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. This was a wake-up call for the Bike Power Community, which has been celebrating Earth Day as a Day Without Oil ever since.
There are no rules. The Bike Power organizers encourage everyone to garage the car and power their lives by bike for a day. There is so much to learn from and be inspired by taking a day off from oil. The day moves slower. Ideas spark. Meaningful and lasting change takes root.
31 Suggestions for Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, 2014
1. Gift a bike to your local Goodwill or children’s advocacy group so that those most in need can pedal their way to health and greater fiscal health, too.
2. Ride a bike to work and to do your errands. Plan now to make this happen all day (or all weekend) long.
3. If you can’t ride a bike or walk, choose mass transit or carpool, instead of driving, or telecommute to work.
4. Videoconference instead of flying to a meeting.
5. Use reusable 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! Drink local beer, wine and spirits.)
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: facebook.com/BikePowerWeekend
16. Have fun.
17. Organize an Earth Day event at a local school; help parents peddle their kids to school.
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 after Wednesday.
22. Get creative about avoiding gasoline and petroleum products for an entire week!
23. Wear cotton instead of polyester.
24. Organize a bike ride in your town or city.
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.
This weekend you have an opportunity to test out some new wheels. Ciclovía brings families outside of their homes to enjoy the streets, our largest public space. Connecting communities and giving people a break from the stress of car traffic. CicLAvia makes the streets safe for people to walk, skate, play and ride a bike. There are activities along the route. Shop owners and restaurants are encouraged to open their doors to people along the CicLAvia. The next Ciclavia is Sunday April 6 from 9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Natalie Wynne Pace is the author of The ABCs of Money and Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is.