The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. Today is the 40th anniversary of that day when most Americans became aware that mankind was slowly poisoning it's own environment, choking the atmosphere with fluorocarbons, and in general, attempting to kill the one place all humanity can call home, the Earth. As the years have passed, the United States has made a few changes to protect the environment, but many more are needed to lessen the carbon footprint left by our lives. Here are a few things that as everyday consumers, you'll find easy to do and help in the effort to limit our carbon footprint.
1. First and foremost, reuse, reduce, and recycle; plant a tree, flowers, greenery. Not only are you beautifying your environment, but making it easier for oxygen reformation.
2. Unplug unused items such as cell phone chargers, laptop chargers, turn off unused power strips. (I'm so guilty of this, though, I've been trying to do better.)
3. Replace incandescent bulbs in your home with florescent bulbs. (I've replaced all of ours and I really don't notice too much of a difference. There are two types of florescent bulbs, I just make sure to purchase the ones best for indoor lighting.) Replacing light bulbs can save about 12% on your utility bill.
4. If you need to replace a worn out appliance, most state governments are issuing rebate checks for purchasing energy efficient appliances. Not only do you get a new appliance, but lower your electric bill and get back some of the purchase price making an expensive proposition more affordable. Unfortunately, still extremely expensive. I know, my washer broke and it was going to cost more to fix it than replace it. But, at least I purchase a water conserving front loader. A little more inconvenient, but uses a third of the water and I recycled my old washer, giving it to an appliance repair center to use parts that were still available and to sell the rest metal for scrap. I didn't make any money from this, the appliance center did, but at least I know that some of the appliance was put to good use.
5. Make sure to keep toxic chemicals from landfills, dispose of paint, paint cans, chemicals, oil, and appliance such as computers, computer monitors, refrigerators properly. Not only are they dangerous, but the chemicals eventually leach out of the containers or appliances, poisoning the soil and ground water. Most communities have a toxic chemical pick up day in the Spring.
Most are common sense everyday things that people can do easily without any inconvenience.
Here's a cute little video celebrating Earth Day 2010.
And of course, it wouldn't be Earth Day without a little Kermit.
And I had to add Ernie and Rubber Duckie because it's Stuart's favorite song (he's my very own demonically possessed dog).
Happy Earth Day Everyone!!