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Celebrating Earth Day 2011

Celebrating Earth Day 2011
earth-heartFrom making the switch to reusable cloth bags to recycling more, everyone’s making an effort to change their habits and help to keep the planet healthy. Here are a few ideas that can help you take advantage of the deals that retailers are offering in celebration of Earth Day 2011 while helping you develop habits to live more sustainably.

Free Coffee

Coffee-cupCoffee is great, but free coffee is better. On Earth Day, show up to Starbucks or Caribou Coffee locations with a refillable mug and get a free cup of Joe. At Caribou, bringing your own reusable coffee cup will save you 50 cents anytime - not just on Earth Day.

Trash for Treasure

Ditch the plastic shopping bags! Reusable shopping bags are available at many retailers for next to nothing, but if you bring five plastic bags to the Disney Store on Friday, April 22nd and get a free (and adorable) Disney reusable tote. The Disney Store is also hosting a fun in-store scavenger hunt to help educate consumers on earth-friendly habits.

Go Outside

Celebrate in the fresh air of the great outdoors by taking a hike... in one of the 394 national parks. From April 16th through April 24th, the National Park Service is hosting free events and providing free admission. Live too far from your nearest national park? With high gas prices and an interest in keeping car travel to a minimum, celebrating Earth Day closer to home may make more sense. Backpack through one of your nearby trails or take a long walk along the nearest river to help put you in tune with the outdoors for free. For bonus points, pick up any litter you see while on your walk and take it home for recycling.

Grow Things

tree-plantingGot a green thumb? Stop by Lowe’s on April 23rd and pick up a free tree to plant! Adding trees is great way to spruce up your yard while giving a little back to the planet. If you lack space for a fully grown tree, pick one up and donate the time to plant it at a community center or school. Or if you have a small yard or patio, consider creating a small vegetable garden. They cost next to nothing to start and the yield will help you stretch your summer grocery budget. It also saves some veggies from being trucked across the country in a big pollution-spewing truck to your supermarket.

Reuse It

Find ways to help kids reduce, reuse and recycle. Rather than stashing your kid’s outgrown toys and clothes in the garage for the yard sale you’ve been putting off for the last few years, box them up and trade them with another family with kids around the same age or take them to your favorite consignment shop for cash. Another alternative is to trade goods with other parents through ThredUp, a unique used clothing and toy swap service. ThredUp is offering  free $13.95 credits for new members that sign up on Earth Day.
Conscientious Beauty
makeup-brushOrigins is offering a free (full-size!) facial cleanser in exchange for bringing in a recyclable beauty product container to the store. Or you can get the facial cleanser for free when you make a $30 purchase from their website. is also offering up to 60% in savings on green and natural brands such as Toms of Maine, Burt’s Bees, Method cleaning products and more in celebration of Earth Day. Look for products made by companies that are committed to reducing their impact on the planet and swap your current brands for more sustainable, clean products.

More Ways to Help

If you’re looking for more direction on how to help, take a look at  the Earth Day Network to take a look at Earth-centered volunteer opportunities available in your area. To get a better understanding of your overall impact, read the pledges community members have made to live a more green lifestyle. It’s a great way to get an idea of activities others are using to reduce their footprint. Consider entering your commitment to living a more green lifestyle, such as “I pledge to eat more local food” or  “I will take shorter showers”. Contemplating  your habits and making a commitment can help you be more mindful of ways you can cut back and be more green.
How are you celebrating Earth Day this year? Are you planning on hitting up any Earth Day specials, going to the park or volunteering?


  1. Monica

    In honor of Earth day, my grandma and I hugged a tree--sounds cliche, but it was wonderful and healing.

  2. Joey

    These are some great ideas for earth day. No ideas there was so much free stuff on earth day.

  3. Hannah

    Ah, Earth Day, one of my favorite days of the year because I always urge myself to go on a nice nature walk (however free coffee doesn't hurt either). It's actually kind of sad how little media attention Earth Day gets considering how much we are harming the Earth but at least it gives some people perception. I think I might have to go ahead and plant something soon, the world could use more green :).

  4. Stacy

    You had me at free coffee. I'm glad that bigger companies are promoting Earth Day. Hopefully it will make people a little more aware of the impact they have on our planet and help keep our earth clean.

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