by Christina Morgan Cree
We at KRL are excited about this our first Earth Day issue! We are focusing on many different and unique ways that people can Go Green and help the environment including Green Markets, e-book publishing, and more. We hope you check out our Earth Day related articles, along with the other articles in this issue! You can also check out more Going Green articles in KRL’s Going Green section!
Earth Day is a big deal around here. It’s not just one day out of the year to raise awareness and make new environmentally friendly resolutions, it’s a celebration of a way of life and proclamation of deep convictions. We care about the planet and believe every individual’s actions make a difference.
Where to Celebrate
Santa Cruz has several celebrations going on April 20th. Here are a few highlights:
The Earth Day Santa Cruz 2013 celebration will be at San Lorenzo Park and will have live music, arts and craft booths, and many fun and educational activities. They offer composting workshops, a solar powered event, activities for kids and a recycled fashion show. There will also be free electric vehicle demos and test drives from 11-4.
Save Our Shores will have Earth Day clean-ups at Main/Cowell Beach from 9 a.m.- 11 a.m. and river clean-up at San Lorenzo River at Water Street Bridge to Soquel Bridge from 10 a.m. to noon.
On April 19, over at the MAH, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, the focus of their Earth Day Jubilee will be art and nature. They’ll have hands on activities for adults and children, drumming, yoga and more.
Santa Cruz businesses are doing their part to help the environment. Many have converted to solar power (New Leaf Market, Santa Cruz Surf Museum). Even the new homes being built are solar powered and come with an outlet in the garage for your electric car. You won’t be able to take your food home in a styrofoam container or plastic bag (there is now a city wide ban on them).
Many restaurants such as Charlie Hong Kong and The Penny Ice Creamery offer reusable, washable serve ware or provide compostable alternatives. Downtown on Pacific Garden Mall, Eco Goods offers organic, recycled and non-toxic products.
Some Santa Cruz schools celebrate Earth Day with a big breakfast for those whose who use alternative, clean transportation. It’s also a trash free day and everything must be recyclable or reusable.
Over the years we’ve slowly gone more and more “green” in our household. The changes don’t have to be inconvenient and in most cases it just requires a little forethought and planning ahead, but it’s well worth it. Here are some easy places to start:
1. Recycle. Recycle as much as possible.
2. Use energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs. They use about 75% less energy, convert most of that energy to light instead of heat and last up to 10x longer.
3. Unplug. I’m guilty here. I leave my cell phone charger and printer plugged in, ready to use at all times. Anything with an LED, anything that glows is an energy suck and it’s not only wasting energy, it costs money even when it’s not in use. One way to make it easier is to plug several of the offending items (cell phone charger, printer, TV) into one power strip that can be turned off easily via one switch before leaving the house.
5. Rethink disposable. When packing a lunch, think “reusable”: utensils, water bottle, washable lunch sack instead of disposable plastic and paper.
I don’t usually ascribe to the New Year’s resolution way of thinking. But for this upcoming Earth Day I want to start a compost pile. Ever since my daughters came home from their Earth Day celebration singing “in the compost pile..” from the song “Compost Cake” performed by the Banana Slug Band, I have felt guilty every time I throw a banana peel into the garbage. After researching it, I found it’s much easier than I thought. Here is a great (and short) tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54Ouny77-Sk
Happy Earth Day!