Turning Earth Day into Every Day


Campaigning for Earth Day every day. Photo via Flickr: by Alexindigo

It’s easy being green on Earth Day with everybody jumping on the green train from supermarkets to big box stores offering eco-friendly marketing campaigns. It’s a little like helping out food banks only on Thanksgiving Day. So what about the other 364 days of the year? The question of the day: how do we keep up the eco-spirit 24/7? Even Wal-Mart’s campaign is called "Earth Day, Every Day," but will its green goodies still be sold at the under $10 discount next week?
Earth Day: Green Tinted White Sale?

It's great to see the green tide rising but has Earth Day turned into a President’s Day sale? There are iPhone apps available with $12 worth of coupons for organic goodies at grocery stores, free canvas bag giveaways at Fresh’n’Easy and Honda, recycling campaigns at Best Buy, trade-ins at Radio Shack, Tropicana tree-planting for visiting the company's website, Macy’s has green beauty product promotions and Sears’ is making deals on Energy Star appliances. At Payless, Zoe & Zac shoes is working with The Nature Conservancy.

So now that Earth Day is mainstreaming with corporations connecting with worthwhile organizations and handing out discounts on earth-friendly products, how will it continue beyond April 22 and keep it going tomorrow and the days and weeks ahead? Also, how do we up the ante?

Take a class. Join a club.

The green tip sheet has hit the tipping point. One of the best ways to sustain sustainability is to get involved in something that requires a weekly or monthly commitment. There are endless ways to go beyond switching bulbs and recycling, like cooking blue, dressing organically and green cleaning. How about starting with a spirited discussion with a Green Drinks group?

Here are some other ways to make Earth Day last longer:

1. Grow vegetables, obtain a plot in a community garden, take a course in Master Gardening, support farmer’s markets, and/or sign up for a CSA.
2. Connect with others around the world by joining (or starting) a group in your area to exchange green ideas. Check out Cool Tribe or Paul Hawkens’ WiseEarth to hook up.
3. Volunteer on a weekly or monthly basis for a green nonprofit that’s personally meaningful.
4. Make permanent changes like removing junk mail from arriving in the mailbox.
5. Update the carbon footprint calculations and plan a yearlong strategy for reduction.

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