Happy Earth Day!

After watching one incredible 118th Boston Marathon yesterday, I couldn't be more excited to celebrate Mother Earth today. 
I feel so lucky that I have fresh air to breath, fresh food to eat and clean drinking water. 
Our Earth is amazing and I think many times we take it for granted. 

In three weeks, Karel and I will be moving to Greenville SC. Although we are incredibly sad to leave all of our friends in our active community, we are really looking forward to a more active lifestyle. We will be able to walk/bike to almost everything that we love/need and we couldn't be more excited to walk more and to drive less. We are also excited to be moving to a city that supports cycling and is even ranked as one of the best cycling towns in America. Lastly, the backyard of our home has a garden that is ready for me to start planting!

In honor of Earth Day, here are a few tips that you may be able to implement into your lifestyle in order to help take care of Mother Earth. You don't have to do them all or do any of them all the time but do your best every day to take care of the Earth by doing your part. 


1) Ride your bike to work, the gym or to a friends house as often as possible. You don't have to "train" when you ride your bike so, ride like a kid and enjoy the downhills and a little sunshine. You can also roller blade, skateboard or walk. 
2) Participate in a clean-up day in your town at least once a year. Pick up trash, plant trees or start a flower garden. Or do your own part by recycling around your house/office.
3) Grow your own vegetables and fruits, herbs and spices or if a friend/local farmer already does this, support the locals. Use a compost to convert kitchen waste into good soil
4) Turn off the TV and enjoy nature for 60 minutes a day. Take a walk in the park, go to the dog park, feed the birds, go hiking or invite your friends over and have a picnic. 
5) Protect water quality. Don't dump used oil, paint, coolants or other chemicals into the ground, storm drains or garage drains.
6) Buy a water filter and cut back on plastic water bottles. Go to your nearest bike/tri/sport shop and invest in a good re-usable BPA-free every-day drinking water bottle. This will come in handy if you travel a lot.
7) Produce less waste with towels, napkins and paper by conserving to what you actually need at one time. 
8) Bring your own bags when you grocery shop or re-use plastic bags to pick up after your pets. Too many plastic bags in your house? Use the bags as "lunch-boxes" and start bringing your lunch to work. Every day, Americans spend an extra dollar more for every $10 they spend on groceries to pay for the boxes, bags, and other packaging's that those products come in. The less processed food you eat, the less waste you will have. 
9) Buy products in bulk or with minimal packaging materials. Re-use and recycle as much as possible. 
10) Open the window shades and enjoy natural light. Don't turn on the lights or AC if you don't need it. You don't need the TV on while you shower and don't forget  to turn off lights and the fan when you leave a room (or the house). 
11) Carpool, walk, use your bike or plan errands to minimize driving. Keep the car (and your bike) tuned and leak-free, and get it inspected regularly. Keep tires properly inflated and dispose of used motor oil and cooling fluids at designated recycling centers. 
12) Don't water your sidewalk. Be mindful of your sprinkler system, especially if it just rained or is about to rain. Conserve water in and outside the home. 
13) Take care of your lawn. Trying to decide what to do with your leaves, grass clippings and garden "waste?" Learn about composting and mulching. These natural fertilizers will improve your garden soil’s fertility and will help to retain soil moisture. Keep your lawn 2 inches long and leave your grass clippings where they’re cut. 
14) Be aware of how much paper you waste in the home. If you pay bills online after they come in the mail, save those paper envelopes for coupons. Instead of throwing out a bad print job, use extra paper for scrap paper. Instead of using a whole napkin for every meal, use half a napkin (ex. when eating a salad or something non-messy) or half a paper towel. Use towels and rags, instead of paper towels for cleaning big messes. 
15) Did you know that toilets are the most common source of household water use? A leaking toilet can waste more than 150 gallons per day! You may not see or hear water running, but your toilet may have a silent leak. These leaks are easy to fix with parts from you local hardware store - make the repair and save water and money! 
16) Drive smart. First, avoid revving or idling your engine over 30 seconds. Always accelerate gradually, maintain the speed limit and use cruise control on the highway. Avoid waiting in long drive-through lines - turn your car off and go in. Minimize use of air conditioning if you can. Use an energy-conserving grade of motor oil and get regular engine tune-ups, and don’t ignore "check engine" or "service engine soon" lights. Fill your gas tank during cooler evening hours to cut down on evaporation, avoid spilling gas and don’t "top off" the tank. Many people live within 2 miles of somewhere that they are driving to. If you can walk or bike, leave your car at home.
17) Use less stuff! There are many ways to reduce waste in your home. Use washable utensils and plates instead of throwaway plastic picnic gear. Share magazines and newspapers with a friend, neighbors, a nursing home, hospital or library or leave in a gym. Donate used goods such as clothing, furniture and toys to a thrift shop, day care center, charity or second-hand store instead of throwing them out.
18) Conserve energy in your kitchen everyday. Use the right size pot or pan on the stove for the item you’re cooking. When your oven is done pre-heating, be sure to use it. Cover pots and pans when cooking if possible. Set the refrigerator's temperature to somewhere between 36° and 39° F, and the freezer to 0° F. Make sure to clean the refrigerator coils and switch the refrigerator to its power-miser setting. Finally, turn your water heater down to 120° F. 
19) If you only use a few dishes day, wash your dishes and only use the dishwasher when it is full. Your dishwasher uses the same amount of water whether it’s full or just partially full of dishes, so make the most of it. When doing laundry, save energy and use cold water for wash and try to wash full loads. Control the water settings when you wash and if you only have a few items to wash immediately, wash by hand. 
20) Did you know that one female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 kittens in 7 years? Or that one female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in 6 years? Every year, between 8 and 10 million dogs and cats enter U.S. shelters. Sadly, most never find homes. Too many animals competing for too few good homes is the most obvious consequence of uncontrolled breeding. Say no to puppy mills!! Low cost spaying or neutering is a solution to pet overpopulation and is available at most shelters. If you can provide a loving home, attention and give exercise to a pet, go find a rescue animal to call your own or to foster.
21) Go digital! Save paper and send an email. There is nothing wrong with a nice hand-written letter but pay bills online, stay organized on the computer and avoid printing every piece of information you find interesting on the Internet. 
(Some of the information above was used from reputable earth-day websites on the internet and used for this blog)