For Earth Day 2012, people around the world got a little more green. As far away as Japan, parents, kids and concerned citizens put a positive spin on BP, and celebrated Bike Power. (The BP Oil Spill disaster began on Earth Day 2010).
Japan celebrates Bike Power Weekend. Photo used with permission.
Why Bike Power? There are huge physical and fiscal benefits to biking. With obesity on the rise in U.S. children and one out of every three American adults weighing in obese, biking is one way to get America moving again.
- Countries, like the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany, that promote biking as transportation have the lowest incidence of obesity! Obesity in the U.S. is a crisis, at 34 percent, according to the World Fact Book.
- Biking is a fun way to get around and to stay healthy at the same time.
- Healthy people spend less money on medical care. Currently the U.S. spends 16.2 percent of GDP on health care. Germany's health care costs to GDP is half of the U.S. at 8.1 percent, while the Netherland's costs are 10.8 percent and Sweden's is 10 percent .
- Reduces American demand on foreign oil. Every month, the U.S. trade deficit to OPEC ranges between 6.4 billion to 13 billion.
- Biking helps to ease the burden of gas, insurance and cars on the family budget!
Here are 31 Tips to Make Every Day Earth Day, including a few key bike facts and links.
Please add tips of your own to this list as well (in the comments section)!
31 Suggestions for Bike Power Weekend
1. Gift a bike to your local Goodwill or children's advocacy group, so that those in most need can pedal their way to health and greater fiscal health, too. FYI: If you get a receipt from Goodwill you can deduct this as a charitable contribution on your taxes!
2. Ride a bike to work and for your chores. Plan now to make this happen all weekend long.
3. If you can't ride a bike or walk, choose mass transit or carpool, instead of driving.
4. Videoconference, instead of flying to a meeting.
5. Use canvas bags instead of plastic.
6. Eat local, organic and low on the food chain. (This means, no chocolate or coffee. for Americans and Canadians. Acck!)
7. Plant a tree.
8. Pay bills online.
9. Reduce, Re-use and recycle.
11. Replace your light bulbs and CFLs with LED lighting.
12. Test drive an electric car.
13. Send this article to 10 friends and ask them to send this article to 10 friends.
14. Join the Facebook event at http://www.facebook.com/BikePowerWeekend
15. Have a great time promoting clean, green healthy living. Include kids & teens.
16. Join Time's Up! Environmental Group. If you live in NYC, participate in Time's Up! Polar Bear Ride on April 22, 2012 at 1:30 p.m., starting at Union Square South.
17. Learn how the Netherlands and Germany promoted physical and fiscal health through their bike-centric societies in Natalie Pace's HuffingtonPost article, "Green. Peace."
18. Stop investing in oil in your 401K, IRA, annuity and pension. Listen back to the free BlogTalkRadio.com/NataliePace Green Investing radio show from April 19, 2012, and read my Green Investing blog to learn how.
19. Invest in a clean energy exchange traded fund. Search iShares and PowerShares for options. Here are three possibilities: (ticker symbols) ICLN (iShares), PBW (PowerShares) and PBD (PowerShares).
20. Use wind, solar and geothermal energy to power your home, office and electric car.
21. If you must drive, gas up on Thursday and don't refuel until Monday.
22. Get creative about avoiding oil for an entire weekend!
23. Share your solutions and experiences on the Facebook Bike Power Weekend event page and with your friends.
24. Organize a monthly bike ride in your community.
25. Unplug your cell phone chargers immediately after your phone is charged. (Leaving it plugged in is like leaving the lights on all the time -- a big energy drain.)
26. Tour the first platinum LEED rated home in the U.S. online at LivingHomes.net.
27. Join or start a Bicycle Advocacy Group to make your community more bike-friendly and to raise awareness of the benefits of bikes through advocacy, programs, education and outreach.
28. Get more green tips in the Energy Savers Guide at http://www.energysavers.gov/tips/.
20. Buy and use less of everything!
30. Parents: Check out this cool bike/stroller and share the link to TagaBikes.com with your friends.
31. Bring your own container everywhere. Many of us are now taking our coffee mugs to our fave espresso shops. It's time to bring your own container for even more take out occasions -- for your cakes, for your restaurant leftovers, for your bulk purchases at the market... Share your ideas on this!
Yours in Peace, Green, Health and Prosperity,
Follow Natalie Pace on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NataliePace