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Question of the Week: What will you do differently now that Earth Day is over?

2009 April 27

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Earth Day is a reminder about the importance of protecting the environment.  But after the events are over, we go back to the daily routine…  or do we.

What will you do differently now that Earth Day is over?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

55 Responses leave one →
  1. Miss Sarah W permalink
    April 27, 2009

    I purchased a travel coffee mug and have vowed to brew my own coffee instead of getting paper or Styrofoam cups from coffee shops! (am on day 4 and loving it) Reduce waste AND save money!

  2. Anonymous permalink
    April 27, 2009

    Give up drive-through windows. Idling is a waste of gas.

  3. Chris permalink
    April 27, 2009

    1-Recycle more junk mail; 2-register for junk mail removal list (www.newdream.org/junkmail); 3-compost more.

  4. JohnInKY permalink
    April 27, 2009

    Well, I’ve been recycling since the mid-1970s, riding the bus to and from work since 1980, turing unused lights and appliances off 3-5 times a day since about 1968, keeping all my vehilces (NO SUVs) tuned-up and with proper tire inflation since 1972. So, with all of that already being done, I may add some more insulation in my attic, and write my congressmen asking them to vote NO on any “Climate Change” legislation that either is directly or indirectly a “carbon tax,” which would put the final nail in coffin of the the US economy. I also plan to spread the word that man-induced climate change is the biggest HOAX in the history of the world, and that its true purpose is woldwide wealth re-distribution…..

  5. Duane Murphy, President Southport HOA, Burke, VA permalink
    April 27, 2009

    I proposed at our annual Southport Homeowners’ Association meeting that our community adopt a more “green community perspective, which was supported. I’ll prepare for our board meeting information using EPA’s page; http://www.epa.gov/greenkit/index.htm, to outline an approach to Southport HOA, Burke, VA expanding our “green community” efforts. President, SHOA.

  6. Jim Adcock permalink
    April 27, 2009

    Well, what I won’t do is rely on the news media as my source of factual information about the environment, since they basically let Earth Day slide pass with little or no coverage of the issue of global warming and coal power plants.

  7. Linda Bourgeois, PhD permalink
    April 27, 2009

    I have been honoring the earth since birth. So, even if this is the biggest HOAX in the history of the world, honoring and conserving resources is still the intelligent way of life, that is, if we expect the world to survive mankind.

  8. Anonymous permalink
    April 27, 2009

    Is not a good idea to refine Coals and bury the residues. It is a great hazard that is about to happen. Leave coals alone, everything about it at this point in time signal danger to the entire country. Except the using it for barbecue.

  9. Gillian permalink
    April 27, 2009

    Now that Earth Day is over, I’m committed to planting my own veggie garden and I’m going to investigate making my own cleaning supplies.

    After learning about the dire emergency of the Chesapeake watershed in a recent Frontline (PBS), I am more committed to controlling the runoff from our house and what goes into our water.

  10. Madison permalink
    April 27, 2009

    I will strive to recycle even more than I do now – paper, junkmail, cans, store bags, etc. I continue to reuse/reutilize all that I can, I even donate old towels to our local animal shelter and old tack equipment to our local horse rescue. You would be amazed at the number of organizations out there who will welcome your old items. Every little thing that you do adds up!

    I would like to start composting – even though I only put in a small garden, I love the idea of composting to enrich the soil. Maybe through composting I will have a better garden which will lead me to a BIGGER garden!

  11. Charles Tertle permalink
    April 27, 2009

    Man made pollution is not a myth. Whether it causes climate change
    is a question, but it is highly likely that it contributes to climate change.
    If you still question man-made pollution, run your car inside a
    closed garage, and find out for yourself.

  12. Bonnie Aylor permalink
    April 27, 2009

    For earth day I figure I’ll reduce my electricity by using the microwave more and also, I’ll go ahead and purchase more trees/bushes from the arbor day foundation. I wall also work to show people how the environmental effects health while preparing for the MPH/JD and engaging in my many fundraising events and public education events for the ACS. The environment is a large part of how our health ends up the way it does, as well as environmental practices that don’t effect the immediate environment but do effect it in the long run, when we make smart choices we make healthy choices too.

  13. Anonymous permalink
    April 27, 2009

    The world will survive mankind. It may different but it will survive. It’s mankind that may not survive themselves.

  14. Lorenzo permalink
    April 27, 2009

    Im starting to buy eco-friendly products such as recycled toilet paper, paper towels, and natural dish washing soap and cleaners.

  15. M Fisk permalink
    April 27, 2009

    I will use eeFuel to reduce my carbon footprint, save gas.

  16. Linda permalink
    April 28, 2009

    Well, I’ve been doing my best to be a conscientious consumer–recycling what I can, using non-disposable shopping bags, managing my 3-acre property as organically as possible, using “green” cleaners, etc. Still, I will continue my efforts to find ways to be planet friendly.

