Inhabitat

What Are You Doing for Earth Day 2010?

by , 04/22/10
filed under: Announcements

team inhabitat, earth day 2009, sustainable lifestyle, green movement, sustainable design, green design

Happy Earth Day!

Or maybe not. The way we see it, today is just another day in the long uphill battle against environmental degradation, and if we are really going to see any positive change, we should start thinking about EVERY DAY as Earth Day. That’s not to say that there aren’t a lot of really positive and fun celebrations and activities going on around the globe though! And perhaps this Earth Day will get people who were never interested in the environment before to give issues like climate change, energy conservation and even recycling a chance. From New York to Australia to San Francisco, we asked our writers and editors around the globe how they plan to spend April 22, 2009 – Here’s a look at what Earth Day means to us.

We’d love to hear from you too! What are YOU doing for Earth Day, and what does this holiday mean to you? Our favorite response in the comments below will win an Inhabitat T-shirt!

Jill Fehrenbacher, Green Design, Green Designer, Eco Designer, Green Design Blogger, Green ArchitectJILL FEHRENBACHER, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, New York, NY
I am a big believer in the idea that every day should be Earth Day. I think that having just one day per year dedicated ‘Earth Day’ is a silly marketing ploy for greenwashers, and a crutch that oversimplifies the issues and makes it easy for people to be complacent about environmental problems because they purchase an ‘eco-tote’ or an ‘eco-shaped’ water bottle, when really our environmental problems are far more complex and something we should be thinking about every day of the year. Therefore, I’m not doing anything to celebrate, other than my usual daily routine: jogging along the East River in the morning, eating vegan food, walking everywhere I need to go, and alternating my time between working at my laptop, blogging about green innovation and design, and playing in the park across the street from my house with my 20 month old son, Petey. We’ll probably also play chase, read some books and sing some silly songs about animals, if I’m lucky.

I think Earth Day should be a day for reflection and is a great opportunity to think about how to improve our environmental situation. This year I think the biggest challenge is public interest and political will. People have become tired of green marketing, and it is hard to motivate people to get excited about environmental sustainability when economic times are tough and ‘green’ just feels like sacrifice. At inhabitat, we’ll try to do our part to inspire interest in sustainability by examining it through the lens that gets us all passionate and fired up: design and innovation.

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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new year's resolutions 09, 2009 inhabitat resolutions, sustainable design editor, green design editor, mike chinoMIKE CHINO, Managing Editor of Inhabitat, San Francisco, CA

This Earth Day I’ll wake up with the sun, grind up my daily pot of Fair Trade joe, and make my morning commute across the rug to my desk. From there I’ll check in with team Inhabitat, who will be beaming in from across the US to share exciting stories and coordinate the day’s news. The fact that it’s Earth Day might give me a moment’s pause to reflect — over the past several years at Inhabitat I’ve been consistently amazed at the incredible array of green developments that pop up on a daily basis, and I still feel like I learn something new each day! But I’ll soon be swept along as we polish and present the day’s most innovative and inspiring sustainable designs — never a dull moment!

Towards the end of the day I’ll enjoy a bicycle ride by sunset to the local organic market to pick up some pulses and veggies for dinner (I’ve been exploring Indian cooking lately!), and then I’ll catch a(n exhausting) capoeira class before heading home. All-in-all an average day, but as you’ll find repeated again and again on this page, living a more sustainable lifestyle isn’t about making one day unique — it’s about making good choices that carry on from one day to the next and enrich the future by building upon the past.

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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new year's resolutions 09, 2009 inhabitat resolutions, sustainable design editor, green design editorYUKA YONEDA, Senior Editor, New York, NY

For Earth Day 2010, I’ll be finishing up my (mostly) eco-renovations – or at least trying to! Here is a pic of my 99% complete bathroom with a dark brown bamboo vanity and a mirror that the previous owner of the apartment had hanging in the living room. The sink and bathroom tiles were purchased brand new, but I hope to use them for years to come and not have to replace them anytime soon. As for the shower curtain and towels? They were “borrowed” from my mom. Yeah, she’s not expecting them back anytime soon…

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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new year's resolutions 09, 2009 inhabitat resolutions, sustainable design editor, green design editor, Abigail DoanABIGAIL DOAN, Art & Style Editor, New York, NY

