Happy Earth Day! Although here at Chicago Gateway Green we believe EVERYDAY is Earth Day, we put together some great ideas on how you can be extra green today!
First, some quick facts on this annual event:
· The first Earth Day ever was held April 22, 1970
· An estimated 20 million Americans participated
· Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day while he was working as a US senator
· Today, Earth Day is the world’s largest civic holiday and third largest celebrated holiday behind Christmas and Halloween!
Currently, over 192 countries celebrate Earth Day by collecting garbage, planting trees, signing petitions and planning for a better future for our planet. Here are some ways you can make a difference today!
1. Make an Earth Day resolution! Like a new year’s resolution, make a promise today to do something good for our planet. It could be a pledge to recycle more, ride your bike to work when possible or something as simple as turning off the lights when leaving a room.
2. Invest in energy efficient lights- If you’ve been meaning to switch out those old bulbs for newer, high efficiency ones there’s no better time than today to make that happen. If every U.S. family replaced one regular light bulb with a CFL (compact fluorescent light) it would eliminate 90 billion pounds of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere!
3. Host an Earth Day event- Organize a beach or park clean up, or tree/flower planting within your community. It’s a great way to make a difference while getting people of all ages involved.
4. Choose today to switch to online banking- it saves on tons of paper, literally! People everywhere have started paying credit card bills and viewing statements online instead of through the mail. Not only is it greener, it will also save you time and help keep you more organized!
5. Buy a carbon offset- An increasingly popular way to make a difference, individuals can purchase carbon offsets by paying for enough clean power to cover the dirty energy that is used. Put your extra funds towards a carbon offset by finding a site online and paying with a credit card, it’s very simple!
6. Write a letter- Contacting your senator or representative with a cause you care about is very much in keeping with the spirit of Earth Day! Find their mailing info on your state or local government’s website and let your representatives know how you would like them to vote. You never know, you could be making a bigger difference than you think.
7. Volunteer- There’s nothing like joining other like-minded individuals in a common task, so get some friends together and get involved! Here is a link to parks across Chicago looking for clean-up volunteers for Saturday, April 26th. http://www.earthdaychicago.com/volunteer.html
8. And last but not least, plant a tree! Combat global warming by planting trees or shrubs to absorb some of the CO2 in the air. At Chicago Gateway Green, we are dedicated to planting trees through our Tree Partnership Program, and we love to see others plant trees and celebrate the environment!