  17. April 28, 2009

    I will not do anything differently. I will continue to recycle everything I can. Since my City only recycles plastics 1 & 2, I save the others and take them to Whole Foods, which recycles all numbers. I will continue to take home the cans and plastic bottles from the office since they do not have a recycling program. I will continue to save my dish water and use it to water my plants. I will continue to use my free composting bin I received from the state of PA. I will continue to try to get my co-workers and friends to recycle more. I will continue to take everything I can to Goodwill and the Slavation Army so it does not end up in landfills and can be reused by someone who needs it. I will plant the 10 baby trees I received from the Arbor Day Foundation and hope they grow this year. And I will continue to buy organic items and purchase local produce whenever I can.

  18. Brandyn permalink
    April 28, 2009

    I’m not doing anything differently. I’ve always recycled and conserved energy, the thought that some feel-good day should make me change my habits is absurd. Being environmentally-friendly is just not being stupid, and I’d like to think that I’m not stupid at least half the time.

  19. pointblank88 permalink
    April 28, 2009

    Now Earth Day is over I’m continuing to recycle everthing that can be recycled. My work makes it easy now, as they provide collection containers so I can just bring it to work with me each day!

  20. Ken Carby permalink
    April 28, 2009

    since earth day i went forward with changing out my exsisting lights with CFL,s this weekend i changed out eight more lights that consumed 520 watts and reduced down to 160 watts. i had already started this about a year ago but stopped i have 46 more bulbs to change out to complete my house and then i will focus on another project.

  21. DJM permalink
    April 28, 2009

    I am still doing alot of the same things as I have been. I am watching the electric and keep lights off until needed or turn them off as I exit rooms.

  22. Curt S permalink
    April 28, 2009

    We went and purchased the reusable “shopping bags” from the grocery store to cut back on the plastic ones they provide. We also are buying a kayak to enjoy the outdoors as opposed to running an outboard.

  23. Lenita Leufkens permalink
    April 28, 2009

    At Powersmiths, we held a vegetarian BBQ for Earth Day 2009. We wanted to raise awareness about the positive environmental impact of reducing the amount of meat we eat. To make Earth Day a lasting memory and kick start real changes, each employee wrote out an Earth Day Pledge. Each pledge is a symbol of something we plan to do differently after Earth Day…

  24. D. collier permalink
    April 28, 2009

    I’m going to go cut 7 trees, just because I can.

  25. Shawn permalink
    April 28, 2009

    Minimize the amount of bottled water purchased and reuse old plastic bottles. Also, began to educate my kids on the importance of recycling, preserving natural resources, and a sustainable environment.

  26. James Brady permalink
    April 28, 2009

    My goal this year is to help remove 100,000 lbs of dry cell batteries from our landfill in California. Universal Waste is a serious problem in America and around the world, so I’m encouraging every American to take inventory of dry cell, Alkaline/Cell Phone, lead acid batteries in the household and drop them off to the nearest recycling bin in their communities. The State of California encourages employees to bring batteries to the workplace for recycling. I have also developed a training program for generators of Universal Waste, that covers, recycling of CFL’s, Fluorescent tubes, PCP Ballast, Sharps, Thermometers, and medical waste. In the future I will post what we diverted from the landfills. At home I also recycle batteries, bottles, paper and plastic bags. James Brady

  27. Janet permalink
    April 28, 2009

    Definitely!! We all need to share our thoughts and this is a great one. You may think it is just by saving gas and Dollars, but the real savings is to our life and health. There should be a warning at all drive thrus

    “Idling is dangerous to your health!” and Ours!

    Towns need to start making changes. How many of us use are running cars as mobile restaurants. Especially in the winter we will park in a fast food restaurants’ parking lot with the car on, heat on, killing ourselves, and the environment needlessly while we eat.

  28. Taylor permalink
    April 28, 2009

    I have been taking shorter showers.
    Not leaving the water on when it doesn’t need to be.
    I recycle all my papers at school.
    I recycle my boxes, milk cartons, juice cartons…etc.
    AND I HAVE SPREAD THE WORD!

  29. Janet permalink
    April 28, 2009

    Climate change is a fact. There are no hoaxs here, except for the gentle words of “Global Warming” not to put histeria into the general publics lives.
    The problem that people don’t get is that while the climate changes, it is the cause of the change that is the major concern. Before the actually temperature kills “us” and when I say “us” I mean we are Final Endangered Species to be concerned about. Or should I say we must be the first, so that all else can exist. The damages of Greenhouse emissions are and have been related to the Health of Our Nation!! Like Charles Tertle said “If you still question man-made pollution, run your car inside a closed garage, and find out for yourself”. I’ve been saying this for years to educate family, friends, everyone that I can find the appropriate time to tell. There is so much more to say, and so little time

  30. Janet permalink
    April 28, 2009

    I will continue to help open the eyes and minds of the many. I join with all those who continuosly live their lives for spreading the word. It is and has always been for the “Health of the Nation”. There are so many that still wander, including myself. It is a large flaw, yet benefit in Human nature. We need each other to help one another stay on the right path. What better cause then to Save Our Lives and Our Beautiful World from extinction.

