10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Alisa Opar
Published: 04/22/2011


This image from Apollo 17 captures the south polar ice cap, and almost the entire coastline of Africa, along with the Arabian Peninsula. Photo courtesy NASA

Today marks the 41st anniversary of Earth Day. Whether you're a gardener or a film buff, here are a variety of fun suggestions to celebrate the day in your own special way.
 
1. Walk or ride your bike to work today.
  
2. Take part in an Earth Day event in your community. Across the country people will be celebrating all weekend long. Enter your zip code at A Billion Acts of Green to find events near your home.
 
3. Watch Earth Days, the inspiring story of the modern environmental movement. The film is online at PBS; watch the trailer below.
 

  
4. Plant a tree. Planting trees in your yard can provide a home to various types of wildlife, as well as reduce heating and cooling costs, help clean air, and, of course, add a bit beauty. Click here for tree-planting instructions and advice from the National Resources Conservation Service.
 
5. Don’t have a green thumb? Got $1? Today, for every dollar donated to the Canopy Fund, the group will plant a tree where they’re most needed, such as Haiti, Brazil, and urban U.S. forests.
 
6. Bright idea: Switch out those incandescent light bulbs and put in energy efficient CFLs. If you’ve already made the change and have burnt-out CFLs around the house, recycle them. The EPA has suggestions for recycling the bulbs, which contain mercury.
 
7. Stop the flow of junk mail. The unwanted catalogs and other paper waste filling up your mailbox aren’t just annoying, they’re also a waste of natural resources (many catalogs are made from trees logged in Canada’s boreal forest, read about it in “Paper Chase”). Several companies offer services to help cut the junk, including Catalog Choice, Directmail.com, and OptOutPrescreen.com. Forest Ethics is pushing for a national Do Not Mail registry, similar to the Do Not Call registry. Lend your support at donotmail.org.
 
8. Take a quiz! Use the Earth Day Network Footprint Calculator to measure your impact on the planet.
 
9. Embrace energy efficiency at home. The first step is performing an energy audit. The U.S. Department of Energy is a great resource, offering thorough instructions for a do-it-yourself assessment, and helpful information about hiring a professional.
  
10. Learn about Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring and one of the people credited for the modern environmental movement and an inspiration for Earth Day.
  
How will you celebrate Earth Day?