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Make a Difference on Earth Day and Every Day

EarthThe first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. Earth Day and the week surrounding it are an opportunity for people of all ages and all walks of life to make a difference. Here are ten simple things you can do to help improve the environment on earth day or any day.

  1. Enjoy nature. Get outside and go for a walk in the woods. Think about the impact your personal choices make on the environment.
  2. Plant a tree. Select a site with adequate sunlight, and enough room for roots and branches to reach full size. Avoid overhead and underground utilities. Make sure to water it until it is well established.
  3. Lights out. When you leave a room, turn out the lights. Switch to compact fluorescent lights, which use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
  4. Conserve water. Turn the water on and off when washing the car. In the time it takes to wash the car, a running hose wastes over 100 gallons of water.
  5. Buy a programmable (automatic) thermostat. You can save as much as 10% a year on your heating bills by turning back your thermostat while you're asleep.
  6. Register and vote. In small towns, issues with a significant potential to impact the environment are often decided by a few votes. Elected officials may feel that citizens don't make voting decisions based on environmental issues. Let your officials know if you do, and that you vote.
  7. Car pool as often as possible. Set a goal of commuting in a car pool at least one day during Earth Week.
  8. Reduce waste. Bring lunch in reusable/washable containers. Set an Earth Week goal of having at least one waste-free lunch. Reduce the amount of junk mail by having your name removed from mailing lists. Contact the Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008.
  9. Pick up litter. Choose a road in your town, grab a pair of gloves and a garbage bag, and take an hour to pick up litter along the side of the road. Be sure to exercise care around traffic.
  10. Learn about your impact on the environment. Take the ecological footprint test at http://www.earthday.net/footprint/ to learn how much land and ocean areas are needed to maintain your current lifestyle.

More Information and References:

Conservation Commission
If you think you're too small to make an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.

- Variously attributed