Last year I set up The Less Is More Challenge to celebrate Earth Day. The challenge contained 10 simple suggestions to help people realise that really really simple changes to make all the difference to the Earth on which we live. It was a great success and will be even better and bigger for 2014. I have a dedicated blog to The Less Is More Challenge and would love you to take a look and even follow. Recently, I wrote a piece called A Less Is More Christmas – a view of Christmas in two ways, both through my eyes. A polished marketed Christmas Vs my Less Is More Christmas. It is funny when you sit back and read. And I can guarantee that you will appreciate both of my views!!
You can read it here.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas xx
The beautiful Winter Woodland scene is painted by Jessica Jenney
The first Earth Day of 1970 was filled with anti-war sentiment and planet conscious
festivities. Every year on April 22nd, people across the globe come together to celebrate and
appreciate the earth for its many wonders.
The picture to the left is University of Mary Washington on Earth Day, April 22nd 2013.
This year, I wanted to celebrate earth day by reducing my use of plastics and avoid
buying products with excessive packaging. Clearly, doing this for only one day is not effective
so I set my challenge in place on Earth Day and have stuck with my challenge thus far. The
first day, I had to focus and pay attention to everything I bought or used throughout my day (it
is a challenge, right?). However, even after one week, I find myself bringing my reusable bags
everywhere and asking for ceramics instead of plastic cups at coffee shops. I am happy to report
that I am approaching full-awareness of all the plastic that I would be using every day.
Besides being more conscious of all of the plastic and packaging wastes that can accrue
even after one day, this Earth Day, I focused on how others celebrated Earth Day in my current
city of Fredericksburg, VA. After talking with some friends, I found some common trends.
Walking instead of driving, eating lunch outside, shopping with reusable bags, and avoiding
shopping were among the top answers. After this, I wanted to see how my community as a
whole celebrated Earth Day by taking a walk around the town to see if I noticed anything in
celebration of Earth Day. I found some banners and signs that said, “Butts are Litter Too: Keep
Fredericksburg Litter Free”. This sign was a great reminder that even small things like cigarette
butts have no place in the environment and should be disposed of properly.
As I wanted to learn more about how residents of my community were celebrating Earth
Day, I visited my regional libraries (Rappahannock Regional Library and English Run Library),
where I was lucky enough to talk with the Adult Services Coordinator, Michele Brown, and two
authors of the recently published book Traveling the 38th Parallel: A Water Line Around the
World, David and Janet Carle, about the importance of Earth Day:
“Is the recognition of Earth Day important to you?”
Michele- “Yes, I actually remember the very first Earth Day I had in high school,
specifically. I was allowed to walk to school instead of riding the bus. This was the only day out
of the year we were allowed to do this!”
David- “Yes, I think it is very important and powerful that people are taking the time
to mark environmental issues, this is special. It is especially helpful when places and people
celebrate Earth Day the entire week.”
“Is the recognition of Earth Day important for the city of Fredericksburg
specifically? If so, in what way?”
Michele- “ Yes for Fredericksburg, it is important. We have many beautiful natural
resources that we must preserve.”
Janet- “It is universally important. For Fredericksburg, the Rappahannock River is so
closely tied that it is vital. We even wrote about the Rappahannock River and river preservation
efforts in our book.”
“What is one thing that you have done in honor of Earth Day in order to be more
David- “Writing our book! Also, we both had park ranger careers which allowed us to
work with educating children on Earth day.”
“Is there a specific issue you would like to promote in honor of Earth Day?”
Michele- “Yes! Out global garbage situation is not pleasing. We have so much waste and
packaging wastes that we just don’t know what to do with. This problem is a national issue.”
David- “Yes, awareness of water and sustainability should be addressed. We all need a
better understanding of resources values.”
Janet- “ Yes, I think we all need to focus more on long term rather than short term
sustainability. Global sustainability is key.”
From my findings, I think the messages are very clear and honest. We are a global
community as inhabitants of the earth. Although April 22nd is the designated day to celebrate the
earth, we should try to understand Earth Day as every day. Now, this is where we turn to you,
what will you do to make Earth Day every day? Thinking about your everyday impacts is the
first step. The earth will surely thank you.
