I once knew someone whose mom would bake a cake to the earth for the Earth's alleged birthday. She'd then walk it into the ocean while singing happy birthday.
And while this love for our Earth may be a bit extreme, we do love our Earth here at Brastilo and we think you should too! So, to help you help preserve our Earth, here are a few tips, articles, and little facts to get you on your way...
FACT - did you know that there are TWO earth days? I didn't either. According to our trusty friend Wikipedia (and seriously folks, where would this blog be without Wikipedia?!), the UN celebrates Earth Day on the March Equinox. The April 22nd Earth Day actually began in 1970 when Senator Gaylord Nelson declared that the issues surrounding Earth conservation were national issues. So really, the Earth Day we celebrate is a commemoration of the environmental issues entering the national agenda. Interesting.
FACT - Earth Day has a flag. I mean, what doesn't these days, right? Hell I can create my own flag on sites like We Are Multicolored. But this flag is kind of cool. It's called the ecology flag and it has green and white stripes like the American flag and a yellow theta where the 50 stars would be. Designers chose theta "because of its historic use as a warning symbol, or the Peace Symbol." You can view the flag here.
TIP - Composting, which admittedly sounds kind of gross in theory, is actually quite the useful tool if you're trying to save the Earth one household at a time. Essentially, composting is the re-appropriation of waste (such as leftover food) into fertile soil for gardening. There are numerous environmental benefits including enriching soil and eliminating pollution. But, according to the EPA, composting can also help you save money by eliminating the need for fertilizers and soil. Now that's handy! And just in case you're not sure what's actually compostable, the EPA has a great chart for you to reference.
ADVICE - Since composting is a bit scary to try for the first time and seems like it could be messy, gross, and, well, ugly, we've found a lovely kitchentop composter - stainless steel composting pail. Isn't it gorgeous? We thought so too. It'll make you forget all about the worms and trash inside...
TIP - When you decide it's time to upgrade from Zack Morris' brick of a cell phone to a more modern device like, say, the iPhone, just remember to recycle. I know the temptation to just throw that ole piece of junk away, but don't do it!! There are many organizations that actually help you recycle that thing you just can't wait to get rid of. Check out sites like Recellular, which allows you to donate your old phone, and the site Cellphones for Soldiers, which donates your old phone to help soldiers call home.
TIP - If you're looking to recycle something bigger than a cell phone and you live in NYC, make sure to check out the NYC WasteLe$$ site. It has oodles of information on how to properly recyle
that old TV or that now-defunct laptop you spent all of your high
school savings to buy only to have it crash on you three times
mid-thesis but you've been saving anyway because you simply can't bear
to part with it. Sigh. NYC has come a long way in helping to keep
our landfills free of things that don't need to be there, letting us
recycle everything from wire coat hangers to egg cartons. We love NYC's recycling program. Well, I mean, we love NYC in general so were biased, but still - it's all-inclusive which is great for our Earth. Hooray NYC!
TIP - Don't buy anything you absolutely don't need (she says dubiously 2 days after she purchased a $300 dress she'll never wear). But seriously folks, the best way to be green is to not buy stuff you don't need. And by that, I'm not telling you to forsake everything and live like a dharma bum on a hill in Berkeley (I tried that for 4 years and all I got was the freshman 15 and a higher tolerance for beer). We understand that we have standards of living. We want our homes to be serene and calming and we want our clothes to reflect who we are. The point is to not purchase in excess, like my dress purchase. And also, be conscious of what you purchase. Like at Brastilo, for example, we source our wood from sustainable forests. This means that we're not cutting down any rainforests to bring you our media centers. And we don't bulldoze your backyard to create your nightstand. We love nature. That's why we're so careful to make sure we show it off
the best way we know how with pieces that are carefully crafted. This
is the sort of design philosophy you should court when buying anything
new for your home.
ADVICE - As you can see, we can go and on and on about the ways you can be green. What do we recommend? Check out the green sites listed in our blogroll in the righthand sidebar - sites like Spring and Worldchanging. And also check out The New York Times Magazine's Green Issue from this past Sunday. It's a great way to get acquainted with green issues and how you can help.
Happy Earth Day, everyone. And if you feel really inspired, bake the Earth a cake. I hear she likes chocolate....