Earth Day! Don’t just look through green colored glasses!

It’s April 22… the 39th celebration of Earth Day!  While I am rarely at a loss for words, today I’m going to say less than normal.  I think Earth Day speaks for itself.

I am reminded, however, that this misuse of the planet has been going on for a long time… is anyone old enough to remember the 70’s commercial with the “Crying Indian?” I remember being very little and seeing this on TV… and feeling a sadness every time I saw the Indian cry.  It may be 30+ years old, but it still gets to me.

Today, we have the Blue Man Group to remind us that, while the vehicle for the message is modernized, the message has not changed.

So, I’ll leave you with two more thoughts:

“The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. Humankind has not woven the web of life.  We are but one thread within it.  Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.  All things are bound together.  All things connect.” ~ Chief Seattle, Divamish Indian, 1855

“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all, our most pleasing responsibility.  To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.” ~ Wendell Berry

Happy Earth Day… celebrate!

Earth Day can be simple but significant.

If you do a Google search for “Earth Day” you’re likely to find hundreds upon hundreds of suggestions about how to spend April 22, and am I going to do that too?  Yea, I am.  But first things first…

earth-dayEarth Day is a birthday so to speak – a day to celebrate the earth.  It was created in 1970 as a way to remind us to appreciate nature and learn how to protect our environment.  And while it is celebrated in the spring in the northern hemisphere, it is actually observed in the autumn in the southern hemisphere (both days being the exact “middle point” of the season).  Internationally, it reaches over 17,000 organizations in 174 countries, so this (like the newer Earth Hour project) is a worldwide event.

No matter what you do to celebrate the day, it can be truly significant.  If you simply take notice of the earth and how lucky we truly are, you have celebrated!  So here are some simple ideas, if you don’t have some terrific ones of your own!

  • See “Earth” – the Disneynature film that is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
  • Plant a tree – buy a tree for your yard or sponsor the planting of a tree.
  • Plan an eco-friendly meal – eat organic, locally-grown produce and get a taste of the earth!
  • Attend an Earth event – check your local zoo, botanical gardens, nature center or community’s programs.
  • Read a book – if your children are burnt out on their own nature books, check out the local library for some new selections.tree-seedling1
  • Clean out the clutter – and donate what you own that no longer has a purpose, to keep it out of the trash and landfills.
  • Go for a walk – your own neighborhood or a local hiking path can remind you of the wonder of nature.
  • Pick up some trash – this can be coupled with your walk and accomplish even more!
  • Break ground for a garden – as organic as you can get!
  • Adopt naturesponsor an endangered species or an acre of rainforest.
  • Make recycled crafts – your own home (and recycle bin) is full of supplies!
  • Change a habit – whether it’s cleaning products or a pledge to recycle more, every change is a good change.
  • Switch to CFLs – buy some!  And when an old incandescent burns out, switch ‘em out!
  • USE those reusable bags – vow to make this a priority!
  • “Talk about it!” – talk about what Earth Day really means… with your kids, your friends, your neighbor… anyone that might need to know or need a little “push!”

There are still a few days to make your plans, but just be sure to plan something.  But I truly believe that teaching our kids to respect the earth and appreciate this amazing planet is the best way to celebrate… kids that are taught to be “environmentally aware” grow up to be environmentally aware adults!

And remember… April 22 isn’t the only Earth Day… EVERY day should be Earth Day!

Spend Earth Day with Disneynature’s “Earth” (+ giveaway!)

earth

(This giveaway is now closed for entries… congratulations “Marisa”!)

Last year was the first time we really participated in Earth Day.  We planted a small tree in our yard (that shortly thereafter became a deer’s lunch… but at least we tried!), read some books about the Earth and had an eco-friendly dinner complete with some dirt for dessert (don’t call the authorities – it was just the dessert that LOOKS like dirt!)earth-elephants

This year I was so excited to learn that Disneynature is premiering its first film, Earth, on Earth Day, April 22, 2009.  The trailer looks just incredible.  Narrated by James Earl Jones, this film tells the remarkable story of three animal families and their amazing journey across the planet we all call home.  Earth combines rare action, unimaginable scale and impossible locations by capturing the most intimate moments of our planet’s wildest and most elusive creatures.  In fact, it’s directed by the same creative team behind the Planet Earth series (that we love!).

To make this an even more impactful event, Disneynature will also plant a tree in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (the most endangered rain forest in the world), in honor of every moviegoer who sees the film in its opening week.  If a weekday viewing isn’t possible, you can plan for the weekend too, and still make a difference!

canvas-toteTo top off this great effort, Disneynature has also offered a giveaway to a Mom Goes Green reader.  This Earth-branded package (valued at $60) includes a canvas tote, a biodegradable tumbler, a fleece blanket and a tree seedling (that hopes NOT to become a lunch!).  To enter this contest, just leave a comment and tell me how you will spend Earth Day this year. You can also send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog or write about this giveaway and link back.earth-whales

A random winner will be selected one week from today’s post (US residents only, please… sorry!)

So plan your Earth Day activities, schedule a viewing of Earth and enter to win… all in celebration of this great planet we share!

Take a “Barefoot” walk through Earth Tales (giveaway)!

(NOTE:  This giveaway is now closed for entries.)

Since the day our kids were born we’ve always read to them, even before they were old enough to hold a book (sometimes I read “Parents” magazine aloud while I nursed them!) and as a result, nightly stories have become a regular part of our lives.

Now we’ve progressed to where our daughter is able to read to us (and boy, is that amazing… and sometimes alarming when our kids’ show switches off, the “On Demand” screen is promoting “grown-up shows” and our daughter screambarefoot-logos “Mom!  What’s ‘Sex & The City’?”… oh yikes!).

Despite a new reader in our house, we still snuggle up and read to them and as they grow and become more aware of what the stories actually mean, I’ve really tried to buy books with a message.  One outstanding publisher I recently discovered is Barefoot Books – their vision is to “celebrate the world’s diversity, encourage children’s independent spirits and build enthusiasm for reading, creativity and discovery!”… just what we’re looking for!

The latest, greatest selection to hit our bookshelf is The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales.  It’s a compilation of some of the sweetest earth stories from different cultures around the world and how they live in harmony with nature.  They even include kid-friendly eco-tips and activities following each story.earth-tales

Any day is a great day for fantastic stories like these, but in celebration of our upcoming Earth Day I have a copy I would love to give away to a reader! Just leave a comment and let me know if you have a favorite Barefoot Book; but if you’re a newbie, that’s okay too… let me help you get started!  You can also send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog or write about this giveaway and link back. It’s a perfect book for your kids or a gift for the little eco-minded one in your life! (My kids really LOVE it!) The winner will be randomly selected one week from today’s post (and again, US entries only, please… sorry!).

In addition, the fine folks at Barefoot Books are offering a 10% discount now until April 30, 2009.  Just use code: SCETALES at checkout.  Plus, for every Earth Tales book you purchase, Eco-Libris will plant a tree in your honor in celebration of Earth Day.

So kick off your shoes, enter to win, buy a copy and take a Barefoot walk through Earth Tales!