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How to Celebrate Earth Day Everyday: 10 Easy Tips

April 21, 2011

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For over 40 years, Earth Day has brought environmental issues into public discussion every April. This spring, let’s allow Earth Day to inspire us to treat our planet right, all year long. To celebrate, try incorporating sustainable practices each day for a healthier you and your earth.  

To get you started we’ve come up with a list of ‘green’ tips to celebrate Earth Day everyday. 

Plant a tree
Trees provide shade, improve air quality, conserve water, harbor wildlife, and give us delicious food. Plus, they’re beautiful! Celebrate nature this month and plant a tree. If you can’t plant one yourself, take advantage of one of the many tree-planting organizations, like Integrative Nutrition guest speaker David Wolfe’s Fruit Tree Planting Foundation.

Eat local, in-season food
Commercially grown produce travels an average of 1500 miles from dirt to plate. That means a lot of fuel and, coincidentally, a lot fewer nutrients for you. So help the environment and yourself by eating as many local, in-season foods as possible. Pick some up at a local market, or grow your own. Find out what’s in season in your area with Epicurious seasonal ingredient map.

Go organic
Simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.  Visit www.organic.org for more info. 

Be your own Top Chef
When you cook your own meals and eat at home, you are reducing consumption of packaging and plastic cutlery.  It also takes the guesswork out of whether your takeout is organic or not. 

A+ for good health
Feeding kids healthy, locally grown, organic lunches is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of a whole community.  Programs like Edible School Yards create and sustain an organic garden and landscape that is wholly integrated into the school’s curriculum, culture, and food program.

Eat less meat
Switching to a plant-based diet is as good for the environment as switching from a Hummer to a hybrid. Plus, it’s cheaper! If you don’t want to completely cut meat from your diet, incorporate “meatless Mondays” into your routine and eat smaller servings the rest of the week. Check out PCRM’s vegetarian starter guide if you are interested in going meat free.

Refill it
The amount of oil that is used each year to make bottled water could fuel one million U.S. vehicles for an entire year. Plus, we barely recycle them, so they are rapidly clogging up landfills. Carry a reusable bottle and refill it.

This Coffee is for the Birds
Buy shade-grown coffee to protect desperately needed migratory bird habitats. Many "fair trade certified" coffees are shade-grown.

Let your Garden Grow
If possible, grow your own fruits and vegetables using organic gardening practices.  It’s the best way to ‘go green’!

Enjoy nature
Appreciate nature’s beauty and get outside! Pass the drive-thru and plan an organic picnic. Turn off the TV and go for a family hike. Skip the coffee date and take a bike ride. Unplug that treadmill and jog at the park.

What tips do you have for Earth Day everyday?