Happy Earth Day! Today we turn our attention to ways to reduce, reuse, recycle, and repurpose so that we might re-gift this great planet to the next generation. If you need a few suggestions, I found this great article on Inhabitat called 6 fun, meaningful ways to celebrate Earth Day.
The first time I ever heard of Earth Day, I was at my grandparent’s farm in North Carolina. I remember going into the den and seeing a giant globe spinning on the TV set. I’m not sure what the news anchor said but I remember the clip art globe slowly orbiting the sun in a black field of miniscule stars and the words “Earth Day” in bold print. At the time, I was really into the solar system so Earth Day brought to mind the notion of aliens and life on other planets. How wonderful that we were celebrating them! It was 1982 and I was 9 years old.
Today, Earth Day still holds a special place on my calendar. I may no longer eat cupcakes in honor of E.T. but I still take the time to celebrate the extra-special terrestrial life that surrounds me every day – from flowers and birds to rolling waves and golden sunsets. Earth Day is more than just a day to remember to recycle. It is a day to really remember that we as humans are just one piece in a much larger puzzle and that what we do today has a profound impact on our tomorrow.
We certainly try to leave as small of a footprint as we can wherever we go. We recycle, though we can no longer compost here at our apartment. We even help other people to recycle by taking their usable goods out of the dumpster and to the Goodwill. We shop local and buy used whenever possible. But even that doesn’t always seem like enough.
Last year for Earth Day, we enrolled in a Naturalist course through the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Science to learn more Florida’s natural environment. We also spent the summer volunteering with the Mote Marine Lab’s Sea Turtle Patrol, monitoring nesting activity and picking up LOTS of trash from our section of the beach each week. This year, our Earth Day project is focused on self-sustainability.
We’re experimenting with solar power. It’s our goal to use only solar in our next home but for now, we’re doing a lot of reading about solar projects and using small solar chargers for things like our cell phones, Kindles, and laptops.
- We’re re-exploring gardening. Before leaving Tennessee, we helped my mom start a small garden. It’s just tomatoes now but when we return next month, we’ll be adding other vegetables.
We’ve started making our own cleaning products and recently added laundry tablets to our list of DIY projects. I even bought a small sewing machine to mend clothes and repurpose some old sheets into usable items – like slipcovers and curtains.
Small steps can make a big difference. What are you doing for Earth Day?