Earth Day 2017: How Will You Celebrate?

The theme for the 2017 Earth Day, the 47th year of this holiday celebrating the earth, is Environmental and Climate Literacy. The organizers of Earth Day want to empower everyone with the knowledge to act in defense of environmental protection. The hashtag for the event is #CountTo50.

Here are some ways to celebrate the day.

Create no waste.

Who better than Recyclebank to challenge us to A Day Without Waste? Accept their challenge and they will help coach you through the day. And you can follow their own progress on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #ZeroWasteDay.

Recycle your old technology.

Honor the earth and get money back too. The office supply company Staples is offering a $10 off $30 coupon for recycling your unused tech.

Compost your trash.

Are you ready to dispose of your potato peelings and eggshells in an earth-friendly way? Here’s some help to get you started.

Join the March for Science.

Earth Day Network and the March for Science are co-organizing a rally and teach-in on the National Mall in that will include speeches and trainings, musical performances, and a march through the streets of Washington, D.C. Gather at 8 am and the teach-in will begin at 9 am.

Switch to clean energy.

You can take one simple step and along with others make a big impact together – for a brighter, healthier future.

Learn more about climate change.

“The climate has always been changing – but the pace at which it is now changing is faster than humans have ever seen. Climate change threatens to make parts of the planet uninhabitable or inhospitable for life as we know… In short, it is the most pressing global challenge we have ever faced.”

How are you going to give back on Earth Day 2017? How will you contribute to a more sustainable future? Share your plans for the day in a comment below. We would love to hear from you.

Linda Hetzer is an editor and author of books on home designcrafts, and food, and coauthor of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home


Celebrating #EarthDay


It’s Earth Day again: and this year the theme is “The Face of Climate Change.”

What does Earth Day have to do with downsizing the home, you ask?

It has a lot to do with it! The products we choose to clean our homes when we’re deep-cleaning and rearranging them, or moving to smaller quarters; and how we go about disposing of the things we’re getting rid of  as we do this, do affect the health of our earth. You may think the way you and your family go about this task doesn’t make much of an impact: but multiply it by the number of people who are doing it, and think again.

This year one of the actions being encouraged for Earth Day is recycling electronic waste (that means all those old TVs, radios, printer cartridges, batteries, etc.). You can find out more about how to do this here  and also in a number of posts on this blog here. (We’ve got tips about how to recycle all kinds of “pesky” items, from videotapes and carpeting to old socks and wine bottle corks!)

It can be pretty discouraging to think about what a mess we’ve made of our earth. But we really can’t afford to spend much time rueing what we haven’t done. It’s better to think about what we have done, and what we’re going to do.

Here’s a look at the history of Earth Day (Where We’ve Been)  Where We’re Going from here is up to each and every one of us.

Happy Earth Day, everyone! Find an action (or two, or three), and then DO THEM!

Janet Hulstrand is a writer/editor,  writing coach travel blogger, and coauthor of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home

#Recycling, Stage Two: Stepping It Up, for a Cleaner, Healthier Earth


Did you know that in 1989 President George H.W. Bush declared April National Recycling Month? Makes good sense in the month we also celebrate Earth Day, doesn’t it?

The good news is, we’ve gotten so much better at recycling than we used to be back then.

  • In 2010, paper recycling had increased over 89% since 1990.
  • Over 87% of Americans now have access to curbside or drop-off paper recycling programs.
  • Businesses with record-setting food diversion programs are recovering 50% to 100% of their food discards and reducing their overall solid waste by 33% to 85%.

The not-as-good news is that we still have a long way to go.

  • Over 75% of waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it.
  • Less than 1% of all plastics products are recycled in the U.S. Americans throw away 25,000,000 plastic beverage bottles every hour!
  • We generate 21.5 million tons of food waste each year. If we composted that food, it would reduce the same amoutn of greenhouse gas as taking 2 million cars off the road.

Obviously, some of the things that need to be done to improve our recycling habits require community-wide or business-based solutions. But there are some things all of us can do as individuals, from day to day, that will help make a difference:

  • Remember that recycling is good, but reducing (waste) and reusing (things) before recycling them is even better.
  • For example: bringing canvas tote bags to the grocery store is better than recycling plastic bags. And minimizing the printing of documents is even better than recycling paper and cartridges.
  • Know and follow your local rules for recycling: don’t put things in recycling bins that CAN’T be recycled in your community (like  greasy pizza boxes); and don’t (ever) put things in the trash that CAN be recycled (like soda cans and plastic bottles).
  • For goodness sake, DON’T PUT FOOD TRASH IN RECYCLING CONTAINERS!  (We really ought to bring back stocks and pillories for this offense 😦 )

Other posts on this blog will help you find out how to recycle  electronics and carpeting as well as other “pesky” hard-to-recycle items.

The good news is, if you’re committed to not throwing toxic waste into our landfills, no matter where you live, there are ways to avoid it.

Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Spring, Happy Earth Day, and Happy National Recycling Month! Let’s make it better than ever!

Janet Hulstrand is a writer/editor,  writing coach travel blogger, and coauthor of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home.

Sources consulted for this piece:

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