Pitch In To Save the Earth

Earth Day (April 22) should be a jumping-off point for inspiration — and action — throughout the year.

There are many things we can all do, both as individuals and as communities. No matter whether your goals are modest and incremental or life-changingly huge, just the fact that you do something will make all the difference.

Alicia on “Finding Practical Solutions in the Home”:

Every journey begins with a single step, and you can make a huge impact by making some simple changes in your own home. Start by replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs. Some areas are even offering a free exchange; see if any store or community program in your area is doing so. Or switch to a non-paper shopping bag that you can reuse every time you shop.

Sarah on “You Aren’t Alone”:

Earth Day — or any day, for that matter — can be a wonderful opportunity to not only reconnect with your physical environment but your social one as well. By getting involved with community efforts, you can remind yourself that you aren’t a lone voice in the wilderness; there are many people who are concerned with helping this planet thrive and survive. Not only can this be energizing and life-affirming, it can also teach your children that there is a community of concerned individuals waiting when they are ready to join.

Here are a few tips to help you in efforts both large and small.

#1. A Penny Saved
A project that the whole family can be involved in without overwhelming everyone is to collect all your change and donate it to a local or national charity devoted to the environment. Set up a large jar in the entryway or family room. This can also be extended beyond your home if anyone wants to take the initiative at the office, volunteer center or school.

#2. Focus on Your Neighborhood
Often, the best way to motivate people is to show them direct results. Join (or organize) an effort to clean up a local area. Gather up a group to go around picking up litter and trash and/or have a mass recycling effort. Top off the day by picking up at a local park and then having a community picnic.

#3. Remember: You are Not Alone
If you want to contribute but feel daunted by the challenge, take heart that there are plenty of resources available to you. Just one of the many Web sites we went to was www.worldwildlife.org/earthday2008/tools.com, which offers ideas on making a difference from around the country. You can also find the tools necessary to promote the cause such as downloadable flyers, posters and stickers.