Earth Day is the one day of the year that we celebrate the only planet that we have. The Earth is pretty important — we should probably celebrate it every day, but at the very least we can take some steps on April 22 to honor this giant, life-sustaining globe we call home.
If you're spending this Earth Day in the tiny spot on the planet known as Telluride, there are a few ways you can pay homage to our world locally.
1. Plant a tree. Trees are one of the most practical ways to combat climate change — they absorb and store CO2 and other pollutants and emit pure, sweet oxygen. Breathe it in. You can order seedling trees from the local cooperative extension program in Norwood.
2. Ditch the paper cups. Buying a reusable cup or water bottle is a great way to reduce waste. Every year billions of cups are made, using millions of trees and emitting tons of greenhouse gases in the process; not to mention that most paper cups are coated with the carcinogenic chemical polyethylene. There are lots of stores here where you can buy a cool Telluride coffee mug or water bottle. Even the grocery stores carry them, and the ski resort sells special reusable platypus bottles with the Telluride logo.
3. Free Box shopping. Reducing our consumerism and recycling things like clothes, toys, and gear is another way to protect the planet. Before you buy something new, cruise Telluride's Free Box and do a little earth-conscious shopping. You can also recycle your own unwanted items there (instead of the landfill) and help someone who might need them. While you're there, why not spend a few minutes or a half hour tidying it up? The Free Box is a treasured community asset, but maintaining it is definitely not free, and the town spends a lot of money to keep it organized and open for business.
4. Carbon offsets. Did you know that people in Telluride generate almost twice the amount of carbon per person as the national average? Luckily, the Pinhead Institute came up with a new carbon credit program that works locally, dubbed the Pinhead Climate Institute. The initial phase involves working with regional ranchers and farmers to plant perennial pastures and hayfields that don't need tilling, effectively storing the carbon in undisturbed soil.
5. Pedal power. It's so easy to jump in the car and run errands. It takes a little more effort to hop on your bike and ride where you need to go, but it's worth it. Not only will you be lowering your carbon emissions, you will also be getting some exercise — good for the Earth, and good for you. It's a win-win.