CARING FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT: Being earth-friendly doesn't require going solar or growing all your own food. There are plenty of easy ways to make a big difference.
1. Plant and care for a garden, flowers, or small tree. (Free trees are offered at the Arbor Website ) Use native plants as much as possible. Native plants have adapted over time to the local environment and support native animals. They also use less water and require less of attention.
2. Collect litter.
3. Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs. Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) use 66% less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and last up to 10 times longer. Replacing a 100-watt incandescent bulb with a 32-watt CFL can save $30 in energy costs over the life of the bulb.
4. Turn lights off when not in use.
5. Choose energy efficient appliances. According to the Energy Star site, if just one in 10 homes used energy-efficient appliances, it would be equivalent to planting 1.7 million new acres of trees!
6. Wash clothes in cold water.
7. Turn the thermostat of your hot water tank down.
8. Install a programmable thermostat. Turn down the thermostat in cold weather and keep it higher in warm weather. Each degree below 20°C (68°F) during colder weather saves 3%-5% more heating energy, while keeping your thermostat at 78°F in warmer weather will save you energy and money. A programmable thermostat will make these temperature changes for you automatically.
9. Use mass transit and bicycles as much as possible. Walk, bike, carpool or take public transit.
10. Make sure you know what can be recycled in your area, and try to recycle as much household waste as possible.
11. Compost using an outdoor compost bin.
12. Clean or replace filters on your furnace and air conditioner.
13. Buy local or organic food where possible.
14. Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket.
15. Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible.
16. Plant a tree - trees are dying because of the drought/climate change; Plant shade trees to reduce summer heat and reduce watering needs in summer months.
17. Rainforest Rescue: “Adopt” a bit of Rain Forest. 2500 square feet can be purchased ar Arbor Website for $10.00.
18. Leave No Trace when in wilderness and camping areas.
19. Promote and start a Re-cycle center or campaign. Recycle plastic, glass, cans, packaging. Recycling just one glass bottle saves enough electricity to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours.
20. Buy fresh foods instead of frozen.
21. Keep your car tuned up and your tires inflated to their optimal pressure - also minimize driving.
22. Clean green. Stop buying household cleaners that are potentially toxic to both you and the environment. Buy environmentally-friendly products- Use biodegradable dishwashing liquid, laundry soap powder, etc.
23. Drink tap water (filtered if necessary) rather than buying bottled water - Turn the tap off while brushing your teeth.
24. Unplug seldom-used appliances and chargers for phones, cameras, etc., when you're not using them –
25. Plug air leeks and drafts around doors and windows with weather-stripping.
26. Switch from disposable to reusable products: food and beverage containers, cups, plates, writing pens, razors, diapers, towels, shopping bags, etc.
27. Make sure your roof is well-insulated.
28. Dispose of hazardous material properly.
29. Turn computers and equipment off when not in use.
30. Remove yourself from junk mail lists. Each person will receive almost 560 pieces of junk mail this year, which adds up nationally to 4.5 million tons, according to the Native Forest Network. About 44% of all junk mail is thrown in the trash, unopened and unread, and ends up in a landfill.
31. Paper or Plastic??? Neither! Carry your own cloth bags to the store to avoid using store bags.
32. Adopt the policy – “Earth Day-Every Day”!!!
- Idea: Use the above as a spring board with your Earth/Green discussions. Work in a child care program? Post this in your Information Center; include in a newsletter; send home to parents...
- There is an Earth/Green Category that consists of seven sections...you can scroll down through all seven-or click on the one you'd like!
BE GREEN DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR! Have kids...
•Ride your bike or walk to school.
•Use last year's school supplies.
•Buy a canvas and cardboard binders instead of plastic.
•Buy recycled paper.
•Use reusable water bottles instead of plastic.
•Use a lunch box, not paper bags.
•Donate last year's clothes instead of throwing them away.
•Buy online to avoid driving.
•Buy organic food.
•Turn your computer off when you're not using it.
•Decorate your lunchbox.
•Make your own bookmarks.
•Organize a clothes swap with your friends.
•Carpool to sports.
•Use refillable pens and pencils.
•Reuse your backpack. Decorate it with cool patches.
Tips from NationalGeographic
1.) Earth Theme: Art, Crafts and Games
2.) Earth Theme: Litter, Recycling and Coins
3.) Earth Theme: Nature and Science Activities
4.) Earth Themed Snacks and Variey of Ideas
5.) Earth Themed Music Activities
6.) Seasonal Earth and Green Ideas!
7.) Earth Friendly Ideas for Middle and High School