For Earth Day - try these 5 Tips                                             More Articles

Reprinted from "Taste for Life" magazine

This April 22 is the 35th anniversary of Earth Day, when millions of people worldwide take action to protect our planet. "Earth Day is our annual reminder to give back to the planet," says Katherine DiMatteo, executive director of the Organic Trade Association. "Parents and kids lead busy, hectic lives, but on this day we should all remember to do something good for the earth."
Here are some ways you can help.

1. Fight global warming, the earth’s number one environmental problem. Whenever possible, walk or bicycle, take public transportation, and buy fuel-efficient vehicles. In addition to conserving fossil fuels, ask your Congressional representatives to support the Climate Stewardship Act (S342, HR 759), a bipartisan bill that makes affordable cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

2. Buy organic products that prohibit the use of synthetic herbicides and pesticides, sewage sludge (a source of heavy metals), antibiotics, and genetically modified organisms. Compared to conventional agriculture, organic farming uses less energy from fossil fuels, reduces water pollution, and enhances soil fertility and species biodiversity. Not only are organic foods safer for the planet, but they have also been found to contain higher levels of important nutrients—and far fewer pesticides.

3. Plant an organic garden, starting with organic seeds. Instead of using synthetic pesticides, encourage beneficial insects (like the carabid beetle, dragonfly, ladybug, and praying mantis) to reduce pests. Plant herbs and flowers (sweet alyssum, calendula, cilantro, fennel, feverfew, and yarrow) that attract these useful predators.

4. Clean "green" with nontoxic household cleaners and laundry products. Look for environmentally friendly cleaning supplies at the store that gives you Taste for Life, and keep baking soda and vinegar on hand for a host of cleaning projects. Use natural insect repellents, like garlic and neem, instead of dangerous toxins to repel household pests. If you have any cleaners or pet- care items containing toxic substances, follow directions carefully in their use and disposal.

5. Support an Earth Day event in your area. Natural products stores and food co-ops often host local Earth Day events—and many have educational materials for the whole family. Volunteer to help clean up a local park, playground, or hiking trail, and recycle any bottles and cans that don’t need to go to the dump. Learn ways to protect your local watershed and the plants and animals—including humans—that depend on it.

To Learn More
Visit the following Web sites for educational materials and ways to help protect our planet:

 

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