It’s Earth Day! And Hippies Aren’t So Bad After All
April 22, 2013
The hippies are out in full force for Earth Day! Should you take cover or celebrate? Point and laugh or holds hands and sway to and fro? Treehuggers or not, Earth Day (April 22) was inspired by the hippie movement and raises environmental awareness and interest in eco-friendly moves like A Billion Acts of Green to increase sustainability and the integrity of the planet. So not surprisingly, Earth Day is a fairly new holiday, with the first Earth Day marked in 1970 and when the environmental impact of our consumption became very noticeable. With the heightened sensitivity to eco-friendly methods and technology, it’s actually justified to jump on the bandwagon and do you part, no matter how insignificant, toward a greener future and even a greener present. Here’s our list of some of our favorite, affordable green options!
Forget about disposable coffee cups; just grab your own coffee mug and snap an Ecotop to it to instantly create a to-go cup! Unlike other lids for travel cups, this one actually works and is super-effective at eliminating spills regardless of angles or drops. With less paper cups in the trash, the space of landfills is just a little bit smaller– hey, you gotta start somewhere!
What do you do with your food scraps? Scrap ‘em? Most of probably do, but with this EcoCrock Compost Bin, scraps are turned into nutrients for your garden or lawn! You might be thinking of fertilizer with its stinky smells and corroborating appearance, but this countertop compost bin does an excellent job of ridding smells of rotting scraps with a built-in replaceable carbon filter under the lid. The vent holes on the lid allow air flow through the ceramic bin (to progress rotting), and the inner green bucket itself removes from the ceramic outer bucket for easy removal and cleaning. So you might say you’re taking from the planet and then giving some of it back in return!
What about electronic waste? What can be done about that, especially with the high turnaround in new gadgets and tech toys? A Cardboard Radio is, well, just what it sounds like. Made from recycled cardboard, the Cardboard Radio is a fully functional FM radio that can be recycled itself. What’s better than that? It’s also a portable speaker for your music player, smartphone, or iPhone. What’s better than that, you say again? That you’re helping reduce harmful waste from old electronics. And better than that? The cardboard speaker runs on four AA batteries, and batteries are recyclable, too.
You might be like my family, using Christmas gift bags for birthday presents in May. We prefer to call it “thrifty”, perhaps “kitschy”, not cheap, jerky reader. But if that’s a tad bit much for you, there’s always these Reusable Gift Bags. Adorned with superheroes like these ones here or characters like Hello Kitty, the reusable polymer bags allow ample room for a gift of your choice, after which a recipient can use as a market bag, book bag, laundry bag, or whatever s/he fancies. Less trash is good!
Probably one of the most stationary day-to-day items often overlooked as potentially recyclable is the plastic baggie. LunchSkins Reusable Sandwich Bags help rid those unnecessary bags with food-safe coated cotton (YES, cotton) and a Velcro closure. So many things we love about these reusable lunch bags: they’re dishwasher safe, they’re quick drying, they can hold hot foods as well, they’re grease-proof… Did we mention an attractive selection of designs, from sparrows and lizards to sliced oranges and flowers? Did we also mention they’re a fantastic alternative to disposable plastic bags?
It really is easy to make an effort to go green, but reducing your waste goes beyond more than just one day a year. Check out these tips from Simple Mom on doing your part every day:
- Simplify your driving by arranging your errands into one trip.
- Use more natural light as long as you can instead of resorting to electricity.
- Start your own herb garden! Easy, cheap, fresh: we love it.
- Or, shop at a local farmers’ market and support your locals in the process!
- Make your own household cleaners with stuff you probably already have.
- Repurpose or upcycle something you were going to toss anyways.
- Reuse scrap paper; I often cut mine into squares, arrange them together, and staple on top for a DIY notepad.
Ready to learn even more? Check out this list of surprisingly recyclable items that the war on waste has conquered:
- Tennis balls (using a process that pumps up its internal pressure, returning its bounce)
- Denim jeans (into– get this– home insulation!)
- Bras (donated to the homeless or shipped overseas, or shredded into raw textiles)
- Crayons! (melted down and poured into molds for multi-colored fun-shaped crayons)
We always make fun of hippies, but we have to admit, they have a good point, and they were much ahead of the game than we were. Earth Day has been over 40 years in the making, and every year new technology and efforts arise to establish a stronger grip on energy usage, waste, and conservation. Though we may not be around to experience the positive outcomes of all we’re doing now, that’s no reason to discourage ourselves from doing anything. Remember, every little bit helps, so go green, hug a tree, plant a tree, plant an herb, shop for locally grown herbs, dump old herbs into a compost bin, and return it back to the earth. It’s like that saying goes: you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.