Hello Friends! Happy Marting Luther King, Jr. Birthday! I hope that you have amazing plans to celebrate Dr. King's birthday and achievements in some manner today or this week - though I know that Black and Into Green readers are celebrating his legacy everyday through your actions. I was evaluating today's activities on the basis of what I thought would be Dr. King approved. While there are many offerings scheduled for today, most were just not that deep - in my humble opinion. The opportunities seemed to be more family centered entertainment activities with some educational offerings in the mix - which is great if you have young children, but my young child is a freshman in college and many of you don't even have kids!! So now what? Fortunately, I found some MLK Day of service activities through the All For Good and MLK Day websites, which provides information on a variety of service projects itemized by, your local area, statewide, virtual, micro and my favorite category - self-directed. I found a local area project cleaning, organizing and sorting items for the Kids In Need Resource Center. Serving meals, coat donation and a poverty simulation were some of the other options, but what really caught my eye were the self-directed projects. These projects are attractive for a number of reasons, 1) Variety 2) Action plan templates 3) Flexible 4) Environment and Community Garden Options and 5) Control. Some projects (planting a community garden) require more planning than others (letter writing), but there is enough variety and flexibility for you to create something that fits your resource availability and constraints. I love the idea of the self-directed projects because it gives an individual or an organization an opportunity to extend the spirit of MLK Day beyond a day or week and I think Dr. King would approve. In fact, I love this idea so much that I am thinking about making a small contribution towards a project that I like in the form of a contest. Get back to you later this week on that one!
Interested in preserving the earth as a place that is safe and clean for everyone? This site is for you! The world's environment is increasingly tainted with polluted drinking water, toxic landfills, questionable food supplies and polluted air. Drinkable water supplies are drying up due to waste and climate change. Our health, our children's health and the lives other living creatures are at risk if we don't take ownership of our environment. Let's be vigilant and mindful of our personal impact on the world and advocate for those less able to speak for themselves. Topics include, but are not limited to:
* Organic living and eating * Recycling, Reusing and REDUCING * Green business * Energy conservation * Environmental racism and health * Gardening * Climate Change
In many cases, you will find that you will not only save our planet, but you will save money!
Going Green: Ten Easy Things You Can Start Doing Today (or soon)
* Gas- Check your tire pressure, unload your trunk, change your oil, carpool, plan your trips, walk or run to the store
* Utilities- Turn down your water heater, don't keep the water running while brushing your teeth, replace light bulbs with fluorescent light bulbs, use a powerstrip to turn off electronics when not in use, turn off lights when leaving a room, replace showerhead with a water conserving fixture
* Trash- Buy more of what you need and less of what you want (use a reusuable bag while you are buying)
* Invest in a cool mug or thermos for beverage purchases instead of using disposable cups-preferably stainless steel
* Donate, sell or re-purpose old clothes instead of throwing them away
* Do you really have to throw away that plastic storage bag, container or aluminum foil that you used just one time? If it can't be used to store food again, can it be used to store small household or garden items?
* Think before you toss. "How can this item be reused?"
* Look for the recycling triangle on your plastic goods, plastic bags and glassware. Many cities offer recycling pickup with your garbage or recycling bins for drop off of recycled goods. For drop off locations near you, click here.
* Reuse newspaper and paper (black and white print) in the garden as mulch or as stuffing for packages. Cut up and use the backside of used paper or envelopes as notepads. Save and bundle your old paper, boxes for recycling pickup or drop off boxes
* Keep a recycling bag in your car or the office to continue and model your earth friendly practices away from home