Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day 2010-Tree Planting, Being Green, and the Na'vi!

In honor of Earth Day, our family planted a tree for the first time. I had originally been planning on planting some flower seeds, but by serendipity, Stewart received a tree through work. The card that accompanied it stated that it was a Colorado Blue Spruce and that the tree would be able to: manufacture 5 pounds of pure oxygen per day, consume 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, provide the cooling equivalent of 10 room-sized air conditioning units, collect pollutants from the air, reduce noise pollution, provide a home for birds and small animals (something I hope will not happen in our front yard), enrich surrounding soil, and prevent soil erosion. H had a great time planting the little tree. R was a little less enthusiastic. And yes, they are in their pajamas because I thought it would be better to let them wear pajamas and plant the tree first thing in the morning and then change them after they got all dirty. And yes, they are using a spoon since I couldn't find the planter shovel in the mess that is our garage. I only saw the tiny print that the tree would grow to 40-60' after we had planted it. I realized that was feet and not inches and immediately had visions of the tree roots destroying the foundation of our house. We will definitely be transplanting the tree to a more hospitable environment once it hits three feet so that doesn't happen!

Besides our tree planting, I have been trying to take steps to be green so I can set a good example for the boys. We have cut down on our bottled water usage by 90%, drink only rBST-free milk, take reusable bags to the supermarket, and use rags instead of paper towels most of the time. After reading National Geographic's Green Guide Families as part of the SV Moms Blog Book Club (my book club post here), I've realized that there are so many other things that I can do. This Earth Day, I have resolved to do five of the suggestions from the book:
  1. Buy a radon testing kit and check our home for radon gas (p108, 283). Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking!
  2. Ask our pharmacist if they have a "take back" program for unused or expired medications (p119). Drugs put down the drain or toilet may make it into the groundwater and then into our food supply.
  3. Cut down on red meat in our diet (p87). Apparently greenhouse emissions from livestock make up 18% of all man-made emissions globally, surpassing that from cars, trucks and all transportation methods combined.
  4. Say no to cheap toys that will end up in the landfill (p249-250). I recently bought H a plastic shovel that broke the first time he played with it. Granted, he was pretending to be the Shoveler (Mystery Men, what a great movie!) and bashing everything in sight, but I won't be indulging that kind of purchase again.
  5. Stop buying flowers unless they are certified eco-friendly (p323-324). Many flowers available in the US market were grown in South America where the use of pesticides on flower fields is not sufficiently regulated. The miscarriage rate is higher in women working in flower fields than in the general population. I would hate to think my buying flowers contributed to a woman losing her baby.
Of course, our family is excited about Earth Day not only because it is a day when we can take and resolve to take more "green" actions. Stewart has been looking forward to this day ever since he found out that Avatar would be released on Blu-ray and DVD everywhere in North America on Earth Day, April 22. If you've been lost in the wilderness for the past year or just haven't been paying attention, Avatar is the Oscar and Golden Globe winning, highest grossing film of all time. It's also a film with a clear message on our need to safeguard our environment. Avatar demonstrates how human invasion almost destroys the balance of life on the planet of Pandora. Instead of siding with the humans, the audience finds itself passionately rooting for Pandora’s survival instead. Taking that message of conservation and ecological harmony, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has teamed up with the Earth Day Network to plant 1,000,000 trees worldwide in celebration of the BD and DVD release of the film. People who purchase the film will be given a unique access code that allows them to go online and actually adopt one of the million trees being planted, charting its location and progress. Through Earth Day Network's Billion Acts of Green Program, those adopting a tree will be able to count their action toward the goal of one billion acts of green on Earth Day on Earth Day Network's website.

The tree planting program is part of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment's parent company News Corp's global energy initiative, a commitment to reducing the company's impact on the climate and the environment, transforming the way it uses energy, and engages the global audience with its issues. The tree adoption is also part of "The Avatar Program," an interactive consumer experience that offers an online hub for exclusive access to first-look bonus materials, special content, money saving offers and much more. The Avatar Program will bridge the April release and an ultimate release with immersive bonus materials slated for November. I'm looking forward to reviewing these features when I receive a review copy of the movie from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. So excited! Happy Earth Day everyone!

1 comment:

Gloria Linnertz said...

The simple act of purchasing a radon test kit, testing your home for radon and mitigating if the level is above 2.7 pCi/L may save the life of someone you love.