Earth Day in action : from unplugging to composting, E's 5 ways to honor Earth Day this year.

Author:Belli, Brita
Position::COMMENTARY
 
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This year, to honor Earth Day (April 22), consider taking more definitive action. Whether it's setting aside more time for hikes and outdoor explorations, joining a local pollution-fighting group or composting kitchen scraps, use this day dedicated to all things green to take a meaningful step or two.

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Here are 5 ideas from E.

  1. Join the movement: If you're fed up with dirty (and dangerous) coal mining, with chemicals in consumer products or destruction of beautiful lands--get active! There are tons of causes around the country worth discovering and lending support to. A few of our favorites include 350.org, an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis; Heartwood, a regional network that protects forests and supports community activism in the eastern U.S.; Appalachian Voices, which brings people together to solve the environmental problems having the greatest impact on the central and southern Appalachian Mountains, and the Waterkeeper Alliance, an advocacy organization dedicated to preserving and protecting water from polluters with local groups throughout the U.S. and Canada.

  2. Get outside: Every time I see the statistic that we spend, on average, 90% of our time indoors, I can hardly believe we've reached such extremes. But between car commutes, office jobs, classrooms, and time spent at home, we've reduced going outdoors to a special treat we allow ourselves only in short bursts. Why not commit yourself to getting outdoors more, especially now that Spring has sprung, whether it's an hour a day or a two-hour hike each weekend--and start exploring the trails, nature preserves and natural wonders close by? It's a great way to "get back to nature," and to improve your health--pollutant concentration in indoor air is two to five times higher than outdoor, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. See the EPA's Guide to Indoor Air Quality here.

  3. Unplug: It's sacrilegious, I know, but all our electronic gadgets--from cell phones to laptops to video games to televisions--are keeping us increasingly disconnected from the outside world and one another. A study released by the Kaiser Family Foundation in January 2010 found that kids ages 8 to 18 today spend seven hours and 38 minutes using electronic media in a typical day--or 53 hours per week! When's the last time you had dinner with the family outdoors--whether on the patio or a picnic blanket? Or how about...

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