Earth Day – 22 April

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Eight ways to celebrate Earth Day
* Get a recyclable water bottle – manufacturing plastic bottles uses 17 million barrels of oil annually, which is enough to power 1,3 million cars for a year. Even more energy is spent transporting these bottles and then recycling them.
* Start composting – Earth is the ultimate recycler. It re-uses everything that it creates with a little help from the sun. Everything that lives on the planet is content with this system of recycling – everything except humans.
Humans are the only creatures that deliberately and willfully don’t recycle what they create and use. That means that lots of nourishing substances that would otherwise feed wildlife and help it flourish end up in landfills or on strips of asphalt or somewhere else. Composting biodegradable food and materials is a great way to feed the soil, the organisms in the soil, and plant life, at the same time as reducing waste.
*Plant a garden – plant some flowers and grow a beautifully fragrant garden. And then plant some vegetables and harvest all the produce you need.
*Buy a tree – trees are amazing, but humans relentlessly chop and burn them down. Buy a tree this Earth Day to protect a world that’s at risk of deforestation.
*Build a birdfeeder or start a bee farm – Building a birdfeeder is definitely the easier option here. All you’ll need is a couple of pieces of wood for birds to stand on and a place to put the bird feed. Starting a bee farm is more complex, but there are handy guides that will help you beat back the decline in the numbers of bees around the world.
*Make your home energy efficient – houses consume huge amounts of energy for electricity and heating. In fact, 40 per cent of the energy consumed goes to residential and commercial buildings. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to cut down on energy consumption, from improving insulation, to using LED lights, to getting a water heater. Improving a house’s energy efficiency helps the environment and saves you a lot of money in the long run.
*Become a better grocery shopper – first, get a reusable grocery bag to limit the amount of plastic that has to be produced in the world. Then try to buy fresh foods that you can carry in reusable containers. For example, fresh fruits and vegetables don’t come prepackaged. Also, nuts, lentils, coffee beans and many other dry goods can generally be purchased from bulk containers. By using reusable containers, you’re further reducing the amount of plastic in the world. Finally, try to buy local, ethical and environmentally sustainable products. If you can’t go local, at least go ethical and sustainable.
*Enjoy nature – make sure you set aside lots of time to enjoy nature this Earth Day. Go for a hike, head to the beach or just sit in a park and appreciate the moment. The Earth is a truly marvelous place that provides all of us with life. As humans, we can surely do a better job taking care of it.

Fast facts from across the world:
*The Giant Panda is no longer an endangered species.
*The Ocean Clean-up Project plans to clean up 40 per cent of ocean plastic, starting this year.
*China announced plans to end the ivory trade in their country.
*China has banned new coal mines and 15 per cent of their economy will use renewable energy by 2020.
*The Manatee is no longer on the endangered species list.
*The Columbian government and FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebels have signed a peace agreement ending a war that has left seven million people dead or homeless.
*Canada protects 85 per cent of the Great Bear Rainforest, part of the world’s largest temperate rain forest.
*Twenty countries created 40 protected marine parks covering an area the size of the USA.
*Israel produces 55 per cent of its fresh water from the sea, thus turning the desert into farmland.
*Tiger numbers are on the rise for the first time in 100 years.
*About 90 per cent of Costa Rica’s electrical grid now runs on renewable energy.
*India planted 50 million trees in 24 hours with 800 000 thousand volunteers doing the work.

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