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Earth Day Lives: Going Green is Still in Style


From cable shows on celebrities who obsess about recycling, to coalitions of Hollywood stars building solar-powered homes, it's still in style to be "green."

Anyone who thought environmental consciousness among celebrity types - and the general American public - would be a passing fancy will likely rethink their views as Earth Day 2007 approaches. On April 22, groups from elementary school classes to celebutante cliques will observe the day set aside to think about how we all care for the planet.

The environment has long been a favorite cause de celebre for celebrities. And the movement continues to gain ground in Hollywood, where many stars have begun building houses, or converting existing homes, into "green" environments. Some live in houses "off the grid," meaning they are solar-powered or draw power from other sustainable resources, and not from electric companies. Others have bought their entire families hybrid cars. And in 2005, many actors arrived at the Academy Awards in electric cars, rather than gas-powered limos.

Not all of us can afford to revamp our houses into total green environments. Many of us can't even justify the extra thousands of dollars to purchase a hybrid vehicle. But there are ways regular folks can do their part on a daily basis. Here are some ideas:

* You may think recycling is going on in every household in the country. You would be wrong. No one knows for sure just how much waste Americans generate each year, or how much of it is recycled. But most experts agree the amount of waste is increasing and that recycling isn't keeping pace. Recycling really is one of the easiest ways to do your part for the environment.

* Leave the car at home one day a week and bicycle to work - if work is a reasonable distance from home. Not only are you helping the environment by reducing vehicle emissions that day, you're doing something good for your health as well. If biking isn't an option, consider organizing an office carpool. Again, while you're helping the environment, you'll also be saving on gas expense, wear and tear on your vehicle and the aggravation of driving every day.

* Every home should have at least one flash light for emergencies. That's millions of households, millions of flashlights and millions of batteries, most of which are not the kind you can recharge. Replacing your battery-powered flashlight with one powered by kinetic energy is not only green, it ensure you'll never be left in the dark by dead batteries. For $19 to $39, you can pick up a NightStar Renewable Energy Flashlight, the original battery-free flashlight, at Ace Hardware, REI Sporting Goods or Target stores, through Orvis catalog retailers and other online outlets. Or, go to www.appliedinnotech.com to learn more.

* Make appreciation for our natural heritage a part of your family vacations. Instead of going to a theme park or tropical destination, consider taking the family to a National Park or monument. For just $50, you can buy a National Parks Pass that provides admission to any of hundreds of national parks charging an entrance fee. The pass is good for the pass holder and anyone accompany the holder in a private vehicle, according to the National Parks Service. To learn more, go to www.nationalparks.org or call (888) 467-2757 (GO-PARKS).

Courtesy of ARA Content

Photo by Jose A. Warletta

Categories: Get Involved, Newsletter,

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