Earth Day- You Can Make a Difference

Good morning everyone!  Today is Earth Day, and it’s the 40th anniversary of the holiday.  It’s a great time to learn about our planet and how to take care of it.  Think you can’t make a difference?  Not so.  Little things- like using a cloth shopping bag, or tossing potato skins and eggshells into a compost bin- can help the environment.  Teach your kids now, and they will develop good habits that endure throughout their lifetime.  Together we can see, just one person can make a difference.

Here are a few ways you can go green this Earth Day, and every day.

REDUCE ELECTRICITY:
Explain to your children that lights, televisions, computers and furnaces all use energy, and that energy is in short supply.  Turning off the lights when leaving the room or switching off the TV when you’re done watching will save energy.

Also, appliances like coffee-makers, DVD and CD players, toasters, and hairdryers do use energy, even when turned off.  Unplugging your devices from the electrical outlet is the way to conserve energy when not in use.

RECYCLE:
Every bottle and can that we use is waste, and will end up sitting in the town dump unless it’s recycled.  The Town of Cary has a wonderful curb-side recycling program and yard waste collection making recycling a snap.  If there’s no recycling collection in your area, find out where you can drop off items.

COMPOST:
It’s easy to collect your own food scraps and garden waste and turn it into healthy compost for your yard.  Get your kids involved in a little craft project to create a compost container, like this cute one here.

photo courtesy of Kaboose.com

This project isn’t only fun- it’s great for the environment and your garden too. With just a minimum of effort, you can help reduce waste and produce rich, healthy soil to spread around your yard.  Too see step-by step instructions for creating this project, as well as other fun Earth Day kids crafts and activities, check out this wonderful website.

TAKE SMALL STEPS:

  • shut off the water while brushing your teeth
  • use cloth or re-usable tote bags while shopping
  • walk or ride your bike instead of taking the car
  • take shorter showers and install water saving shower heads
  • choose products with less packaging

PLANT A TREE:
Trees not only will beautify your yard, they also help remove pollutants and dust from the air.  They also act as natural insulation-enough to cut your heating and cooling bills by 10 to 30 percent.  Planting a tree can commemorate a special event or anniversary and also acts as a natural jungle gym.  We have tons of trees to choose from down at the garden center.  A nice choice for this time of the year is the Fringe tree, in full bloom this week.

Fringe tree or Old Man’s Beard is a beautiful, small tree when it is in full Spring bloom. It can grow nearly anywhere in the continental United States and it’s white flower color kicks in just as the dogwood blooms are fading.

The upright oval to rounded form of Fringe tree adds dark green color in summer, bright white flowers in spring. The pure white, slightly fragrant flowers hang in long, spectacular panicles which appear to cover the tree with cotton for two weeks. As with other white flowered trees, they look best when viewed against a dark background.

I planted this Fringe Tree from Garden Supply in my own yard two years ago for Earth Day.  What a spectacular addition to my landscape!

If you’re looking for some additional activities for this Earth Day, join us this evening at Cary’s all green McDonalds on Kildaire Farm Rd. for a fun-filled schedule of events.

Thanks so much for stopping by everyone!  And don’t forget that you, too, can do your part to help save the environment, today and everyday!