Contrary to popular headlines and Twitter streams, this Earth Day, April 22, is not just about getting a free cup of coffee when you bring your own mug in to Starbucks. (Although, it is true – see below). The civic observance has become the largest in the world, with more than a billion people participating in earth-friendly acts since the event started in the United States in 1970.
Whether you're planting trees, changing conventional lightbulbs to CFLs or simply pledging to use less water (my personal pledge), Earth Day is abundant with activities to be kind to the planet.
But it's not just individuals making a difference. Here's how some of the nation's natural product companies (and Starbucks) are pitching in this Earth Day. To see more events located near you, visit EarthDay.org.
Visit their Earth Day page for coupons off laundry and dish products and enter the $10,000 Green Home Makeover. If you win, your town wins too: they'll give 1,000 people in the winner's community a Healthy Home Starter kit with product from Seventh Generation and educational materials to green the town.
Put on your running shoes for Stonyfield's inaugural Earth Day 5K with 10 percent of the registration benefiting the Beautify Londonderry Campaign. (Stonyfield's headquarters is located in Londonderry, N.H.) The event takes place the day after Earth Day, and already has registered nearly 1,000 runners. Non-runners can enjoy live music and the Earth Day Fair for free.
Boulder Canyon Natural Foods
All week, this kettle-cooked potato chip company is giving away their compostable bags of chips, plus an automatic composter and more. You can enter each day to win.
On Earth Day, trade in your current, non-natural skincarecleanser (full or empty) for a full-size, natural Origins cleanser. Fill out their online form and bring it to the store. How's that for motivating the masses to switch to natural skincare?
Whole Foods Market
All month long, Whole Foods has been screening six films in 70 U.S. cities as part of the Do Something Reel Film Festival. Each film features someone making a difference: PLANEAT, Bag It, Lunch Line, On Coal River, Urban Roots and Vanishing of the Bees. Visit the site to see if a screening is coming to your town. A portion of the proceeds goes toward future filmmakers who are interesting in making films about the environment.
This gluten-free, vegan, refined-sugar free food company is giving away a nice prize pack of their products on Earth Day. Simply "Like" them on Facebook and leave a comment to be eligible to win.
Get a free brewed coffee or tea when you bring in your reusable mug or tumbler. Last year, more than 1.2 million people participated. Did you know that Starbucks gives 10 cents off anytime you bring your own mug? In 2010, reusable mug users kept nearly 1.45 million pounds of paper out of landfills.
Be sure to leave a comment and grow this list!