I am super excited to help out for Earth day at Native sun. I will be working the Trek store booth, handing out water bottles and encouraging people to "go by bike" and visit the Trek store across the street from Native Sun. Although Earth Day is on April 22nd, I wanted to take some time to provide some EASY "Earth Day" tips to help keep the earth clean. You don't have to go by a new car, change every lightbulb in your house or remodel your house to be more green. Yes-even you can make a difference with a few small changes.
1) Ride your bike to work, the gym or to a friends house. You don't have to "train" when you ride your bike so, ride like a kid and enjoy the downhills and a little sunshine. 2) Participate in a clean-up day in your town at least once a year. Pick up trash, plant trees or start a flower garden. 3) Grow your own vegetables and fruits. 4) Turn off the TV and enjoy nature. Take a walk in the park, feed the birds, go hiking or invite your friends over and have a picnic. 5) Protect water quality. Don't dump used oil, paint, coolants or other chemicals into the ground, storm drains or garage drains. 6) Buy a water filter and cut back on plastic water bottles. Go to your nearest bike/tri/sport shop and invest in a good re-usable water bottle. 7) Produce less waste. Substitute water-based products whenever possible when buying paints and household cleaners. Or, switch from chemical-type cleaners to natural products like soap and water. 8) Bring your own bags when you grocery shop or re-use plastic bags to pick up after your pets. Too many plastic bags in your house? Use the bags as "lunch-boxes" and start bringing your lunch to work. Every day, Americans spend an extra dollar more for every $10 they spend on groceries to pay for the boxes, bags, and other packaging's that those products come in. Use reusable food containers for leftovers. Finally, cut back on fast food meals. 9) Buy products in bulk or with minimal packaging materials. Re-use and Recycle as much as possible. 10) Open the window shades and enjoy natural light. Don't turn on the lights or AC if you don't need it! You don't need the TV on while you shower and don't forget to turn off lights when you leave a room. 11) Carpool, walk, use your bike or plan errands to minimize driving. Keep the car tuned and leak-free, and get it inspected regularly. Keep tires properly inflated and dispose of used motor oil and cooling fluids at designated recycling centers. 12) Don't water your sidewalk. Conserve water in and outside the home. 13) Take care of your lawn. Trying to decide what to do with your leaves, grass clippings and garden "waste?" learn about composting and mulching. These natural fertilizers will improve your garden soil’s fertility and will help to retain soil moisture. Keep your lawn 2 inches long and leave your grass clippings where they’re cut. 14) Be aware of how much paper you waste in the home. If you pay bills online, save paper envelopes for coupons. Instead of throwing out a bad print job, use extra paper for scrap paper. Instead of using a whole napkin for every meal, use half a napkin (ex. when eating a salad or something non-messy) or half a paper towel. Use towels and rags, instead of papertowels, for cleaning big messes. 15) Did you know that toilets are the most common source of household water use? A leaking toilet can waste more than 150 gallons per day! You may not see or hear water running, but your toilet may have a silent leak. These leaks are easy to fix with parts from you local hardware store - make the repair and save water and money! 16) Drive smart. First, avoid revving or idling your engine over 30 seconds. Always accelerate gradually, maintain the speed limit and use cruise control on the highway. Avoid waiting in long drive-through lines - turn your car off and go in. Minimize use of air conditioning if you can. Use an energy-conserving grade of motor oil and get regular engine tune-ups, and don’t ignore "check engine" or "service engine soon" lights. Fill your gas tank during cooler evening hours to cut down on evaporation, avoid spilling gas and don’t "top off" the tank. 17) Use less stuff! There are many ways to reduce waste in your home. Use washable utensils and plates instead of throwaway plastic picnic gear. Share magazines and newspapers with a friend, neighbors, a nursing home, hospital or library. Donate used goods such as clothing, furniture and toys to a thrift shop, day care center, charity or second-hand store instead of throwing them out. 18) Conserve energy in your kitchen everyday. Use the right size pot or pan on the stove for the item you’re cooking. Don't preheat your oven except for baking, and cover pots and pans when cooking. Set the refrigerator's temperature to somewhere between 36° and 39° F, and the freezer to somewhere between 0° and 5° F. Make sure to clean the refrigerator coils and switch the refrigerator to its power-miser setting. Finally, turn your water heater down to 120° F. 19) If you only use a few dishes day, wash your dishes and only use the dishwasher when it is full. Your dishwasher uses the same amount of water whether it’s full or just partially full of dishes, so make the most of it. When doing laundry, save energy and use cold water for wash and try to wash full loads. Control the water settings when you wash and if you only have a few items to wash immediately, wash by hand. 20) Did you know that one female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 kittens in 7 years? Or that one female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in 6 years? Every year, between 8 and 10 million dogs and cats enter U.S. shelters. Sadly, most never find homes. Too many animals competing for too few good homes is the most obvious consequence of uncontrolled breeding. Say no to puppy mills!!Can you honestly say that a $800 "purse puppy" is going to show you more love than a dog who was found on the street with no fresh water, food or a place to sleep? Low cost spaying or neutering is a solution to pet overpopulation and is available at most shelters. If you can provide a loving home, attention and give exercise to a pet, go get a rescue animal! 21) Go digital! Save paper and send an email. There is nothing wrong with a nice hand-written letter but pay bills online, stay organized on the computer and avoid printing every piece of information you find interesting on the Internet.