Friday, April 19, 2013

GMG's Friday Find: Plant, Share and Care This Earth Day!

Back in the late 60's most people were not very concerned about our impact on planet Earth; those were the days of the hippie and flower-child power with protest the order of the day.  Americans were slurping leaded gas, air pollution was the smell of success and "environment" was a word you may get in a spelling bee.

Then along came Rachel Carson's New York Times bestseller, "Silent Spring," representing a watershed moment for the environmental movement, raising public awareness and concern for all living organisms and public health. Earth Day 1970 capitalized on a new emerging consciousness putting environmental concerns front and center, and that movement has continued uninterrupted with April 22nd marking the 43rd year of Earth Day.

There are many ways to celebrate Earth Day.  Almost every city in the country organizes events and activities to mark the occasion, you won't have to look far to see what's happening in your neck of the woods. In Columbus, Ohio they are holding Earth Day 2013: Stand Together, the largest volunteer service effort across the country to make Columbus communities greener.  People volunteer their labor and companies, like PRO-MIX, donate growing mixes. In the past 7 years efforts have resulted in over 40,000 hours of labor and 19,000 trees planted throughout the regions.  

Here are a few more suggestions you may consider for you and your family:

Costa Farms
Plant a Tree/Have a Plant Party  - Recent studies have shown how trees and our health and happiness are co-dependent, and studies have proven that houseplants provide much needed fresh air for the massive amount of time we spend indoors. If you aren't in the market for a tree, you can certainly run to your nearest market or home improvement center for a variety of houseplants that can clean your indoor air for better health. Another fun activity for kids is an Earth Day Plant Party where they decorate a kid-friendly container with stickers and then pop in little green heroes like ferns and snake plants. Remember to look for the O2 for You label!

Build/Design a Birdhouse/Make Homemade Seed - A fun project you can enjoy with kids is making a birdhouse or designing a birdfeeder and then crafting homemade birdseed that you can put in pine cones and other 'natural' finds. Teaching our children the value of caring for wildlife is a lesson they are sure to pass on to future generations.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle all day long - There are so many ways to accomplish these goals, even for just one day.  Use less water in your morning shower, walk or bike to work and save gas, turn off your lights until it's dark, avoid using disposable plates and cutlery, bring your own bags to the grocery store and avoid the plastic bags, find a way to reuse an old household or garage item, and recycle everything you can. If it's not already, this mindset for just one day can be the beginning of a lifelong habit.

Hold a garage sale/Donate -  Spring is the perfect time to thin out closets and garages of unused or unwanted clutter.  A garage sale, whether community or neighborhood, can benefit many who don't have certain necessities or you can donate items to charities to resell for cash.  Involve your children and see if there aren't some toys, games and sporting equipment they can include, helping them understand that giving is a rewarding endeavor. 

James Farmer
Cook an Earth Day Meal - Plan a menu that uses locally produced food and decorate your table with found and/or recycled objects.  Have your guests participate in a wreath-making activity using material from your garden and produce from the grocery store or farmer's market. It's not only fun, everyone gets to go home with a fabulous wreath for the summer season.

Whatever we do on Earth Day is certainly something we can do everyday.  We are all stewards of the Earth and as John Muir said, "When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." Happy Earth Day...everyday!

Garden Media Group


Alex Bornt said...

Hello. I would like to thank the author of the article. Earth Day is a good way to draw attention to the environmental problems of our planet. We live in East London and are very concerned about the cleanliness of our area. Every day I see how people are careless about cleaning and cleanliness. This makes me very sad.

Edgar said...

I love Earth Day very much. We go with the whole family to clean beaches or small forests from the garbage. We also try to use only those products that can be recycled so as not to clog up landfills, which have already grown to incredible sizes.

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Involve your children and see if there aren't some toys, games and sporting equipment they can include, helping them understand that giving is a rewarding endeavor.
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