With more than one billion people around the earth celebrating Earth Day this week, you might be looking for something new to do to show your interest in saving the planet. Compiled below are six great ideas that just might inspire you.
6 Great Ideas to Help Save the Planet for Earth Day
1. Kill the Disposable Cup
Commit to using “real” coffee cups – join the growing “Kill The Cup” Campaign. In an effort to reduce waste from the 158 million disposable cups that are used daily in the United States, KillTheCup.com recently launched a national campaign challenging Americans to make a pledge to commit to drinking from a reusable cup on Earth Day, April 22.
A project of Social Ventures for Sustainability, KilltheCup.com is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that partners with campuses and communities to encourage environmentally responsible consumer behavior. KillTheCup.com’s campaigns offer prizes and rewards to consumers for behaving in ways that will save them money, reduce waste, and improve sponsoring organizations’ triple bottom lines. The San Diego-based organization is hoping for 22,000 coffee drinkers to make the April 22 Earth Day Pledge at KillTheCup.com.
2. Turn a Broken Toy into a Green Park Bench
TerraCycle, the world’s leader in recycling the non-recyclable has teamed up for Earth Day 2015 with Tom’s of Maine, a natural personal care brand, to recycle broken toys into something useful like park benches. With three billion toys purchased in 2014 alone, the challenge of what to do with broken dolls, cars without wheels, or stuffed animals coming unraveled is greater than ever. Now unusable toys that aren’t fit for donating can find a new home other than a landfill.
A recent study by Tom’s of Maine showed that more than half of parents frequently throw out toys to reduce clutter in their home. Instead, families are encouraged to sign up for a Toy Recycling Box, available free of charge at www.TomsofMaine.com/toyrecycling while supplies last, and work with friends, community centers, and schools to teach kids how to reduce waste.
The boxes come with a prepaid shipping label for an easy return process once full. Everything from dolls to board game pieces can be placed in the box and shipped to TerraCycle free of charge.
3. Grow an “OFG” – Ocean Friendly Garden
According to Surfrider.org, 40-70% of residential water is used outdoors, and urban runoff is the number one source of pollution in our oceans. Not only contributing to flooding, runoff is a needlessly wasted free source of landscape and garden irrigation. When water runs off our properties it collects and carries with it fertilizers, pesticides, and other pollutants, including oil, brake pad dust, exhaust from vehicles, animal droppings, and soil sediment.
Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) is an Earth Day program offered by Surfrider Foundation to teach us how to revive our oceans and watersheds by applying CPR – Conservation, Permeability and Retention – to our landscapes and hardscapes. Conserving wildlife habitats, energy, and water, OFGs are designed with permeable soil and hard surfaces to sponge up and filter the rainwater, which is used as the first source of irrigation. Native plants are preferred, and drip irrigation is utilized to supplement irrigation, especially to help establish the ocean friendly garden.
Founded in 1984 “by a handful of visionary surfers” in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves, and beaches. With over 50,000 members and 80 chapters worldwide, there’s always room for one more on your local beach. Learn more at www.surfrider.org.
4. Shop for a Green Car
Cars.com, the premier online resource for buying, selling, and now servicing new and used cars, offers search data to help green car shoppers find hybrid and electric cars. “With low gas prices, some car shoppers are turning back to less fuel-efficient cars, but if they’re looking to be environmentally friendly, hybrids and electrics are still the way to go,” said Joe Wiesenfelder, Cars.com executive editor and resident ‘green’ expert. “There may be no better time to buy a fuel-efficient car than now, because low gas prices have reduced demand for hybrids and electrics, resulting in special incentives from many automakers.”
Launched in 1998 and owned by Gannett Co. (NYSE: GCI), cars.com has over 30 million monthly visitors. Offering thousands of new and used vehicle listings, cars.com also has expert and consumer reviews, side-by-side comparison and build and price tools, photo galleries, videos, unbiased editorial content, and many other resources. Conserve energy by shopping for your green dream car online at cars.com.
5. Enter the Solar Energy Era
If you really want to save the planet and live green, now is the time to enter the solar energy era. If you want to save some serious cash money, Go solar! The current cost of solar panels is at at an all time low. Visit www.costofsolar.com to get a solar quote and home solar report for your home, and see how easy it is to help save the planet by saving on your utilities.
6. Join the Growing Climate Voter Constituency
Earth Day Network, NAACP National Voter Fund, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, and the League Of Conservation Voters have recently committed to registering one million new climate action voters by the 2016 election.
As part of the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, these organizations are working together to activate a growing climate action voter constituency by recruiting voters who expect local, state, and nationally elected officials to advance an effective climate policy.
“The NAACP National Voter Fund is proud to once again stand with the Earth Day Network and fight for our planet’s future,” said Greg Moore, NAACP National Voter Fund Executive Director. “In order to truly achieve our goals, we need every person to have a voice in our democracy, to stand up with us and fight for climate change as well as voting rights legislation. Our children and grandchildren depend on it.”
The National Voter Fund (NVF) was created in 2000 by the NAACP as it sought dynamic new ways to aggressively communicate its views on critical social issues of the day regarding voting rights. NVF was established as a free-standing 501C (4) corporation to engage in civic participation and community-based mobilization efforts through education and awareness campaigns surrounding key issues in communities of color. Learn more at www.naacpnvf.net.
“Greater voter participation is the key to overcoming special interests, so our goal is to make election day an Earth Day too. That’s why the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund is proud to join with our partners in this pledge to register one million Americans ahead of the 2016 election,” said Gene Karpinski, President of LCV.
The League of Conservation Voters Education Fund division of state capacity building elevates the profiles of environmental issues in every state. Across the US, state LCVs are growing strongly, celebrating every victory for the environment. Join them at www.lcvef.org.
Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP) was founded in 1974, and it’s the largest and oldest non-partisan Latino voter participation organization in the United States. SVREP’s mission is to empower Latinos and other minorities by increasing their participation in the American democratic process. Visit www.svrep.org.
President of Earth Day Network Kathleen Rogers said, “Creating a climate narrative within voter mindsets encourages citizens to think about the risks associated with climate change when they cast their ballot.” Growing out of the first observance of Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN) is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, working in 192 countries to broaden, diversify, and mobilize the environmental movement. With more than 1 billion people participating in Earth Day activities each year, Earth Day is now recognized as the largest civic observance in the world. Welcome to the party!
Find more events, activities, and great ideas to help save the planet at www.earthday.org.