This year, Earth Day is this Thursday, April 22nd and it marks the 40th anniversary. It’s interesting that I hear all this buzz about it being the 40th anniversary because I’d say that easily the first twenty plus Earth Days went by largely unrecognized by most of the population. In fact, only upon hearing that it is the 40th Earth Day was I able to connect back that I was a bystander to the 10th anniversary. Heck, passerby might be more accurate. I was in Washington, DC for Spring Break with my family and I distinctly remember driving by what appeared to be some sort of a demonstration or a carnival, to my child’s mind. Peering from the backseat of my parent’s 1970’s gas-guzzling sedan I read “Earth Day” on the signs. The year was 1980. I do not believe Earth Day hit my radar again for at least several more years.
Even though Earth Day itself did not hit my radar, plenty of things that equal “being green” or “earth friendly” sure go back as far as 1980 for me. My hometown in Massachusetts was an early recycling town, and that doesn’t mean curbside recycling! We actually hauled our paper, glass and aluminum to a central location twice a month where trucks picked it up from us. My mom started Household Hazardous Waste Recycling in our town in the 1980’s as well. From there the list could go on and on and on for another twenty years. Now THAT would be a really BIG post. So, to keep it current, I thought I’d do a round up of some Earth Day related things I’ve done the past couple of months. Some Earth Day related kids stuff. I’m also going to throw in some new things that are being kicked off in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. My Earth Day Post:
For the past two years, I have been invited to attend the Go Green Expo in Los Angeles which is a convention featuring all different types of green products and initiatives. One product that I had been considering and was featured by several companies at the expo this year was artificial grass. No, not astroturf, this stuff looks like real grass. At first I didn’t understand how fake grass would be considered “green” other than in color. Then I got it. You don’t need to water it! And in California, where water is constantly an issue, that is huge. I met some nice people from an artificial grass company at the Go Green Expo and through their referral, I hired a local landscape designer who installed some fabulous artificial grass in my backyard and turned off my sprinklers.
I know many of you will remember Planet Earth (a BBC/Discovery co-production) that aired on The Discovery Channel in 2007. In celebration of Earth Day’s 40th anniversary, the beloved and award-winning 11 episode BBC Earth series Planet Earth is now available on iTunes with a special, one-time free episode download (“Pole to Pole”) from April 12 – 26, 2010. So head on over to iTunes for your free download! Planet Earth is a perfect precursor to Life which is now airing on Discovery and you may recall my story of my attendance at the premiere. Life is coming out on DVD in June. Both Planet Earth and Life are the ultimate in TV viewing for Earth Day.
There are some kid’s characters that are sending the go green message to the preschool set. I’ve received a couple of DVD’s recently that Chip and Lulu both really love to watch. In Wubbzy Goes Green, a DVD from the Nick Jr. preschool series, many situations are presented that give kids a chance to see how decisions can impact their environment. To help celebrate the new release, and Mother Earth, Anchor Bay Entertainment has partnered with the Alliance for Community Trees (ACT). For every Wubbzy Goes Green DVD sold, Anchor Bay will donate $1 to ACT to help support the planting of trees in playgrounds and schoolyards across the country. The special tree-planting initiative continues through May 31, 2010. In Explore The Earth, Dora the Explorer and her compadre Boots globetrot to beaches, the South Pole and rainforests. What better way to start to explain that we are on this place called Earth than by pulling the globe off the bookshelf as we watch Dora and try to figure out where she is?
Guess what? I have not seen the film Avatar. I have two toddlers and trips to the movies are not easy to come by. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is releasing Avatar on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on Earth Day in the US. (Internationally the release rolls out between April 21 – May 6) Yay! This means I will get a chance to watch it! “This is the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, and we felt it a fitting day to release a film with such an eco-friendly theme.” says, Elysia Yeary of the Avatar Media Relations Team. Avatar grossed over $2.6 billion dollars theatrically worldwide, making it the biggest film of all time. To add to the launch date theme, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has teamed up with the Earth Day Network to plant 1,000,000 trees worldwide in celebration of the BD and DVD release of the film.
Earth Day Network will spearhead the initiative and collaborate with its international partners to plant the one million trees, indigenous to each region in 15 different countries, by the end of 2010. The organization is committed to caring for and nurturing the trees to maturity, as well as considering natural disasters such as fires and landslides during the planting process. "I am pleased to have the opportunity to share the environmental messages from AVATAR through the efforts during the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day and with Earth Day Network,” said James Cameron "Earth Day Network's commitment and actions to promote a healthy, sustainable planet go hand-in-hand with the themes of AVATAR.” People who purchase the film will be given a unique access code that allows them to go online and actually adopt one of the million trees being planted, charting its location and progress.
I want to say that every day to me is Earth Day. I don’t modify my behavior just on one day and I truly hope no one else does either. Rather, I would hope Earth Day is more a day to spread the word about new ideas, initiatives and advances. Every single day I make an effort to minimize my “eco-footprint” by recycling, re-using or re-purposing. I bring cloth bags to the supermarket. I recycle so much household plastic, paper, metal and glass that our recycle bin is often full in advance of trash day and I have to run around in the morning to see if my neighbors have space in theirs. Meanwhile, my trashcan always has room in it. I only run full loads of laundry and dishes. I have trained myself to think: is this the most eco-efficient way to do this? Before I embark on something. It’s a constant learning process. Everyday I try to keep myself open to learning something new about making life more simple, safer, healthier and greener. We are all inter-related. Happy Earth Day!