I can’t tell you how many e-mails I get from PR people that begin something like, “If you’re planning to talk about stuff you can buy on earth day, please consider our product.” I understand that it’s a PR person’s job to promote products, and many of the products (but not all – remember the organic bottled water) I’m being told about are legitimate environmentally friendly products. It’s just that I find such irony in buying stuff to celebrate Earth Day or, as April is now becoming known as, Earth Month.

Let’s celebrate the Earth by appreciating it. Save the stuff for some other time. With that in mind, I’ve got five simple experiences for you to consume this Earth Month and none of them will cost you a penny.

Hang your clothes on the line. I find hanging clothes on the line very relaxing. It gets me outside in the middle of the day. It’s a little bit of exercise (yep, when you’ve reached my age, you can legitimately claim bending up and down to hang up clothes exercise). It gets me into a part of the yard I don’t go often, and I take the time to check out the plants back there and see how they are doing. I know it sounds odd that I think of hanging clothes on the line as an environmental experience, but I do. And, it saves energy, too.

Pull out your bike. The weather is warmer. It’s time to pull out your bicycle and go for a ride. Find a bicycle trail -- a flat one if you haven’t been on your bike in a long time – and get some exercise. Take your child to his friend’s house on your bicycles and pick him back on up on your bicycle.

Have a clean out the fridge picnic. You don’t need to buy special picnic food to go on a picnic. Grab the odds and ends of fruits, raw veggies, meats and cheeses that aren’t enough to make a whole meal and have a picnic smorgasbord. Have the picnic in your back yard or ride your bike to a pretty picnic spot.

Attend an Earth Day festival. Whether you live in St. Louis, Indianapolis, Sacramento, Cherry Hill, NJ, Washington D.C., Winthrop, ME, or just about anywhere in the country, you’ll find Earth Day festivals happening just about any weekend this month.

Clean up a part of your community that you use. On Earth Day (or any time during the month), find a part of your community that you use frequently, take a trash bag, and do a little clean up. It could be the ball fields where your kids play, a trial that you like to walk, or even the area outside of your favorite coffee shop.

What experiences do you plan on consuming this month?

For more on experience consumption, check out my original post Why I’m optimistic about 2010: Experience consumption as well as the ideas for January, Februray and March.

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