Since its inception in 1970, Earth Day has become one of the biggest events of the year, with over a billion people participating in green, planet-friendly activities. Check out the Earth Day Network at EarthDay.org, where you will find resources on everything from planting trees, to Green Schools and community activism. In today's blog, I am focusing on one community in particular -- the Bike Power Community -- because they have a simple solution that goes a long way to beautifying our planet, our lives and our own bottom line.
The Bike Power organizers have challenged everyone to garage their cars and bike power their lives for the week prior to Earth Day -- April 15-19, 2013. Ironically, it was on Earth Day 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 men and spewing at least 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf. The Bike Power Community recognizes that each one of us can make changes to reduce our reliance on oil and petroleum products, and in so doing, get closer to the day when we are no longer reliant on gasoline and petroleum products as the primary fuel in our lives.
Imagine how much more money you'd have if you weren't spending so much on gasoline! For many people, this would put thousands of dollars back in their wallet every year. So, instead of thinking that cutting out café lattes will make you richer, why not identify one of the biggest drains on your budget and stop the leak! The goal of Bike Power week is that people will get creative on how to do without gasoline for five days and in so doing, find ways to make lasting, cleaner choices in their lives.
Below are 31 tips toward that end.
31 Suggestions for Bike Power Week
There are no rules. The Bike Power organizers are just encouraging us to find ways to use less oil and petroleum products.
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.
2. Ride a bike to work and for your chores. Plan now to make this happen all week long.
3. If you can't ride a bike or walk, choose mass transit or carpool, instead of driving, or telecommute one day to work.
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! The good news is that most cities have their own micro-breweries these days.)
7. Plant a tree.
8. Pay bills online.
9. Reduce, reuse and recycle.
11. Replace your light bulbs and CFLs with LED lighting.
12. Test drive an electric car.
13. Send this article to your local newspaper and ask them to publicize Bike Power Weekend.
14. Send this article to 10 friends and ask them to send this article to 10 friends.
15. Join the Facebook community page at http://www.facebook.com/BikePowerWeekend
16. Have a great time promoting clean, green, healthy living on Earth Day, April 22, 2013. Include kids & teens by organizing an event at a local school.
17. Learn how The Netherlands and Germany promote physical and fiscal health through their bike-centric societies in my Huffington Post blog, "Green. Peace."
20. Use wind, solar and geothermal energy to power your home, office and electric car.
21. If you must drive, gas up on Monday and don't refuel until the following Monday.
22. Get creative about avoiding gasoline and petroleum products for an entire week!
23. Share your solutions and experiences on the Facebook Bike Power page and with your friends.
24. Organize a Critical Mass bike ride in your town or city. Get more information and/or post your event at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Mass
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.
29. Learn more about energy efficiency retrofits and Passive House building at PassiveHouse.US.
30. Buy and use less of everything!
31. Check out innovative products, like the TagaBikes.com bike/stroller.
I'd love to hear your experiences and feedback in the comments sections below.
Yours in Peace, Green, Health and Prosperity,
Natalie Wynne Pace