28 March 2010

Did YOU Turn Your Lights Out?

Of course you did . . . right?  And now you're wondering what to do next?  Why not commit to an hour of world changing, earth saving action every day between now and Earth Day on April 22nd - that's 26 days ... 26 hours of making a difference!  Imagine what you'll achieve!!

Need some inspiration?  Here's 26 ideas to help get you started:
  1. Go for a walk
    Get to know your neighbourhood, get some exercise and give your car a rest!
  2. Cook up a storm
    Get together with a few friends and fill your freezers with delectable dinners and tasty snacks.  Its fun, its real food - and it will save you money and make eating in easier than take-out!
  3. Attend a Council meeting
    Find out what the issues are in your community.  Attend local government meetings.  Have your say.  Get involved!
  4. Plant something
    It can be basil on the windowsill, tomatoes in the patio, a tree in the backyard or a glorious edible landscape.  Join a Community Garden (or start one), engage in guerrilla gardening, get some dirt under your fingernails and enjoy the beauty and bounty of nature!
  5. Play board games
    Turn of the TV and have a night in with the family.  Board games are fun and teach kids to take turns, to count, to strategise, and to win (and lose) with grace - among other things.
  6. Shop local
    Have yourself a local meal - with nothing on the plate that comes from further away than 100 miles.  Invite your friends and neighbours and help spread the word about the great food producers you have on your doorstep.
  7. Volunteer
    Donate an hour or two of your time to a good cause.
  8. Clean Up
    Take a walk around your neighbourhood picking up litter, or clean up your favourite spot in nature.
  9. Read Aloud
    "When parents take time to read aloud, children are touched not only by the stories, but also by their parent's love" Calm and Compassionate Children by Susan Usha Dermond
    And you don't have to stop just because your kids can read for themselves.  Some of my most vivid and comforting childhood memories are of my father reading to me as a 'big kid'.
  10. Make Do
    Do you really need new?  Or will what you have already do the trick?  Can you borrow from a friend or neighbour?  Can you repurpose something else to do the job?  Making do isn't just about doing without or being frugal, its creative too!
  11. Pay AttentionMake a point of noticing the good things that happen in your day, share them with your loved ones and encourage them to do the same.  Keep an eye out for the beautiful, the unexpected, the inspirational, those little things its so easy to miss as we go about our busy lives.
    "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."- Albert Einstein
  12. Go Without
    Try 26 days without buying anything new, or without buying any chocolate/coffee/shoes . . . and use the savings to help pay off any debts or donate it to a cause that moves you.
  13. Give
    Give something away
    every day between now and Earth Day.  Make a point of being generous.
  14. Bring Your Own
    Take your lunch to work each day.  Take a reusable coffee cup for your morning coffee on the way to work.  Make sure you have reusable cutlery in your drawer at work so you can say no to plastic stuff if you get a take-out lunch . . .
  15. Get Rid of Clutter
    Clear out your closets and cupboards of things you no longer need - hold a garage sale, list your goodies on FreeCycle, hold a swap party or donate them to charity.
  16. Be Prepared
    Put together a 'going green kit' stocked with reusable grocery bags, a BYO lunch kit, Compact Flourescent Lightbulbs, a water bottle, a travelling coffee mug, a selection of green cleaning products . .
  17. Start Composting
    You don't have to have a big back yard to be able to compost your food waste.  A Bokashi system can fit under your bench, or you could set up a worm farm on your patio.  And if you don't have room for much of a garden you can always donate the results to your local community garden or share it with your neighbours. 
  18. Build a Community
    Invite your neighbours over for a board games extravaganza, organise a street party, play charades, start a food co-op, have dinner with friends.  Connecting with others is good for the soul!
  19. Watch a Movie
    Get inspired, get outraged, get informed.  Invite your friends around to watch a documentary about an issue that you are passionate about or that you feel you need to know more about.  It could be coffee, dolphins, capitalism or sustainable living . . .
  20. On Yer Bike
    Ditch your car and bike to work. 
  21. Smile
    Make a point of smiling at people.  Even when you don't feel like it.  Especially when you don't feel like it!!
  22. Swap Your Old Books
    Update your library with a book swap.  You can do it online, or organise your own neighbourhood book swap.
  23. Make It Yourself
    Make your own jam, knit your own socks, bake your own bread . . . pick a project and perfect a new skill over the next 26 days.
  24. Help Someone
    Mow your neighbour's lawn, share your umbrella, look after your sisters kids for an hour.  Go out of your way to lend a hand every day for the next 26 days.
  25. Do It By Hand
    Do you really need a machine to do that?  Get out your shovel to clear the snow from you driveway, use a rake to tidy up the autumn leaves in your back yard, try opening the cans with a manual can opener, get out of your chair to change the channel.  There are gadgets for everything - and sure they can make life easier, but they use power and make us less active.  How much technology do we really need to live happy, productive lives?
  26. Spread the Word
    Tell as many people as you can reach what you are doing to change the world between now and Earth Day.  Share your actions in the comments below, on your blog, with your work colleagues, family, neighbours, the guy next to you on the bus . . . Who knows what movement you will inspire :)
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