So now it is the time to look forward with optimism and hope combined with responsible resource stewardship and action toward a better future. And the future begins now. It begins with us and with our kids. We need to be teaching and educating our children about the three "Rs" Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling whenever possible so that when Earth Day turns 50, 60, 70, and beyond, they can look back and know that we did right by them.
There is something for everyone out there, so even a small random act of kindness toward our planet today like picking up a piece of garbage or taking a few extra minutes to recycle a soda can is a step in the right direction. Here are a bunch more suggestions and ideas for those of you who are looking for something "Earthy" do to today:
- Too busy to get out and do something? No worries! If you've got 5 minutes to spare, then you're set! Thanks to the AARP, you now have an online resource for going green even if you just have 5 minutes! Head to their "Five Minute Ways to Go Green" online listing at www.createthegood.org/gogreen. There, you'll find topics like: donate your cell phone to a non-profit; reduce post-consumer carpets in landfills; set up a book exchange at work; tell a friend that is appliance shopping that they can research energy-efficient models here; and much more;
- The National Organization for Women, California chapter (CANOW) celebrates Earth Day 2010 by announcing NoDryClean.com. The free website and mobile application allows you to enter a zip code and find a listing of the closest nontoxic cleaners nearby;
- "Billion Acts of Green" for the iPhone or Facebook: Make a pledge to improve the environment with Earth Day Network and Future Friendly's "Billion Acts of Green" global grassroots campaign, which seeks to inspire conservation through an interactive Website and other social media tools that enable consumers to make a pledge to improve their environmental impact and promote other environmentally-beneficial habits to friends and family via social media channels. Their goal is to collect one billion pledges. For more information, visit: http://apps.facebook.com/earthdaynetwork/;
- In recognition of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the U.S. Chamber's BCLC is featuring 70 examples of business partners engaging in environmental stewardship, not just today, but every day. Companies from all industries -- from Abbott, Allstate, and ARAMARK to Siemens, Shell, and Southwest -- are minimizing their environmental footprint and advancing sustainability;
- In honor of Earth Day, Bing hosted a photo contest that will benefit education, especially environmental education, through DonorsChoose.org (which you may have read about here last month!). If you aren't too familiar, DonorsChoose.org allows teachers to post classroom projects that aren't able to be funded by school districts. Donors can contribute as little or as much as they'd like to the classroom project of their choice to help provide the tools to give children a good education. Each day, Bing gave the first 20,000 people, who voted in ehe Earth Day Photo Contest, a $5 donation coupon to redeem on DonorsChoose.org. Unfortunately, contest voting ended on April 19th, but you can still help DonorsChoose.org year-round by making a donation here or you can check to see who won the Earth Day Photo Contest here: www.earthdayphotocontest.com;
- Earth Day freebie and recycling project: Disney Store will give away free Friends for Change and OCEANS branded "eco-friendly hats" to guests who bring in six plastic bottles or aluminum cans on Earth Day, April 22 (while supplies last). Made from six recycled plastic bottles, the hats are an example of how everyday materials can be reused for entirely different purposes;
- FREE conservation activity for kids: Parents can also bring kids to the Disney Store to pick up OCEANS themed activity sheets that teach children about our lakes, oceans, rivers, and streams and how we can reduce the amount of trash and waste in our waterways. OCEANS offers an unprecedented look beneath the sea, and can be a great viewing experience together for families and children;
- Nature Conservancy donation: Disneynature's OCEANS will also contribute to The Nature Conservancy's "Adopt a Coral Reef," through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, on behalf of every person who sees the film in theaters April 22- April 28;
- Disney's new Friends for Change apparel: Disney Channel stars including Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, and many more have come together as Disney's Friends for Change, teaching kids about activities that can help the planet. A new collection of Disney's Friends for Change 100% organic Tees in four unique styles are available exclusively at Disney Store. The stand-out "Make a Wave" T-shirt design is inspired by the latest Disney's Friends for Change anthem of the same name by Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato, currently available on iTunes with all proceeds benefiting the planet through Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund;
- New eco-friendly products and apparel: Disney Store's exclusive "Save Planet Earth" eco-friendly product assortment with the lovable three-eyed green alien from Disney-Pixar Toy Story will be available through Earth Day and includes: "fashionable totes", made from seven recycled bottles that have been cleaned, smashed, melted and reused; children and adult sized "T-shirts made from 100% organic cotton" with the messages "Save Planet Earth" and "Love" and for each tote sold Disney Store will contribute $1 through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to help save our oceans by protecting vital coral reefs; green reusable "aluminum bottles"; "journals" made from recycled paper and organic cotton; and a new exclusive "Toy Story plush alien" to commemorate this special occasion;
- Exclusive Web videos featuring Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato: An exclusive new Earth Day video message about the program featuring Disney Channel stars Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato can be viewed in select Disney Store locations. You can see this here;
- Samsung's March to a Million in-school education and recycling program, which runs April 1 - June 1, will teach students across the U.S. about the importance of mobile phone recycling and the impact that it can have, both environmentally and socially, and participate in activities that will allow them to educate their peers, parents and local communities. Each participating school has the opportunity to enter a sweepstakes to win either a VIP concert from the pop/rock band, Hey Monday, or one of fifty $1,000 "Green Grants" to put towards making their school more environmentally friendly. For additional information, anyone who is interested in recycling their mobile phone can visit Samsung Mobile's Facebook page - www.facebook.com/SamsungMobile - and click on the Recycle tab. Here, you can print out a pre-paid postage label to send the phone to Samsung Mobile for recycling.