Here it is, already Earth Day, and you’ve forgotten to pick out a gift for the planet. What could the Earth want that it doesn’t have already? Before you rush out to buy it a commemorative figurine, remember that there are lot of things you can do for the Earth without even leaving the house. (Or at least without making a special trip.)
When making your Earth Day gift-giving plans, remember “reduce, reuse, recycle.” We all know that slogan, but I think many of us associate it most strongly with “recycle.” But reduce and reuse can have the biggest impact.
During the past 35 years, the amount of waste each person creates has almost doubled from 2.7 to 4.4 pounds per day. The most effective way to stop this trend is by preventing waste in the first place.
So think about some of these gift ideas:
- Screw in a lightbulb. The Earth loves lightbulb jokes, like:
Q: How many flies does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: Two, but how do you get them in there?
If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR, we would save enough energy to light more than 2.5 million homes for a year and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of nearly 800,000 cars.
- B.Y.O.B. Party at Earth’s place! (The Earth loves a party.) But the Earth thinks you should bring your own bag next time you go shopping. The Earth would love it if you’d stop getting so many plastic bags. They add up. Reuse some old bags, or bring string, or other fashionable fabric bags.
- Have you thought about sending the Earth a greeting card? The Earth says please don’t bother. The Earth gets too much mail anyhow. And the Earth thinks you get too much crap in your mailbox. Consider opting out of all those damn credit card offers, either online or by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT. You can get off mailing lists for lots of places by filling out a form from DMA. For catalogs from businesses “with whom you have had a relationship,” you can call those directly. This site has more hints about reducing your junk mail.
Plus there are lots of other little waste-reducing gifts you can choose for Earth. Like avoiding disposable paper products, or using fewer of them. Opting not to print out papers, or to reprint on the backs of old documents. Or even just turning off the lights. And what’s really nice is that the Earth doesn’t mind if you’re late with the gift, or you can’t give that much. The Earth appreciates even the little gestures. The Earth is swell that way.