Lifestyle

22 Creative Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Do your part on April 22

Find a way to creatively celebrate Earth Day on April 22, and beyond. Appropriately enough, we've come up with 22 ways for you to celebrate the day and support environment protection and making the Earth a bit greener.

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22 Creative Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Get creative

1. Using the sidewalk as your canvas, get the family outside and paint an Earth-themed landscape to celebrate Earth Day. With nontoxic washable sidewalk chalk paint you can create rainbows, the sun, moon, stars, planet earth, flowers, oceans, trees ... whatever inspires you from the Earth. RoseArt has new, easy-to-use kits that are just $5-7 each. The paint brightens as it dries and it washes off easily with plain water.

2. Fly somewhere. JetBlue would like to encourage everyone to fly and offset their flight to lessen their carbon footprint. JetBlue recently launched its annual One Thing That's Green campaign, which is designed to educate customers on offsetting carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (CO2e) when flying. The airline is purchasing offsets for all scheduled flights for the month of April to help raise awareness and would like to encourage customers and TrueBlue members to purchase offsets for their own future travel.

3. Upcycle. Hipcycle is encouraging people to consider upcycling before buying a first run product. It's a great way to reduce waste and help our planet on Earth Day - and everyday.

4. Make your first backyard compost. Many cities have a free or low-cost compost bin that you can obtain. The day of your activity, make a fruit salad and save all the food scraps. Take the junk mail and newspaper and set it aside, along with any grocery paper bags you might have. Go in the backyard with the kids and install the compost. Have them add the food scraps to the bin, a couple of handfuls of soil, and then have them rip up the paper products on top to cover up the food scraps. Show them a list of what food scraps will be saved each day. You’re educating in a hands-on way and creating an earth friendly resolution for your family.

5. Do a donation clean out. Go through the kids’ rooms and make donation piles of used but useful clothes, toys, and other items that can be re-used. Take them to the local charity store together.

22 Creative Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Drink wine, go for a ride, give green grenades

6. This one is easy. Drink wine. Cooper's Hawk is a winery and restaurant in Chicago that busses in all of its grapes at harvest time from top wineries in California, Oregon and Washington and processes them in Illinois. For Earth Day, Cooper’s Hawk has created a special organic Petite Sirah bottled in Cooper's Hawk recycled bottles. It is also CCOF and organically certified. This year, Cooper's Hawk has saved over 215 tons of glass from landfills and 1 of every 5 bottles is reused again for upcoming vintages through its wine recycling line that de-labels and sanitizes up to 2,000 wine bottle an hour.

7. If you’re in Austin, Texas, go on a ride. Rainforest Partnership, along with Cyc Fitness, is hosting a Pop Up Ride at a downtown bar. Cyc will be transporting their spin bikes to Container Bar, a sustainable outdoor bar in one of Austin's hippest neighborhoods. The ride will feature fast-paced video of rainforest exploration so the spinners will get the experience of riding through the rainforest. The riders will receive complimentary organic juice and rainforest-friendly protein bars after their ride for their post-workout recovery. 

8. Give out green grenades to friends, family and coworkers. Green grenades are packets of seeds natural to any area you live that can be throw and with a single rain, they dematerialize and spread out to form a new patch of plant life. Seed bombs are cheap and they can be a lot of fun for people who want a less conventional way to celebrate Earth Day. Plus a few weeks after you throw a green grenade you get to experience the awesome blossoming of plants and flowers that explodes from the area where the green grenade landed.

9. Create your own recycling station. Set up a recycling station within your home, with separate inexpensive bins for plastic, glass, etc. You’ll recycle more often if you make it easy on yourself.

10. Skip the bath. The kids will love this one. But stay a little dirty on Earth Day and you’ll save up to 50 gallons of water for a typical 10-minute shower. Relaxing in a bath uses up 70 gallons of water, according to the EPA. Yet a typical family in Africa gets by on 10% of that in an entire day, including their drinking water. So save water and skip a bath or shower today and you’ll be acknowledging all the water shortages around the world.

11. Stop receiving credit card bills in the mail. Go online and set up your credit card statements to be paperless. You’ll save a tree along with saving on your carbon footprint via less gas used by the post office to deliver your mail.

12. Volunteer. Go to the EPA’s website for events and volunteer opportunities in your area for Earth Day and beyond. You might be able to participate in planting a tree, or cleaning up a park, or doing a 5K for a green charity.

Celebrate the Earth

13. Make a bee watering station. Go to the local thrift shop and purchase a deep-dish plate. Then find or purchase the filler: rocks from your backyard, pebbles from your garden shop, or marbles from a craft store. Fill the plate with the filler. Place in your backyard near flowers. Fill with water to just under the filler. The filler serves as landing islands for the bees to stand on and drink the water below without drowning. Make a “fill-the-watering-station” calendar for the family so that the bees will know where to always find the water. This encourages your children to understand how important pollinators are and to provide for them.

14. Drop by the grocery store. It's easier than ever to recycle dry cleaning bags, food wraps, food storage bags, grocery store bags, product wraps, and more. These plastics can be conveniently dropped off for recycling at more than 18,000 grocery and retail store locations nationwide. Manufacturers turn these plastics into a variety of new products-so your used plastic bag could become part of your new backyard deck.

15. Commute as your workout. Two or three times a week leave the car or bus pass at home and bike to work. If you live close enough, try walking to work a few times a week. This will help lower carbon emission being put out into the atmosphere and get you in shape.

16. Heat up naturally. Even in the warmer months, temperatures drop during the evening so instead of turning up the thermostat get active. A light workout will raise your body temperature naturally and you won't have to touch the thermostat.

17. Get outside. Instead of going for a run on the treadmill, go for a run outside. Pass on the electronic equipment and try out the free weights or jump rope to get your heart rate going. Almost any activity you can do in the gym, you can modify to do outside.

18. Plant a communal garden. Gardening takes a lot of work but this project helps teach kids in particular the importance of investing time and energy into a project that will ultimately show them the fruits of their labor. This project is also a fun social endeavor that can get your friends and families involved.

19. Clean up a local park, beach or playground. This is an easy way to give back to the environment and community and you can invite your friends and family to join for added entertainment. This is the kind of project that involves little investment and shows immediate results.

20. Host a farm-to-table gathering. Invite over your closest friends and put together a simplified farm-to-table menu using fresh produce, cheeses and meats from your local farmers’ market.

21. Recycled art. If you're crafty and like working with your hands, here's a project for you. What better way to implement your skills than through a recycled art project. Collect broken toys, old computers, unusable clothing and get creative. Sell your masterpieces and donate the money to an environmental organization of your voice.

22. Go for a hike. Find somewhere you’ve never been before in your area, and go for a hike. While you’re out, clean up the area and pick up any litter that you might find. Leave it behind a little better than it was when you arrived and you’ve done your part for the Earth.

Sources: Alexander Ruggie, 911 Restoration; Renee Hansen, Hipcycle; Terra Wellington; Plastics Make It Possible; In Shape For Women; and Daniel Rothner, Areyvut.

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