April 22nd is Earth Day and I am personally very happy to think about how we can lend a helping hand to Mother Nature. In observance of this international day devoted to the preservation of our planet’s environment, The Music Center, DWP and Grand Park are hosting Earth Day LA. The event, scheduled from 9am-2pm, features an e-waste drop off, tours of Grand Park’s sustainable landscaping, composting, recycled art and so much more! Whether you spend the day at the park, or plan to go green elsewhere, here is a list of tips (inspired by the EPA) to make sure you have the Earth’s back:
1. Reduce: Consider cutting down on the amount of things that can become waste. When shopping, keep an eye out for products that are made from sustainable, reused or recycled materials, or choose to purchase items in less packaging. It might feel like a small step, but the impact is huge.
2. Reuse: Feeling crafty? Upcycle! In other words, take items that might otherwise be thrown away and turn them into something useful for the household or workplace. There are so many awesome DIY projects, from milk cartons turned bird feeders, to potting plants in a pair of old stilettos. Let your imagination run wild!
3. Recycle: Help keep our public spaces clean! Properly dispose of trash and waste in receptacles and dumpsters. Recycle metals, plastics, and paper. Did you know that Grand Park has both trash and recycling receptacles placed throughout the park for easy access? There are even solar powered trash compactors to consolidate waste!
Have old batteries? An old P.C. that, in its heyday, ran Windows 95 ever so wonderfully? Those old games for Super Nintendo? The answer to those eyesores: e-cycling. That’s the process of recycling or properly disposing of electronic waste such as computers and other gadgets. For the the upcoming Earth Day LA event at Grand Park, The Music Center and DWP, there will be an e-waste drop-off in The Music Center Plaza from 9am-2pm. You can also find a center near you here.
4. Buy locally, or grow your own! This can reduce air pollution caused by food and goods transport.
5. Use only the water you need, and reuse when possible. Californians rely heavily upon our water supplies to keep agriculture productive throughout the central valley and elsewhere. In the midst of an epic drought, like the one we are currently facing, it is now more important than ever to conserve water use.
6. Use human-powered and alternative modes of transportation to get to where you are going! Let’s face it, not only does it make you feel great to walk, jog, cart-wheel, dance or ride a bike from place to place, but it also improves our air quality! Why spend your life in the car? Take public transportation, carpool, plan your day in order to reduce trips and vehicle emissions, and avoid Los Angeles’ traffic. Need to go to the laundromat AND the grocery store? Do them both in the same trip to save your dollars and help the environment at the same time.
7. Plant a tree. Or plant several trees! Plant native species in your gardens and encourage important pollinators such as bees and birds by featuring their favorite plants. You can learn about composting tomorrow at Earth Day LA. You can also take a tour of the sustainable landscaping to learn more about the Grand Park’s plant life.
8. Save energy at home. Turn off the lights and unplug appliances when they are not being used. You can also choose to purchase energy-saving appliances. Don’t know which ones are energy-saving? Look for Energy Star!
By Grand Park’s resident blogger, Mitchell Colley