Today is Earth Day and if you’re a procrastinator like me and woke up in a panic this morning trying to decide what to get for the planet that literally has everything, relax. Here’s ten things you can do without breaking a sweat or your piggy bank.
- Gather a large bucket of ice cubes, take it out to your front porch and fling them at the landscaping guys who are using leaf blowers at the house next door. The earth will surely appreciate your gesture, however fruitless, and the ice melts quickly so there won’t be any evidence if somebody calls the cops.
- Place your car in neutral and have your kids push you all the way to the local library so they will have an understanding of what the world could be like if we run out of fossil fuels. In addition to raising awareness about our Mother Earth, your children may also learn an important lesson about the consequences for returning overdue books.
- Plant a tree. Nothing says “We love you, Earth!” like a newborn sapling. However, if you’re running out of time or strapped for cash and are unable to make a purchase at your local nursery, don’t lose heart. You can pick up half a dozen apples or one small watermelon and bring the fruit with you to a large field. Eat the apples and/or watermelon taking special care to spit the seeds out on the ground and then grind them into the dirt with the heel of your shoe. Regardless of whether anything grows, the Earth will know you gave it a shot.
- Work with the family to construct a bird house to shelter members of the local bird population. Birds play a critical role in our complex ecosystem and providing food and protection to them is an important contribution to our planet. Try to remember that when you see what they are doing to your deck.
- Reduce, reuse and recycle. If it works for the people who produce television shows, movies and plays, it’s got to work for the rest of the planet!
- Stop people on the street or on the bus or train and tell them what you are doing to help the Earth and what they can do to help the Earth. While you might come off a bit preachy, remember that everyone welcomes the opinions of others as long they’re not coming from a spouse or someone who makes more money than they do.
- Instead of using your car for local trips, ride your bicycle. Just be sure not to wear street clothes or people will think you lost your driver’s license due to a DUI.
- When you’re pulling a half gallon of ice cream out for dessert, leave the freezer door open while you scoop some into a bowl and add extras like sprinkles or whipped cream so that the frigid air will flow south or “down” to keep the polar ice caps from melting. If the whipped cream you are using is from an aerosol can, just close the freezer door as fast as humanly possible and forget the whole thing.
- Replace your old light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs and rather than drive back to Home Depot to complain when they blow out two years before they’re supposed to, walk or take your bike.
- Sing songs about the Earth. That’s assuming you couldn’t get it together enough to grab an apple and spit a couple of seeds on the ground.
© 2013 The Monkey Bellhop and John Hartnett