My family and I have been living in Eastern Europe for the past few months, so this Earth Day will be all about connecting with natural resources and green spaces here in NYC. We will start the day with a run in Central Park followed by a play group meet up to share some outdoor fun. I plan to do some drawing and collage projects with my toddler twins so that we can remember the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day in an art portfolio that I have created for both of our boys. We also plan to join forces for cooking and recycling projects at home – in between nap time and meetings that I have scheduled. I hope to fit in some evening studio time for an upcoming exhibit that I am working on called (Re)Fashioning Fiber, opening in mid-May at Green Spaces in NYC. By the end of the day I hope to connect with family in rural upstate New York, as my parents who live on a small sheep farm always have great reports from their day tending to the flock and new spring lambs. Earth Day this year will be all about sharing Earth Day visions with three generations of ‘art farmers’.
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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new yearBETH SHEA, Managing Editor of Inhabitots, Portland, OR

After a recent trip to visit her Nana in sunny Arizona, it is more apparent than ever that my daughter is an outdoor girl and nature lover. She spent hours watering the plants and flowers in Nana’s garden, her enthusiasm growing with each squirt of the spray bottle or tip of the watering can. This Earth Day, we will visit the park with peanuts in hand to feed nature’s gardeners, the squirrels. We’ll also be picking out a plant for our daughter to care for and nurture — to teach her responsibility and enhance her inherently enormous appreciation for our precious earth.
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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new year's resolutions 09, 2009 inhabitat resolutions, sustainable design editor, green design editor, jasmin malik chuaJASMIN MALIK CHUA, Managing Editor of Ecouterre, New Jersey, NY

We’re not going to do anything different because every day should be Earth Day. (Also, I’m a grinch when it comes to holidays that are marketed at me.) We’ll probably settle for a nice home-cooked, organic meal, pair it with filtered water from the tap, and derive our entertainment from our precocious 17-month-old instead of the TV.

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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new year's resolutions 09, 2009 inhabitat resolutions, sustainable design editor, green design editorARIEL SCHWARTZ, Technology Editor, San Francisco, CA

I’ll have a fairly average day — blogging about environmental issues, walking around the neighborhood, and spending quality time with friends. I do plan to set aside time to think about the ways that I’ve lessened my impact on the planet since last Earth Day — and what more I can do in the coming year. One positive step I took in recent weeks: joining a CSA that offers produce from a farm 60 miles outside San Francisco. Every two weeks I get a fresh shipment of fruits and vegetables. No need for the produce aisle anymore!

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BRIDGETTE MEINHOLD, Architecture Editor, Park City, UT

My husband and I just signed up for a new locally sourced and sustainably farmed food program started by a an amazing local market called Liberty Heights Fresh in Salt Lake City, and we pick up our first share today! It’s kinda like a CSA, but instead of sourcing from just one farm, this market buys from lots of local farmers and we get a wide variety of veggies, fruit, even dairy and a pound of meat each week. We’re excited to try out new vegetables and new recipes they provide with the produce as well as support our local farmers. Plus, my shopping is practically done for me – all I have to do is pick it up.

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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new year's resolutions 09, 2009 inhabitat resolutions, sustainable design editor, green design editorBRIT LIGGETT, New York Editor, New York, NY

Earth Day for me is every day, so I think about April 22nd as a day of reflection. I like to use that 24 hour time span to think about what I’ve changed in my life over the past 365 days to reduce my impact on the earth and what I’m going to do in the next 365 days. This earth day also just happens to coincide with the perfect time to transfer seedlings to real planters for my indoor urban garden. I’ll be thinking about being kind to the planet while planting in my Brooklyn apartment. The coming summer will hopefully bring fresh cherry tomatoes from the fire escape, leafy lettuce from the office window sill, tasty herbs from the kitchen and perhaps — if I’m lucky — my avocado seeds will sprout into saplings in the living room!

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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new year's resolutions 09, 2009 inhabitat resolutions, sustainable design editor, green design editorKEVIN DALIAS, Business Development Manager, New York, NY

For earth day I am
Going to grill in back yard
Tiki torches rule

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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new year's resolutions 09, 2009 inhabitat resolutions, sustainable design editor, green design editor, evelyn lee EVELYN LEE, Los Angeles Editor, Los Angeles, CA

Unfortunately I will be spending most of Earth Day indoors in class, but I am reaffirming my commitment to eat more locally-sourced and organic foods, go meatless 4 days a week, and have plans to re-plant and expand upon my urban garden next weekend.

