3 ways to celebrate Earth Day (and drop a few pounds, too!)
Mother Earth has a few special requests for her big day: Leave that gas-guzzling, people- moving chunk of metal in the garage and ride a bike instead. Experiment with your green thumb. And, even if it’s just for a day (Earth Day is April 22, this year), try eating like a vegetarian.
Yes, of course, we should be appreciative of Mother Earth every day of the year. But, consider this her birthday — a special day when you’re extra nice to her.
The eco-conscious holiday originated as a reaction to a massive oil spill in waters near Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969. Years later, in 2012, climate change has spurred several headlines: July became the hottest month on record in the United States, Hurricane Sandy prompted a political debate over climate change and the summer ice cap over the Arctic reached a new low. In sum, Mother Earth needs you.
Here are three ways to celebrate Earth Day, all of which have healthy side effects:
- Commute by bike. Riding your bike to work has so many advantages, yet less than 1 percent of Americans are in the practice of doing so. (A bright spot, though, is between 2000 and 2009, bike commuting increased by 70 percent.) Commuting by bike solves parking woes, too, as you can fit nearly 20 bikes in one spot. The average person can lose 13 pounds in his or her first year of riding a bike to work. The best part? You are caring for the environment by cutting down on emissions and gas (source: How Bikes can Save Us). Dress up your two-wheeled ride with some funny bike bumper stickers from Zazzle.
- Grow a vegetable garden or visit the farmer’s market. On average, food travels 1,300 miles from the farm to the table, according to FoodRoutes.org. All of that traveling, plus the heavy-duty packaging can be a bummer for the environment. When you grow your own veggies or shop at your local farmer’s market, your food will be super-fresh and taste great. You’ll also be pumping money into your local economy. We love this hand crocheted farmer’s market tote from J.Crew.
- Go vegetarian for a day. Since Earth Day falls on a Monday, give “meatless Monday” a try. One of the easiest ways to save the planet is to scale back on the amount of meat you eat. People are eating twice as much meat as they did 20 years ago. Americans eat about 270 pounds of meat a year. Vegetarians help conserve resources. For example, it takes at least 2,500 gallons of water to produce a pound of beef, according to EarthSave.org. A great starter guide is the I Love Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Cookbook from Urban Outfitters.
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