Go Green this Earth Day and make an impact on your community. Help others to reduce their footprint on the planet by encouraging friends, family and troop to make smart changes to their daily lives.
Follow these simple, creative and easy tips to help put Mother Earth first:
* Conserve gas! Use public transportation, carpool, walk, or bike whenever possible to avoid using your car.
* eCycle it! Take your old computer, DVD player, or other electronics to a recycling center. This helps keep hazardous substances out of the landfill. Click here to find an eCycling center near you.
* Make the switch. Buy or switch to energy efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs. Look for the EnergyStar label to help save you money on energy bills and pollute less.
* Don't trash it - reuse it! Be creative about reducing waste. Give pet hamsters or gerbils cardboard tubes to play with. Use an egg carton to plant seedlings.
* Make it a full load. Run your dishwasher only when it's full; use the rinse-and-hold dishwasher feature until you're ready to run a full load.
* Don't idle! Remind your school system to turn off bus engines when buses are parked to eliminate harmful exhaust pollution.
* Bag it! Bring your own reusable bags when grocery shopping. Most supermarkets sell reusable bags for under a dollar. Keep bags stashed in your car to avoid forgetting them when shopping.
Creative craft and activity ideas for celebrating Earth Day
Earth Day Grocery Project
Get your troop involved with the Earth Day Grocery Project. Contact a grocery store manager and see if your troop can borrow a large volume of paper grocery bags. Decorate these bags and return them to the store with Earth Friendly messages encouraging customers to take time out for Mother Earth. If you are unable to borrow the bags, try making bookmarks or individual flyers that can be inserted into bags or handed out to patrons.
Check out the Earth Day Grocery Project at http://www.earthdaybags.org/
Clean Up and Beautify
Organize a project to clean up or beautify some area in your town. It could be at your school, community center, church or any other spot. Dig out an area to create a Girl Scout garden, or perhaps donate time to sprucing up a patch of greenery in your neighborhood that is sorely in need of some landscaping. Devote your troop's energy and resources to removing trash and debris from a common space in your town and set a good example for other members of your community. Make sure to have a plan for how to take care of the land after you've made it pretty.
Take Time out for Earth Hour
Sign up at EarthHour.org and take a stand against global warming. Earth Hour uses the simple action of turning off the lights for one hour to deliver a powerful message about the need for action on global warming and the carbon overload plaguing our planet.
In 2008, 24 global cities participated in Earth Hour at 8pm on March 29. Earth Hour is the highlight of a major campaign to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to take the simple steps needed to cut their emissions on an ongoing basis. It is about simple changes that will collectively make a difference â€" from businesses turning off their lights when their offices are empty, to households turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby.
Plan an EarthHour activity for your troop. Be energy-free for one hour while teaching your troop about the threat of global warming. Hold a candle-light vigil for the planet, plan an energy-free outdoor activity, or arrange an environmental activist activity in your community. Create educational materials that can be handed-out to local businesses informing them of Earth-friendly tips to help minimize the carbon footprint of their office.