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TREY FARMER, Contributing Writer, San Francisco, CA

On Earth Day I will be making the final preparations for a Community Garden Day at Brookfield Elementary School in East Oakland. On Saturday 150 wonderful people will be getting together to celebrate our home and to clean up the school, build gardens and enjoy community. There will be music, smiles, and people of all ages working together to make a tiny part of this home of ours a little better. I am very much looking forward to it :)
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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new year's resolutions 09, 2009 inhabitat resolutions, sustainable design editor, green design editor
JORGE CHAPA, Contributing Writer, Brisbane, Australia

What am I doing for Earth Day? The usual, eat well, sleep well (what can I say, it is a Saturday), and spend with some time with friends. Earth day is an important date in our eco-calendar, but personally I’m less and less inclined to pay attention to it. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a case of ‘too cool for earth day’ syndrome, but rather that for myself Earth Day is just like any other day. Respect myself, respect others, respect our environment, and more importantly, do it in the best way that I know how: Be as informed as you can of all your choices.
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CAMERON SCOTT, Contributing Writer, San Francisco, CA

As a resident of a very green city (San Francisco) whose car was recently stolen, my carbon footprint is pretty darn low. The one remaining problem area in my daily life is food: I’m not a cook, so I eat a lot frozen meals. Even though they’re natural and vegetarian, they’re still less healthful and more carbon-intensive. So I recently bought a cookbook which is organized by season — a handy companion for the farmer’s market or my local co-op. The seasonal aspect of it makes it easier to decide what to make, and makes me more excited about how good the food might be. Here’s to helping the planet one forkful at a time!
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KRISTI BERNICK, Contributing Writer, New York, NY

About two years ago my boyfriend and I realized that the average person knows nothing about where their food actually comes from. Even with what is considered organic and non-processed such as some fruits and vegetables, we are still so far removed from the actual production process.  For many of us, modern harvesting means walking to the local grocery and picking up some prepackaged “yummies.”  We both thought it was time to become more conscious.  Luckily, my boyfriend grew up in a house filled with gardeners.  Myself, on the other hand – it took me years to find out that lettuce doesn’t always have to come in a bag.  Last summer, we got to work and managed a pretty diverse urban-garden on our back terrace.  We started in May with seedlings but this year we are working earlier and starting from seeds instead.  They are our “babies” and it is so much fun watching them grow!  This year on Earth Day, I will be tending our garden full of fresh veggies, fruits and herbs and becoming more aware of what it takes to grow your own produce.
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ANDREW MICHLER, Contributing Writer, Fort Collins, CO

Over 422 planets have been discovered so far and not one of them has a day named for them (as far as we know). Earth is probably feeling a little smug. I’ll be spending Earth Day at a USGBC conference in Denver, CO and taking a tour of the first and only LEED state capital in the US. With notepad in hand I’ll get a report out to all of you on how they did it. I am grateful to see so much enthusiasm about sustainable living and building in the Rocky Mountain region, but it is certainly not enough. I want to see some real action, discipline, and cooperation to pull us out of this ditch. Time to get everyone on board, we are going to live more lightly on this enduring and fragile ride!

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inhabitat editorial team, inhabitat new year's resolutions 09, 2009 inhabitat resolutions, sustainable design editor, green design editor, evelyn lee Piper Kujac, Contributing Writer, San Francisco, CA

I’ll be in a cave, which would be more cool if it were real. I’ll actually be in an eight-hour class on managerial accounting at Presidio Graduate School, where I’m getting an MBA in Sustainable Management. Hard to curb my enthusiasm with this class! Like, I’m a designer! Waa. After that I have approximately one hour to get over to Berkeley and teach a three-hour class on Sustainable Project Development. Since it is Earth Day, I’ll make a point of going for a run up to Dolores Heights where I can catch a view of the sunrise. That way, when I’m sitting there enduring balance sheets, statements of cashflows, and income statements, I can draw on the backdrop of pink and golden hues while I learn the language of finance. Kind of ironic. My focus these days is environmental stewardship and advocacy (hello Earth Day), yet sustaining myself remains in question. I’m grateful for the superstars at Inhabitat for inspiration!

