Today is Earth Day! A lot of the other blogs have nice, handy lists of things you can do to help the environment (see some of the links at the bottom of this post). We’ve come a long way since the first Earth Day in 1970, thanks to many of the people who read this blog, the people I work with, and all of my environmentally-conscious friends and family. You all deserve a pat on the back. Since I won’t see most of you today, consider this an e-pat on the back and a big congratulations for all you do to help the Earth. Instead of telling you what you should be doing better, why don’t you tell me the things you do in the spirit of Earth Day, in the comments?

I’ll go first:

  • I’m vegetarian (for many reasons, but environmental conservation is one of them)
  • I use re-usable grocery bags
  • I always turn off the lights when I leave a room, and use mostly CFL bulbs
  • I recycle glass, paper, plastic, and aluminum. We’re saving our glass beer bottles for home-brewing. I reuse glass jars for dry food storage in my home.
  • I (attempt to) grow my own fruits, veggies, and herbs in a garden.
  • I try not to throw potentially useful things away. Instead, I give them away on Craig’s List or freecycle them. Conversely, I try to buy stuff I need or want used on Craig’s List or in thrift stores.
  • I fix things that are broken instead of replacing them, even when it might be easier or cheaper to just buy a new one.
  • I try to limit how much I drive, or ride my motorcycle when possible
  • I like to camp and hike, so some of my money goes to supporting national and state parks where I do these things.

Those are just a few things I do, but I know there are a lot more things I could and should be doing. I should ride my bike more often. I should start composting instead of throwing away food waste, and reuse more things in my kitchen in stocks, or freeze herbs and vegetables when I can’t use them all. There are always more things you can do, but it’s important to give yourself credit for the things you’re already doing.

From NASA’s Image Gallery (Image Credit NASA/JPL/UCSD/JSC):

Most ISS images are nadir, in which the center point of the image is directly beneath the lens of the camera, but this one is not. This highly oblique image of northwestern African captures the curvature of the Earth and shows its atmosphere.

The Earth’s atmosphere is composed of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and 1 percent other constituents, and it shields us from nearly all harmful radiation coming from the sun and other stars. It also protects us from meteors, most of which burn up before they can strike the planet. Affected by changes in solar activity, the upper atmosphere contributes to weather and climate on Earth.

From the Telegraph’s Earth Day photoset, the first view of the south polar ice cap, taken by the crew of Apollo 17 on December 7, 1972.

Other fun Earth Day links:

Earth Day 2009: 1970-2009: 39 Years of Environmental Awareness (University at Buffalo Libraries).
What Not To Do on Earth Day : TreeHugger.
How to Go Green Quiz : Planet Green.
Earth Day and Wildlife : Animal Planet (Animal videos!)