  31. Gay Johnson permalink
    April 28, 2009

    I heard about the huge plastic swirl in the Pacific 2 years ago. But I saw it on Oprah’s show on Earth Day and made a real commitment! I will never take another plastic bag at the grocery. I’m going to reuse the ones I have accumulated and then switch over to canvas or split oak baskets. I am going to think long and hard about buying grocery items in plastic. I may start making my own yogurt.

  32. Anonymous permalink
    April 28, 2009

    I went and bought 4 more CFL bulbs as my son informed me that there were CFL bulbs bright enough for me to read. He’s right.
    I am more conscious of taking shorter showers.
    I already recycle a tremendous amount as Seattle has such a fabulous program. I already use permanent bags for groceries and now we can donate to the city’s compost program by giving them all food products, including meat, shells and bones! I just put the stuff in my yard waste.

  33. Stevie permalink
    April 28, 2009

    I have begun shutting the TV off when commercials come on. The average commercial break is 3-5 minutes long; in an hour-long show you could cut off almost 20 minutes of TV-watching time. Now that the weather is getting hotter, why not get some good old-fashioned reusable fresh air instead of immediately turning on your air conditioner? Put screens in your windows and instead of a fan or AC, sleep with your windows open…it’s a great way to wake up!

  34. Jennifer Clarke permalink
    April 28, 2009

    I’m doing the same things I’ve been doing since long before Earth Day. I think the most important mantra that I have is reduce-reuse-recycle.

    I work in a farming operation and the reduce-reuse-recycle mantra is part of our daily thoughts and actions. From farm inputs to broken and old machines (that can be reused for parts) to any trash that we generate we constantly are reducing and reusing what we can.

    Earth Day is Every Day for a Farmer!

  35. sam7 permalink
    April 28, 2009

    well done everyone !.
    we look to behind and see the kind earth what a best ENDURANCE.
    and hope it be forever . v hope talk be convert to ACT . because v need it very much . v need learn from each other . the world is east west south north . v speak to our politicians . u speak . they speak. maybe we got a idea for best life . it’s no far, just need REMISSION , love , EMPATHY.
    v can . v do PROGRESSION , v aren’t SOCIETY primitive ,but human is same human , in aborigine v can’t know most of things , even each other ‘s language . just basic word ,like, water food clothing ,like these, but now we can talk , chat , we can fly from one point to another in world in 10 hours , with internet ,telephone ,post ,v can online forever . but why ? why our heart is f…? . no it’s not true , true is SOLIDARITY .

  36. J Rome permalink
    April 28, 2009

    It’s a shame the trees can’t cut back. To input such a low class comment shows the need to call out timber when one cuts a tree. AND maybe no one will hear the tree fall and you can be part of the forest.
    May the trees forgive you and not take it out on the rest of us. Remember a tree helps the earth more then you do. It’s footprint on the EARTH cancels out your typing.
    wit loVe J Rome

  37. J Rome permalink
    April 28, 2009

    I try to do all I can to cut my footprint on MY EARTH. I use only CLF lighting. BUT I do have one 100/300 light in each room for emergency as being 73 or it that 37 years young It might be needed. All chargers are on/off 12 hours a day and I have never had a problem with phone, shaver, cell phone,and the like. I live in AZ which it seems everyone has a Air-cooler. In 13 years I have not used my AC for heat or cool. In winter I use a bed warmer for heat at night (on at 11p of at 2a on at 7a off at 9a). I have a 20,000 square food home. I put a door to close off the bed room and computer room from the rest of the house thinking that I should cool those two rooms if needed. In 12 years I have never turned on the AC. I use fan with air going away from me even with the Temp. in my home at 110% I enjoy it. For food I use a large refrigerator and another one which I time to go on/off 30m every 4 hours so it stays at about 80% to store can and dry foods.
    It looks like I have been at it for ever so I will stop for now with this:
    Today I went to a large medical building to get X Rayed and looking up I saw the lighting had been changed to CLF in all but two fixtures. I asked why those two and was told when they burn out (85w) they will be replaced with 14w CLFs. To me that was a EARTH DAY gift to me.
    If you wish E-me at and I will try to help make you EARTH YEAR worth it.
    wit love J Rome

  38. Loni permalink
    April 29, 2009

    I have been focusing on saving water by taking quick showers and turning the faucet off when doing the dishes. I’ve always tried to save water in the past, but lately I’m making an extra effort, wich I know makes a difference :)
    I’ve been recycling for a while but lately I’ve been doing research on the ways of properly disposing of household hazardous waste (like batteries, electronics…). Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!