sustainable design, green design, earth day 2010, environmental activism, green holiday, inhabitat

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7 Comments

  1. suzanna April 23, 2010 at 10:09 am

    It is amazing to me that Earth Day is celebrating 40 years. I am 47,was born and raised in the suburbs of New York, and had never heard of Earth Day – never mind celebrating it. No offense to my mother, but I was raised on eating deli meat sandwiches for lunch five days a week, for 46 weeks, for 12 years! My dinners five nights a week consisted of processed food with a side of canned vegetables. My savings grace was twice a week I ate pasta with homemade tomato sauce (tomatoes from a can – obviously), and I was not allowed soda. So, I naturally rebelled, and came to find out food grows in the ground and on trees to be eaten that way- and, without sprays. I joined a CSA. My five year old son’s diet is 95% organic and nutritious. To celebrate Earth Day, I took my son to his first movie in a theater; we saw Oceans. The comments he made during that film were priceless – they gave me an affirmation that we must be heading in the right direction. Last week he asked for seeds for “his” garden. Yesterday we purchased some organic soil. Today he will plant his first seed. In a few weeks, what will sprout will be a combination of pride, joy and appreciation for the earth and the knowledge of one’s responsibility to take care of it. As my son shouted out half way through the movie yesterday, ” Isn’t this planet beautiful! I love it here.”

  2. kbeekman April 23, 2010 at 2:03 am

    I\’m helping lead an effort this weekend to convert a former electrical substation in an inner city neighborhood into a city park using entirely donated materials most of which have been gleaned from suburban neighborhood cast-offs (healthy plants no longer wanted by their owners). At the same time, our groups will be cleaning up some vacant lots that are also slated to be used to expand a 55-acre central city park along a former utility corridor as part of a process to repurpose a vacant paint store into an environmental education and arts center and a future home for an urban farmer\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’s market. The site prep will include using municipal mulch recycled from leaves and Christmas trees and hauled to the site using a pick-up truck rented from a car sharing service.

  3. eltempleton April 22, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    This Earth Day I, along with the rest of my company, will be completing and reflecting on a self-inflicted, two week Earth Day challenge. Starting two weeks ago, we each submitted our own green advice –simple things like turning off lights and minding faucets– and had everyone else incorporate the tips as we went along. We also had a managing partner from our “green” branch weigh in to dispel some myths and give us advice on how to take our tips to the next level. We all really learned a lot — not just about ways to be green, but about doing it every single day. Today we posted up a recap with a really cool video of Walter Cronkite covering the very first Earth Day in 1970. he makes a very poignant point — some of us “get it” and some of us don’t, but either way we’re all in it together. There’s a link to the video here: http://dmdinsight.com/blogs/post/235-happy-earth-day-

  4. Arthur Young April 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Like Britt Liggett, an Inhabitat editor living in Brooklyn, where I used to live, I believe Earth Day is a point to reflect, plant and express gratitude. Where I live now, 12 minutes North of the Golden Gate Bridge, I will be nurturing heirloom tomatoes from Sonoma into my garden and deck planters, taking a bus over to Muir Woods to walk through precious redwoods, and attending a lecture by Bill McKibben on Global Weirding (Tom Friedman\\\’s term) at Dominican University, with friends. Al Gore wrote today we have never been closer to changing direction yet there\\\’s so much incoherence, disharmony, and downright nonsense that these truly seem like the best of times and the worst of times. Hope springs eternal.

  5. ebarnes April 22, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    This Earth Day, I\\\’m spending much of my time and energy with projects supported on ioby.org, a nonprofit I helped found to support the local heroes and stewards that care for the green infrastructure of NYC. I donated to support this educational garden in Bushwick, Brooklyn, http://ioby.org/projects/brooklyn/bushwick-library-community-garden and on Saturday I\\\’m going to remove marine debris and plant native plants at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens http://ioby.org/projects/queens/earth-day-restoration-cleanup-planting-saturday-ap

  6. jbisdaman April 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    I’ll be watching the movie 2012. ;-P

    Oh and attending the Earth Day rally in DC.

  7. designfuturist April 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Hi, I will celebrate Earth Date by hosting a fun workshop on Sustainable Fashion and Textiles, April 29th in New York.

    So many companies say their products are green, it\’s important to know the facts to make informed decisions. For details, visit: http://ecofashion.eventbrite.com/

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