I have never been so pleased, proud and excited when I received an email from Ms.O’Keeffe to inform me that the students in Coachford College Co.Cork Ireland, where really interested in The Less Is More Schools Challenge and how could they get involved. It went from an initial email to the end result of:
- Poster Competitions to be placed around the school to highlight the simple ways people within the school could make a difference which the winner received a Bobble Bottle
- A Tree planting to celebrate Earth Day with a beautiful Amalanchier tree that was so kindly donated by Griffins Garden Centre
- A Power Point Presentation of Earth Day. Questions such as Q. What is Earth Day. Q.Why is it important to take care of the Earth Q.A Challenge to everyone to participate in The Less Is More Schools Challenge on Monday 22nd, Earth Day. Q. Do you know where your rubbish goes.
It really was an amazing achievement by all and Ms.O’Keeffe informes me that the students really enjoyed learning about the Earth but also passing the message onto others. Caring about the earth and the environment is an enjoyable experience as it gives us a feel good factor that we have taken steps to do something positive.
As a present to all the students of Coachford College Co Cork, Ireland – I have received a DVD copy of The Film Trashed starring Jeremy Irons. I hope that you can persuade Ms.O’Keeffe to let you watch it soon and if you also wanted to conduct a little competition you can all write about your thoughts once you viewed it. Send them onto me and I will judge the winner and your prize will be a guest blogger on my blog!
A big pat on the back again to you all for showing what simple steps can achieve and I hope your tree collection grows into your very own little forest!
Thank You from Claire Lewis & The Less Is More Schools Challenge see you all again next year but until then keep up the good work 🙂
Attention all budding Super Hero Journalists between the ages of 16-20….Do you love to write about events in you life or the world around you? Do you want your words to make a difference? Well this is for you….
The Less Is More Challenge is looking for keen budding BLOGALISTS blogger/journalists (just made this word up but I kind of like it) to write about events, people and places that relate to The Less Is More Challenge, Earth Day and Climate Change. This covers a huge spectrum of topics and you can write as often as you like. It also covers The Less Is More Schools Challenge so you can interview students your own age about what they think of the environment, environmental issues and what they did to mark Earth Day.
Don’t be overwhelmed you will be helped along the way and all of your work will be posted on the Claire Lewis Blog that is the home of the Less Is More Challenge giving you exposure as a real life BLOGALIST.
To apply please email Claire Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me why you would like the job as The Less Is More BLOGALIST.
It will be a fun project for anyone keen on experience and you can live anywhere in the world as the environment effects us all. It will also be great for your CV/Resume.
The lovely Green people at Ecover have given The Less Is More Challengers the chance to win an Ecover Product of their choice. All you have to do is:
- LIKE The Less Is More Challenge Page Here
- Share with us what you will be doing for The Less Is More Challenge to celebrate Earth Day, April 22nd?
Read my blog on what Ecover has been up to with their Message In Our Bottle Here
Earth is our home…..and we are but mere Earthlings! Here for just a blink of an eye to enjoy the beauty and splender of Earth not destroy it. Claire Lewis
Join me for Earth Day, April 22nd 2013 and take The Less Is More Challenge. For one day take 10 suggestions and see if it changes your lifestyle forever? Find out more Here.
I am really extremely busy getting The Less Is More Challenge ready for Earth Day on April 22nd. There are so many amazing Eco/Green brands out there that share the Claire Lewis Philosophy and I want to contact all of them to back this challenge. Since the Less Is More Challenge went live I have received nothing but Positivity from people and companies. I want to have lots of companies that will offer freebies and discounts for the week leading up to Earth Day. So starting Monday April 15th we will be giving away lots of GOOD stuff on The Less Is More Challenge Facebook Page.
The Less Is More Challenge logo is simple and in Black & White. Symbolising the fact that Global Warming is a Black and White Issue and needs to be TACKLED NOW by each and every ONE of us. It also symbolises simplicity – that you don’t have to spend money on this challenge in fact by purchasing less you will save money.
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Check out Ecover’s Online Magazine The Splash.