Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day 2016 — Trees for the Earth

Earth Day - the one day where the entire planet takes a moment to think about our planet, maybe even make a resolution to make a change in the way they live to do their part in changing the world.  The only problem is a lot people who make these "resolutions"  lapse back to old habits and often fail to keep even the most earnest of resolutions......that's just messed up.  In my opinion everyday should be Earth Day, after all this is the only planet we have to call home.

Earth Day was created in 1970 by Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.), in a time of heady environmental rallying that also lead to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the historic passage of laws like the Clean Air Act.
All in all I think the creation of Earth Day had positive intentions, but when it comes to Washington politics I have to question the real intention behind its formation - but that's another discussion - for now let's take Earth Day as a positive.
What can you do to to make a positive LASTING impact?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Make Everyday Earth Day: Keep it in the forefront of your mind: Post reminders where you will see it everyday to do something for the planet
  • Plant a tree: has a movement to plant 7.8 billion trees, that's something each and everyone one of us can do.  If you live in a city, and don't have a yard, contact local organizations that plant trees in communities that are developing "green" areas and donate a tree  to the cause.  I like the idea of planting a tree in someones memory instead of sending flowers.  It always amazes me how much people spend on a bouqet of flowers for a funeral that's only going to die in a week or two.  Why not spend that same amount of money and plant a tree in the loved ones memory?  Every time you look at the tree you will be reminded of your loved one.  Just imagine the forests that can be created.
  • Cremate yourself: Yup, I went there..... I personally think cemeteries are a waste of space and money.  Most people only visit the cemetery once or twice a year for a few years after the loved one has passed, then they get busy with their life and don't go again except on very rare occasions usually with a feeling of "obligation", obviously this isn't the case for everyone and there are exceptions to a few dedicated folks.  I know that sounds cold and harsh - it's not meant to be, it's just the way it is.  There's also the expense of a "traditional" funeral which costs an average of $7,000 vs cremation at an average of $1,000.  Instead have yourself cremated let your loved ones have a celebration of your life and spread your ashes in your favorite location then plant a tree in your memory - something they will see everyday.  Just imagine how many forests would be created.  The space for cemeteries could be turned into forests or better yet community gardens.  The possibilities are endless.
  • Shop local:  Do all your shopping at local stores and avoid big box stores.  Frequent farmers markets whenever you can, not only is it better food, you're supporting local farmers and cutting down on the overall cost of transporting food all across the nation.
  • Turn on the mood lighting: Shut off all unnecessary lights and turn off lights when you leave the room, this may not sound like a big impact but if every single person shuts off the unnecessary lights in their home/office the  impact would be significant.  Also, change your light bulbs to LED, they are not only more energy efficient and last much longer they are safer than CFL bulbs. CFL bulbs are marketed as being safe "as long as the bulb remains in tack".  What a lot of people don't know is CFL bulbs contains mercury that is a deadly neurotoxin, to read more about the dangers of CFL's read "The Danger Lurking in Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs". 
These are just a few ideas that you can do to make a positive impact, there are countless other simple ideas that you could implement into your daily life that would make a difference. If you want to share your ideas leave a comment below. ~Todd

Earth Day 2016 — Trees for the Earth.

Let’s get planting.
Over the next five years, as Earth Day moves closer to its 50th anniversary, we’re calling on you to help us achieve one of our most ambitious goals yet —we’re planting 7.8 billion trees and we’re starting now.
Trees will be the first of five major goals we are undertaking in honor of the five-year countdown to our 50th anniversary. On their own and together, these initiatives will make a significant and measurable impact on the Earth and will serve as the foundation of a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet for all.

Why Trees?
Trees help combat climate change.
They absorb excess and harmful CO2 from our atmosphere. In fact, in a single year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of CO2 produced by driving the average car 26,000 miles.
Trees help us breathe clean air.
Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.
Trees help communities.
Trees help communities achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability and provide food, energy and income.
Plant a tree. Make a donation. Activate your friends and social networks.
We can do this. #trees4earth
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