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How do you really celebrate Earth Day?

Today, Earth Day turns 38. (Not the Earth, but the day itself). One of my favorite parenting websites (okay, this website is like a frenemy — love to hate it and hate to love it.) Anyway, they didn’t even mention Earthday on their daily email, they mentioned the new really expensive stroller I should buy.

NPR is recommending, today, that we take transit or bike. I like that recommendation. Many of my favorite green stores are recommending you come in and buy something green—usually one of my favorite activities. The government has a long list of ways that kids can help save the Earth. Some of them even look like fun.

I think Earth Day has become like many kids’ first birthday parties, something that comes from a place of love, but ends up being a little too commercial to feel like a true celebration.

So, what are some alternative ways to bring meaning back to the day? To really use it to celebrate our dependency upon, our love of, and our connection with the Earth.

I guess you could use today to do all those things you’ve been meaning to do all year to green your home life… like buy your household carbon credits for the year (note to self) or research the best water filter and finally fulfill your goal of giving up on all plastic water bottles (which, by the way, would be a GREAT green goal for everyone).

Or you can take transit instead of your car to your playdate or, even better, get your bike seat hooked onto your bicycle and take your kid there by peddling.

Or you can commit to buying NOTHING today. Though I am a fan of supporting our local, green products and stores, a great present for the Earth is to save the gas, the packaging, the transporting, the eventual recycling or disposing of the thing and simply buy nothing at all today.

And what about throwing an Earth Day party for everyone on your block and using nothing disposable? Use it as a chance to get to know your neighbors, to talk publicly about your green goals, to finally resolve your condo’s recycling issue.

Maybe while you are out there partying you will pick up some of the garbage that has collected on the sidewalk, in the road, or in the park near your house. And then when you come home you can write a book with your kid about what you did together on Earth Day where you paste in leaves, and crumpled notes, and little bits of plastic bag that you found.

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