Q: I just realized that Earth Day is April 22. I don’t think they’re doing anything at my office for Earth Day, but I want to mark the occasion somehow. Got any good Earth Day activities or ideas of things to do?

A: Sure. Celebrating Earth Day doesn’t have to be hard, or expensive. As we all know, it’s the little things that count (like, for example, taking the garbage out once in a while … ahem …) and there’s plenty you can do to commemorate this Earth Day in a fun, meaningful and easy way, so grab your hats and let’s get green — I mean going!

When you wake up this Earth Day, try to conserve water in the bathroom — don’t shower, unless you absolutely have to, and if you do, make it a quick one. Don’t shave, and when you brush your teeth, for heaven’s sake, turn off the water while you’re scrubbing those pearly whites. For the ladies, when you use the facilities, try not to use more than a square or two of toilet paper. If Sheryl Crow can do it, why can’t you?

Now go to your closet and find something green to wear in honor of Earth Day. Remember, green isn’t only for St. Patrick’s Day! And even though recent studies have shown that the color green may not actually be green, wearing green is a nice way to show your public support for the day.

Before you leave your house for the day, do a quick energy audit — check to make sure your lights are off, your thermostat is adjusted to the right setting, and the TV and other home electronics are off.

Walk or bike to work. It’s the end of April, so in most places the weather is pretty decent by now — no trudging through snow drifts for you! If your place of work isn’t close enough, try taking public transportation or carpooling with a neighbor or co-worker today. (Better yet, ask your boss if you can work from home, a real energy saver that I’m sure he’ll love.

Instead of throwing out that memo about this morning’s meeting, walk 15 feet to the office recycling bin.

Instead of using a single-serve cup for your morning coffee, bring a mug from home. Rinse when you’re done, and you’re all set for your second cup o’ joe during your midafternoon slump.

During your lunch break, walk on over to the local park and clean up some trash. Heck, just walk outside your office and pick up some trash. Get some friends to join you, get some exercise and get a break from work!

Check out the EPA’s Earth Day website, find local volunteer opportunities, and sign up for their daily green tip e-mail.

When you go to the grocery store today or this week, pick up some reusable grocery bags. Commit to using them on your next trip to the store. Bring them back out to your car after each shopping trip so they’re ready to go next time.

After work is over, check out the new Disney feature film Oceans, which hits theaters on Earth Day and looks to be epic.

If you want to avoid crowds after a long day at the office, stop by your local Target or Best Buy and pick up the Avatar DVD on your way home from work, which hits stores on Earth Day too, as part of a partnership between Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and the Earth Day Network.

Instead of driving downtown to that pricey bistro for dinner tonight, walk to a local one or make dinner at home.

Finally, when you crawl into bed at the end of the day, pull those sheets up to your chin and settle in for another night’s sleep, feel good knowing all the little things you did to preserve our precious planet today, and who knows? Maybe you’ll be motivated to do some tomorrow too!

— Chanie

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