell of a year, what with A-list celebrities at the Oscars trying to break Twitter and The President showing us that nerds rule (we already knew) with not one but two Science Guys. It was even named the 2013 Word Of The Year by Oxford Dictionaries, so it really shouldn’t surprise you that the selfie movement has even spread to Earth Day. This year, you can participate just by walking outside wherever you are and…
A) Taking a #GlobalSelfie for NASA, who will eventually create a mosaic image of Earth using all the social media photos collected with that hashtag. Even if you’re not that into being green or totally over taking selfies, you gotta admit that this opportunity is hard to pass up. It’s not every day you get to be a part of something so, well, global. And while you’re at it…
B) Capture yourself in some #SelfiesInNature, because ICF International will plant a tree for each shared photo bearing that hashtag this April. See? You can plant trees. And you didn’t even need to roll up your sleeves.
2. April showers bring
May flowers droughts, burn energy, hike up your bills, etc.
We’re of course talkin’ the showers you take at home, not the ones that we desperately need here in California (we’ve got a little drought going on). Again, you don’t have to do anything drastic, like swap to a low-flow showerhead. Just make a few changes in your daily showering habits…
A) Use less heat. It requires a lot of energy (mostly fossil-fuel-based energy) for hot water to run hot and then stay hot. You can reduce hot water consumption simply by, duh, using less hot water! Take cooler showers in general, or maybe do it during the day, when it’s warmer and you’re less inclined to push that handle towards the H. Especially with the summer months coming up, we have a feeling that a cool, refreshing rinse would feel way better than a scorching hot shower anyway.
B) Use less water. Help conserve water by limiting your showers to five or ten minutes. Time is money, baby, and you have way more important things to do on your task list than to spend it all in the bathroom. Perhaps even turn off the water while you’re lathering instead of just pushing the showerhead to the side. That’s your cash literally going down the drain when you do that, you know! You can still sing showtunes and make a shampoo mohawk with the water off.
3. Re-use it before you lose it
If you’ve heard The 3 R’s song by Jack Johnson like millions of kids out there, you’ll know that “Reduce, reuse, recycle” has become a mantra in this country when it comes to helping the environment and saving resources. And there are countless ways in our daily lives to turn those three little words into humongous action. Here are some of our faves:
A) One girl’s trash is another girl’s new outfit. Some more R’s we love to live by? Revive, refresh, remodel! Revamp your wardrobe by resurrecting pieces that aren’t seeing the light of day and revitalizing them in a way that’s exciting and new, whether it’s wearing them some fresh, cool way or applying a little DIY design. Go one step further and set up a clothing swap with friends, family, or colleagues. Something of no more use to you could be at the top of someone else’s wish list. And it may surprise you what kind of (trash to) treasures you find in your grandma’s closet. Can you say vintage?
B) Dispose of disposables and start reusing reusables. There’s already way too much trash in this world (insert outrageous reality TV moment here). You can help reduce waste by avoiding items that produce waste. Replace all of those one-and-done plastic water bottles with a single, durable, easy-to-wash thermos. And no more non-biodegradable plastic bags when you’ve got a reusable grocery tote that is way cuter and way more convenient (you’ll be surprised by how much it holds and how much easier it is to fling all your groceries onto one shoulder).
4. The great (so let’s help keep ’em great) outdoors
We can’t really do Earth Day any justice without mentioning some outdoorsy ways to keep Mother Nature as young and beautiful as she was when she was single. Even if some of us would rather stay inside during much of the day. (Hey, don’t judge! When we go outside that mean ol’ sun beats us! Or beats down on us, same diff.)
A) Take a walk on the out side. If more people took to walking and biking, we could greatly reduce air pollution and traffic congestion, two of the ugliest consequences of urban life. Not to mention saving you on gas, the prices of which are rising quickly without an end in sight. And if you must travel in a fuel-powered vehicle, try to make it public transportation or a carpool so that the same emissions can be responsible for bringing multiple people to their desired destination.
B) Put the out in workout. You can piggyback that idea and apply it to your exercise routine as well. Try working out outside instead of at the gym. You’ll reduce the energy needed to power those treadmills and other machines while saving yourself the gas you’d use driving to 24 Hour Fitness in the first place. You could even eliminate those gym bills altogether and keep all that money you would’ve spent throughout the year, and of course no paper bills means fewer dead trees. One less thing for Mother Nature to worry about.