Forty-nine years ago, the first Earth Day took place in 1970. It is now an annual event celebrated on April 22, coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network. It reaches more than 192 countries each year including hundreds of communities in the United States.
Earth Day fell on the Monday after Easter this week. While the “official” day is behind us, Earth Week 2019 is still in full swing. In San Diego, it culminates in the largest free, all-volunteer Earth Fair in the United States at Balboa Park on Saturday, April 27.
We love it at Good Earth Plant Company when the rest of the world takes time to focus finding solutions we can make part of our daily routines. Not to brag, but we celebrate Earth Day every single day at Good Earth Plant Company! We are a green-run company and we make use of sustainable practices wherever possible.
We know you’re recycling and lowering energy use. But there is always more you can do. In honor of Earth Day 2019, Good Earth Plant Company shares our 19 ways to celebrate Earth Day 2019.
- San Diego can brag about its Earth Day Fair, which is the largest free, all-volunteer Earth Day event in the world. One hundred thousand people are expected to show up in Balboa Park on Saturday, April 27. This year’s Earth Fair features 300 exhibitors, the Children’s Earth Parade from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and plenty more than we have room to list. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Did we mention it’s free? Visit the website for the details here.
See more for yourself in this year’s Earth Day Fair video.
- Volunteer for a neighborhood or beach clean-up on a regular basis. Start with one scheduled on Earth Day weekend. Here’s a list. Visit the I Love A Clean San Diego website for a few ideas, or join your local community group, place of worship, or organize one yourself! Or do like I do – pick up trash when you’re at the beach or hiking a trail.
- Visit one of San Diego’s gardens. A trip to East County’s Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College is well worth the trip. Don’t forget the Japanese Friendship Garden, The Zoo and Alcazar Garden in Balboa Park, South Bay Botanic Garden at Southwestern College, or the Self-Realization Fellowship Center meditation gardens with a view of the Pacific Ocean in Encinitas. Many of you know this place as Swami’s. It is free and open daily. I love these places!
- Celebrate Earth Day outdoors. Why not take your kids on a nature hike? You can enjoy a Birding Basics Class for free on Earth Day Sunday at Mission Trails Regional Park from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Meet inside the visitor center. Find more information here.
- Help the San Diego River Park Foundation Clean & Green Team remove trash from the San Diego River on Saturday, April 27, from 9 am to 12 noon. Wear protective clothing and sunscreen, and be part of the team removing more than 200,000 pounds of trash every year. You must RSVP to get the meeting location here. Tell my friend Director Rob Hutsel I sent you!
Reduce Your Use
- Reduce your clothing purchases. There is 40 percent more textile waste since 1999. People buy 68 individual pieces of clothing a year on average. Millennials wear clothing just THREE TIMES on average. Clothing isn’t disposable! Do you really need another t-shirt? You should see some of my favorite T-shirts with the collar fraying. Spend a little more and invest in quality clothing that will last five years, not one.
- Cut down on food waste. This is sometimes tough for me. Americans spend $165 billion on food that goes wasted. Food waste in landfills creates methane gas as it degrades, a major contributor to global warming. Buy only the groceries you KNOW you can use. Instead of calling Uber Eats, see what you need to use up in the refrigerator and pantry first. It saves money, too.
- Get a reusable coffee container. In just one year, 14.4 BILLION cups of coffee are served in paper cups in the United States. This would wrap around the planet 55 times. My crime here is the Keurig pods
- Join the straw-free movement. I’ve been an anti staw-ite for many years. Plastic straws are a menace. They end up in our oceans, rivers and lakes, choking and killing wildlife. Do you really need a straw to draw that soda or glass of water? No, you don’t. Use a straw, kill a sea turtle. If you MUST have a straw, get a stainless steel reusable straw like this one, or this alternative.
- Buy a single multipurpose cleaner and reduce the clutter and chemicals of a dozen different containers. Try using natural cleaners like baking soda and vinegar. Here are a few recipes to try.
Adopt a Green Routine
- Check your pipes and plumbing for leaks. Even one small leak can waste hundreds of gallons of water every year. Get a professional to check for leaks. You’ll make up the cost in water bill savings while conserving one of our most precious resources. If you’re in North County, the City of Oceanside hosts a free Fix A Leak Workshop Friday at 9 a.m. More info and RSVP here.
- Go meatless one day a week. Meat production creates an excessive strain on environmental resources. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, livestock agriculture contributes to more than 18% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. It takes up to 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. It won’t kill you to back off the burgers once in a while. No problem here.
- Switching all of your bills to e-bills and online invoices can save millions of trees every single year. So can viewing product catalogs online instead of getting them in the mail. For a few weeks, go through your mail and switch everything possible to online delivery. I write very few checks any more.
- Inflate your tires! A properly inflated set of tire can improve gas mileage enough to prevent 250 pounds of CO2 every year from polluting the atmosphere.
- Don’t dump out old paint. Paint is a serious toxic hazard and a real threat to the environment. There are many places to recycle paint, including 50 major paint retailers in San Diego County. Here’s a guide for you.
Think Before You Buy
- Reconsider how often your car needs an oil change. New vehicles can go 15,000 miles before needing an oil change. Consider synthetic oil when you do get an oil change. Visit this excellent resource provided by the City of Chula Vista.
- Reuse and repurpose. Before you toss that broken item, can you save it? Turn it into something else? Donate it to a thrift store? One person’s donation is another person’s find. Shop your local thrift stores. If you’re a newbie, start with books, artwork, and glassware. You’ll get hooked.
- Adopt a pet. Find a home for one of the many pets at San Diego’s shelters or with a rescue group. Choose a mixed breed or your favorite breed through a specialty rescue like Labs and More or San Diego Maltese Rescue. Sign up at Petfinder.com and have candidates sent to your email daily. Considering sponsoring an adoptable animal with a donation.
- Say no to promotional items you get at conferences and fundraisers. Accepting it just encourages more. Pass it up. Your trash pile will shrink dramatically. One exception: recyclable grocery bags. Our Earth Day gift to all of our friends and clients: A Good Earth Plants logo tote bag. Come get one for yourself!
Doing what we can to create a cleaner, healthier environment is an every day mission at Good Earth Plant Company. We hope you’ll do your part too. Each of us doing a little adds up to a lot. If you’re motivated to do a little more, contact us about adding plants to your work or home environment. We’ve got lots of great ideas for you. HAVE A GOOD EARTH DAY!