April 22 is Earth Day, an annual event that shines the spotlight on the plight of the planet and helps raise awareness about environmental issues we face today. First observed in 1970, Earth Day has evolved into a worldwide event celebrated by approximately 1 billion people in nearly 200 countries.
The Great Climate Change Debate
While some refuse to acknowledge climate change exists, most respected scientists and scientific agencies including NASA and NOAA, believe the effects of climate change on our planet are already occurring. 97 percent of climate scientists believe human activity is a contributing factor in the warming trends we are seeing today at an unprecedented rate
25 Earth Day Tips
While many experts believe we are at a critical turning point, there are many things we can do to help reduce our carbon footprint, save money and the planet.
- BYOB - Refuse to use plastic bags at the store and bring your own reusable bag.
- Reduce your waste, reuse and recycle.
- Cut down on plastics - plastic straws, bags, utensils, bottles, etc.
- Donate items you no longer wear or use to a local charity. You'll not only clean out your clutter and help someone in need, you'll help reduce landfill waste.
- Reuse wrapping paper or gift bags during the holidays or for special occasions.
- Adjusting the thermostat by just a few degrees will reduce energy consumption and reduce your bill or purchase a programmable thermostat.
- Don't let the water run while you brush your teeth.
- Take shorter showers or shower with your significant other.
- Make sure your washing machine and dishwasher are completely full before using.
- Use cold water during the rinse cycle.
- Fix the drips and running toilets.
- Purchase low-flow faucets, showerheads and toilets.
- Collect rainwater and use for plants and flowers.
- Carpool, walk and/or bike to work.
- Check your tire pressure on your tires monthly - under-inflated tires end up burning more fuel.
- Don't let your vehicle idle. Besides wasting gas and money, the exhaust pollutes the air.
- In the market for a new vehicle? Consider a hybrid or fuel-efficient car.
- Turn off the lights and appliances when they aren't being used.
- Purchase Energy Star certified products. You'll not only save money, you'll use less energy and may even get a tax rebate.
- Switch to CFL light bulbs.
- Skip the chemicals in cleaning products and go organic.
- Get reel! Americans use about 800 million gallons of gas each year from mowing the grass. Switching to a push-mower helps reduce CO2 by more than 80 pounds a year!
- Switch to a meat-free diet. Besides feeling better and probably losing a bit of weight, you'll help the planet and spare the lives of farm animals.
- Save a tree and switch to paperless billing. Read your newspapers or magazines online.
- Compost, compost, compost.
Although we celebrate Earth Day on April 22, we only have one planet. Every single day of the year should be Earth Day! And speaking of Earth Day, check out the 25 Free Earth Day Crafts, Games & Activities for Kids.