We hand picked ten ways to honor and celebrate Earth Day--from preparing flavor-packed, good-for-the-earth vegan recipes to planting a garden to using innovative new eco products.
Earth Day Network’s theme this year: A billion Acts of Green. One biiillllliiiiooooonnnn … a massive typo, an evil ploy? It’s actually not so outrageous when you consider that one act can be as small as pledging to watch less TV or ditch plastic bags, or more ambitious like launching a green event in your community. Granted, at Delicious Living every day is kind of like Earth Day, educating on sustainability, diet’s impact on health and the environment, and eliminating toxins from your life. But on April 22, we come together in these efforts—big and small. If you’re already eco-minded, consider where you can improve or use the time to connect with nature and family; others can start with a small change and stick to it. And in the end, it really isn’t about the numbers; rather, awareness that it's a common goal: 1 billion=healthier planet, if you ask me. So does 100,503,172, the green act count as I write this, according to Earth Day Network. As does 10, the number of eco tips hand picked by Delicious Living editors, which, whatever shade of green you are, we hope you enjoy.
Try a new eco product.
Over the past year, we have discovered dozens upon dozens of green innovations. Some of our favorite eco products: sustainable bamboo and glass water bottles and fair-trade and organic cotton (non) paper towels. Plus, more unexpected sustainable offerings: eco undies made from water bottles, anyone? Check out our 7 picks.
Prepare raw foods.
In addition to raw foods’ health benefits, including more enzymes and nutrients, not firing up your oven or stove will majorly cut back on energy use—while giving you more energy. For Delicious Living’s April food feature, the fabulous Ani Phyo offered a unique take with her Asian-inspired raw-food recipes.
“To me, Earth Day means the celebration of nature by way of restoring the balance of the human relationship to the planet. To honor the day, I always plant something, whether it’s a tree in my yard or a native species in my garden. I also look for a new environmentally conservative habit to include in my life’s routine.” —Erin Manning, Delicious Living photo and digital editor
Eat planet-friendly protein
For our April issue, we wanted to give consumers (both meat eaters and vegetarians) a realistic guide to purchasing sustainable protein. From beans to seafood, meat to dairy (and non-dairy alternatives), we added 50 recipes in our online edition to make it a whole lot easier.
Connect with nature and family
“My family goes to the Wild Earth Saturday event at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the beautiful foothills of Boulder, Colorado. The kids help launch and track weather balloons, meet a wounded bald eagle, learn about (and hold) giant millipedes and tarantulas, and (almost) make a fire with a local survival-skills guru and a couple of sticks. It’s great to explore the inner sanctum of dedicated natural scientists and to celebrate with our community in the breezy sunshine after a long winter.”—Susan Esrey, senior editor
Use green cleaning and beauty products
Cleaning products can be full of skin irritants and even suspected carcinogens that can be harmful to your health and the environment, so check out Delicious Living’s 8 green cleaning solutions for every room in the house. Plus, a simple guide to choosing eco-friendly laundry products. Be good to your skin and the planet by choosing beauty and personal care products free from common and potentially harmful synthetics. Confused by labels? Here’s a simple place to start.
Look for sustainable packaging
I recently spoke with John Bernardo, of green-packaging consulting firm Sustainable Innovations LLC to find out what questions we should ask ourselves when looking for legitimate green packaging. Here’s what he had to say. Plus, covering beauty for Delicious Living, I was thrilled to find that three of the seven companies earning top honors at the Responsible Packaging Awards at NPEW were in the personal care category; Avalon Organics, MyChelle Dermaceuticals, and Pangea.
Head to the bulk bins
I love that so many benefits—and options—come from the bulk bins: cut back on waste, save money, enjoy great food, and create luscious, completely pure beauty remedies! Our April issue offers 5 original bulk-bin recipes for scrubs, soaks, and more, including the reader favorite “Creamy Cocoa-Honey Facial Mask.” And retailers: check out our sister publication Natural Foods Merchandiser’s 5 tips for upgrading your bulk aisles.
Whether you're dining out, or cooking at home, be mindful of where your ingredients come from. Choosing local products and eating at restaurants that make that committment (Boulder-based Salt and The Kitchen are two of my favorites) not only helps ensure high quality and great taste, supports the local economy, and cuts back on pollution and waste, but it also means you're eating in accordance with the seasons, which can offer major health benefits.
Make a vegan feast
Art Eggersten’s Mediterranean-inspired vegan feast remains a favorite with the Delicious Living staff. Treat your friends and family to these flavor-packed, eco-friendly recipes: Italian Harvest Vegetable Soup, Roasted Baby Artichokes with Cici Beans and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Mediterranean Stuffed Bell Pepper, Chocolate Mocha Cheesecake, and more!