Today, April 22nd, marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day! Do you remember what you were doing when Earth Day began in 1970? Earth Day in 1970 "capitalized on the emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns front and center", stated Earth Fast forward 45 years and what you have today is, a global movement recognizing the importance of Mother Nature, the fight for a clean environment and showing respect for the conservation of our planet. Earth Day is a wonderful time to celebrate our beloved planet and raise awareness of the need to respect, protect and love it. Not only is it celebrated in the United States, it's now become one of the most nationally recognized events in the world.

So how are you celebrating Earth Day? Is there a particular event or task you like to participate in? Everyone can help make a difference, whether you participate today, all week, or all year, anything you contribute to making the planet a greener, happier place is what's important! We thought we would share with you a checklist of ideas or actions you can take today, or throughout the year to help you "go green" and make Earth Day everyday. Cutting down on your waste, conserving energy and water and recycling are just a few ways you can participate in making our planet a better place. Here are ten ways in which you can become an Earth Day rock star:

  • Pick up litter! Now that all the snow has melted, the trash remnants left behind from winter are covering our sidewalks, yards and streets. When you pick up litter, dispose of it properly, you are not only making your town or city a more beautiful place, you are eliminating those items from making their way into water sources.
  • Turn your faucet off when brushing your teeth. Becoming aware of your water usage will help you conserve water and save gallons of it over the years.
  • Recycle whenever and wherever you can! This includes paper, plastic, newspapers, magazines and E-waste. By recycling, you are eliminating these items from going into our landfills.
  • When going to the grocery store, be sure to bring reusable bags with you. This will allow you to eliminate those pesky plastic bags and contribute to a "greener" way of shopping. When you are shopping for groceries, look for bulk options, as this will cut down on your packaging waste and reduces the number of times you have to go to the store.
  • Compost! Composting drastically reduces the amount of trash that ends up in our landfills each year, creating super rich soil, that lends itself to flourishing gardens and landscaping.
  • Make an effort to walk, bike or take public transit whenever you can. This will cut back on your carbon footprint and allow you to find alternative ways to using your car.
  • Air-dry your clothes versus using your dryer. By not using your dryer, you are using less energy and reducing your electricity bill every month. Who doesn't like the smell of clean sheets airing in the breeze?
  • Replace your current light fixtures with new energy-efficient bulbs. These require significantly less energy and energy-efficient lighting saves you money.
  • Phase out the use of pesticides from your outdoor spaces and lawns. Create your own pesticide free space in your backyard. Using organic lawn care is better for your health and the environment.
  • Eat Local! Eating local not only supports your local farmers', co-op's and the community, it also benefits you and the environment. Consider shopping at your local Farmers' Market or consider looking into a CSA, a (community-shared agriculture) that lets you receive local, fresh produce on a weekly basis.

We hope this small checklist can be a start to helping you become an environmental steward and life-long supporter of a cleaner, more sustainable way of life.

What are the ways you contribute to Earth Day? Share your stories with us on Facebook!