Happy Earth Day 2010! On this 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, the Inhabitots team would like to share how we’ll be spending the day with our families and loved ones — all in an effort to preserve the planet.
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 to ‘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.
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.
Jasmin Malik Chua
I have to admit, I’m a grinch for all seasons, even Earth Day. Since Earth Day shouldn’t be just an annual occasion, we’re not going to be doing anything different—we’ll continue supporting local, ethical, and fair-trade products, buy used instead of new, unplug our appliances when not in use, minimize our consumption, and be mindful when it counts, which is every moment of every day.
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. 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.’
I confess I’m not the perfect green writer. I still commit eco sins and I have a long way to go in making my life completely green. But each year, I make a green resolution for Earth Day — I’ve vowed to stop buying milk with creepy hormones inside, start buying organic apples and other produce on the dirty dozen list, use reusable grocery bags, make my own coffee at home and stick to eco cleaning and beauty products. This year I have two goals: Resolution one, cutting down on BPA exposure, is going to be tricky. I’ve rid my kitchen of lots of plastic already, but my problem is canned foods—specifically black beans and chickpeas for salads. But I’m committing to quitting the can, so dried beans here I come! Resolution two will be more fun. I’m going to try growing vegetables for the first time. I just moved to a new place with a terrace and my tomato, spinach and pepper seedlings should be ready to transfer to pots this week. After they’re planted, I’ll take my puppy Leo for a walk in Prospect Park . Hopefully, you’ll use this Earth Day to make a couple of green changes, too.
Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment. Do we really need a special day to remind us of that? Well, yes… actually we do. At least I do. For me, Earth Day is that one day in the year when everyone, collectively, is conscious of our awesome planet. So why not do something a little special? For us, that means spending the day outside, bonding with Mother Nature. It means being a bit more aggressive in our recycling habits. It means going out to eat at a local spot that operates on renewable energy. I’m also planning a neat little DIY project using recycled milk cartons to help get the kids organized. Stay tuned to Inhabitots to read my “How To” post on this!
I do try to make every day Earth Day in my household by teaching my girls that we are nothing if we have nothing to live on. If the kids are in good form, we’ll be walking one of our favorite trails. If it is a day to stay close to home, we will be taking in the fauna and flora around our home. I will take a moment to rethink where we can be making sustainability improvements. For example, I need to have a better plastic recycling system in the kitchen. It’s not functional and today, I will pledge to fix that. But the main message I’m teaching every step of the way to my children, on this day and every day, is to see, feel and listen to the environment around them. Right now we’re in the midst of a bird feeder soap opera between two couples – the Blackbirds and the Cardinals. Maybe on this Earth day, there will be a truce. I reflect on this day on my hopes everyone will grow understanding that our Earth has an infinite amount of things to teach us. Our Earth deserves our respect and my Earth Day Every Day voice hopefully helps my children and my community see, feel and listen to the amazing world around them a little better.
Every summer evening after dinner, my family takes a walk around our neighborhood creek. It is the perfect way to reconnect after a long summer day. In celebration of Earth Day’s 40th Anniversary, my family will be preserving our creek by collecting any trash that has found its way into the water and surrounding area.