April 21, 2015

22 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day this Year

1. Goodbye Indoors, Hello Outdoors!

Think about your usual day, how much time do you spend outside? I know that on some days I drive to work, work and drive home without even so much as taking a walk. Just sitting outside or going for a short 15 minute walk can improve your productivity and your mood.

2. Breezy

Have a lot of chores and things to do around the house? Bring nature inside by opening some windows. This will not only air out your house a little after the stuffy winter, but it will bring the smells and noises from outside, inside. You’ll get some fresh air, and some things done.

3. Ready to Bloom

Even though your garden plot may not be ready, we know you are! Begin planning your garden before it’s time to plant. Think about what vegetables, flowers and other plants you want to plant and where you want to put them. Take care to evaluate sunlight needs and any other specifications for each plant.

4. Just Veg(gies)

You may have friends or family members in your life who have chosen to be a vegetarian. This lifestyle choice is actually healthier for you and the environment. Did you know it takes 1800 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef? Try eating without meat for just a week and see how you do. You may find that you don’t need as much meat in your diet after all.

5. Homing Nest

With all the warmer temperatures and thawing snow bring back the birds and their songs. By making your own bird house and filling it with seeds and grains you can attract your favorite birds over for a meal. There are many designs of treehouses from the traditional wooden house to recycled milk and soda container houses.

6. Share the Love

These days it seems like everything is asking for a donation for a good cause. Remember when you donate that you should donate because it’s what YOU believe in and it’s an organization that YOU feel passionately about. Whether that’s animals or the environment or health or whatever it is, choose an organization that is credible and something you feel proud to donate to.

7. Walking the Dog

Just like how we get cabin fever, dogs get a little stir crazy too being inside for most of the winter. Take your pup anywhere from around the block or to the local park- where dogs are permitted- to run them around. Remember that larger dogs and younger dogs will need more exercise. Don’t forget bags to pick up after them!

8. Clean Up Time

Cleaning up a park, highway or even just your own yard sets a responsible example for your family and your community that you’re pitching in. In 5th grade, Brady- from Crane’s Marketing Team- participated in her first Earth Day clean up. She worked with friends and classmates to clean up her town’s beach, a park and their school fields. Make sure to wear gloves, bring a pokey stick if you have them and trash bags. Every little bit makes a difference.

9. Bicycle Tour

Do you want to get a good workout, feel the wind in your hair and watch the miles go by? Sounds like biking might be a great way for you to get outside. Instead of driving to do your errands, hop on your bike and take the scenic route. Just by going on a 1 hour bike ride you can burn 500 calories! Get the whole family moving and motivated with an ice cream stop at the end of the ride.

10. Explore a New Neighborhood

Whether you’ve lived in a town all your life or you’re moving somewhere new, walking around town and exploring different neighborhoods is a great way to get outside. Walk with a buddy and take the long way home. You’ll be surprised what people, shops and nature you see along the way.

11. DIY Project, of the larger variety

Sometimes you get that itch to do something creative and there are plenty of ways to scratch that itch. Here at Crane we’ve been getting to DIY woodwork, everything from painting to creating new furniture. If you’re newer to DIY projects, make sure to pick projects with step by step pictured tutorials or ask at the local craft store for advice and ideas. However it turns out, you made it and that’s awesome!

12. Grill Out

An easy and fun way to enjoy being outside is to cook and enjoy a meal outside with family and friends. Grill seasonal vegetables and turkey burgers for a sustainable meal that everyone can enjoy. Grilling out when it’s warm is a great option for an evening meal or as an all-day affair with yard games.

13.Ditch the Bags

Next time you head to the grocery store or pack your lunch, ditch the bags. Opt for reusable bags at the store; many stores now give you a discount for bringing your own bags. For snacks or lunch you can use reusable containers to pack anything from salads to dipping sauces or soup. This will save you money and reduce the plastic waste from non-reusable plastic bags.

14. Plant a Tree

Earth Day is all about celebrating nature in every form. Many communities have group Earth Day activities arranged for planting a trees. Especially with kids, showing them that trees start out small and grow teaches them that nature needs to be taken care of and not taken for granted. Plus you can come back in 30 years to a huge tree and know that you helped plant it.

15. Locavore

How do I eat better foods, stay in budget, while making sustainable choices? Eat local! Purchase fruits and vegetables from your local farmers market, sometimes you can find local meats there too. You’re supporting local businesses, eating fresh foods and buying local means there weren’t high emissions to get to the food to you.

16. Visit a botanic garden

After dull winter, seeing flowers and colors is all you need to get ready for spring. Many larger cities have botanic gardens or conservancies. For the grownups they often offer concerts and cocktail events and for children there are often great learning opportunities. Not to mention great spots for photographers!

17. Set up Recycling

One of the easiest things you can do for Earth Day and to start a more sustainable lifestyle is to start recycling. Buy an extra bin and deem that for plastic, paper, glass and your other recyclables. You’ll have to check with your city or garbage pick up to see how they sort your recycling.

18. Team work

Do you have a family reunion or huge group looking to spend some time together? Why not go outside and have a friendly game of kickball or touch football. Divide into two teams, boys vs girls is always fun, and head to the park. You can usually find an open field or baseball diamond and you’re ready for an afternoon of finding out who has mad kickball skills.

19. Prepping Patio

Maintaining your patio will make way for relaxing work free days outside when it gets warmer. If you have bricks or stone be sure to add sand in between them. It will help prevent weeds from growing not to mention keep your surface flat and smooth. If you do notice weeds before putting the sand in, you can spray white vinegar.

20. Lose the wheels

Here at Crane everyone is really focused on making sure they get their 10,000 steps each day. One convenient way to reach this goal or any goal you’ve set is to walk instead of drive. Whether you’re running errands or motivated to keep moving, walking is a wonderful way to spend time outside.

21. Unplug

Especially with the weather getting nicer around Earth Day unplugging yourself from your devices and spending more time outside is easier. You may just find that the connection with nature and being outside is better than the WiFi in your home. Remember to also unplug any unused appliances since they still draw power even when they’re not on.

22. Remember that these are changes you can try anytime you want, the Earth won’t mind ?