  39. Akshay permalink
    April 29, 2009

    Though I am in India, I wanted to know what actions are being taken to protect our environment by developed nations. I was surprised to know the united efforts of Americans. I have been, and will try to implement the tips given by the EPA to save & preserve natural resources. I had Environmental Science as a subject in my school. I have decided to become a Township Planner and help my town grow,with all the local natural resources unharmed and carefully preserved.

  40. Prabhat Misra permalink
    April 29, 2009

    I m from India ( Etawah, U.P. ) and in government job. Since the past one year i m continuously donating my holidays to save the trees by self launching a mission named RED TAPE MOVEMENT. Many local and awared people have joined this. I will welcome your emails. My email address is lovepeaceunity01@yahoo.com. Greenmans r welcome to my address. SAVE TREES, SAVE FUTURE.

  41. hemoine permalink
    April 29, 2009

    I have vowed to send money to any candidate that will stand up to the enviro nazi, global government, anti freedom, Cap and Trade wealth redistributin SCAM. And, I have filled up my car with high test gas and plan to exceed every posted speed limit for the next week.

  42. hemoine permalink
    April 29, 2009

    Do you still put the Kayak on the car and *drive* to the water?

  43. hemoine permalink
    April 29, 2009

    I will now cut down a tree in solidarity with D collier. By the way…trees are a renewable natural resource.

  44. Poppy permalink
    April 29, 2009

    Climate change is a contiuous process. The hoax is that we cause it. Look up the CO2 levels found in the ice bores in Anartica and you will see a reoccurring cycle every 125,000 years that matches exactly where we are now. Consevation should be a way of life because there are limited resources. Our family has raised most of it’s own food over the years and we have lived the Farmers Creed of “Leave the earth in better shape than you found it.” I just find it irritating that people politicize what is happening now so they can raise our taxes.

  45. Druz permalink
    April 29, 2009

    Good for you, D. Collier! When everybody quits using paper bags, lumber, etc., there will be no demand for growing trees. In North Florida, the “Save the Trees” initiatives have resulted in the paper companies selling their forest lands to developers (can’t afford to grow trees due to reduced demand). The result, more concrete and asphalt where timber land once sprawled. As for me, I ask for paper…

    Also, as a result of Earth Day, I’ve decided to give up breathing….

  46. Neil permalink
    April 29, 2009

    Among other things, I use an “on/off switch” on my showerhead to save water during my shower. The units are cheap and effective! (You can get one at any hardware store and easily install it yourself.)

    I save lots of water per shower, and it helps make my showers more luxurious. (I no longer need to bathe in a rush in order to save water! I can soap up while the water is “shut off” and rinse off under “instant-on” warm water.)

  47. Sunny Moritz permalink
    April 29, 2009

    Nothing new, I just promise to continue doing what I do. I look for seed that fall from Royal and Christmas Palm Trees and plant them. On Earth day I gave away many small trees, I have loved for over a year. If they are all planted a number of new trees will grow on Oahu. I also look around in my potted plants, in trees, under piles of leaves and especially in the rain gutters. Bird droppings have given me ten new umbrella plants just this year, which are growing fast. I will sell these plants to pay for more soil and pots to keep them growing.

    My next step it to turn our front yard into a garden and teach my neighbors how to do the same. Even though I am just a renter, I always landscape, put in drip irrigation on a timer and leave the property with a garden and trust it will encourage others to do the same. It has cost me lots but that is my gift to our Precious Cosmic Home, Planet Earth.

    I also sort through our trash and find our neighbors stuff in the wrong trash. They don’t care so I will take care.
    Mahalo, Sunny Moritz

  48. agh permalink
    April 30, 2009

    I will continue to search out foods that are made or grown close to where I live, and purchase those instead of cheaper alternatives. Even though it sometimes seems unaffordable. Sometimes it makes more since to eat local than organic. Oh, and expand my small garden into patio containers as well as last years plot.

  49. PEG BITTNER permalink
    May 2, 2009

    I am currently working on saving a wetland area and a wildlife sanctuary that has developed because of it. There is 5 acres of property destined to be developed into a business strip and I am doing my best to see that 1/4-1/2 acre if not more is saved for nature.

    I also am continuing to compost and recycle. I have been composting long before it was fashionable.

  50. Fred Smith permalink
    May 3, 2009

    I vow to educate my children so their minds stay open and so they don’t get brainwashed into believing in man-made global warming (which is now known as climate change, since the whole warming thing isn’t truly panning out) without real scientific proof (the use of “consensus” is an absurd basis for such an important issue of science).

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