Earth Day was first held on April 22, 1970, and it was lead by Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin.
Nearly 20 million people participated and today, 42 years later, we still celebrate Earth Day, but now, 175 countries celebrate Earth Day.
Earth Day 2012 will also be celebrated on April 22nd (and will be celebrated on that date at least until 2015).
The primary purpose of the day is to bring awareness to environmental issues as well as to focus on reducing, reusing, and recycling.
Of course, proponents of frugality recognize that the things we do to keep Mother Earth healthy are the same things we can do to keep our finances healthy. By reducing, reusing and recycling, we become more financially conservative.
When you buy a used car, shop at garage sales or your thrift stores or hold your own garage sale or donate items you no longer use, you are saving money and keeping items out of the landfill, which is a win-win.
To celebrate Earth Day this year, several retailers are offering freebies or discounts. There are plenty of great offers to take advantage of:
Reusable Bag Offers
Remember, at some stores such as Whole Foods, using a reusable bag will save you 10 cents per bag used. Beyond small discounts that you may receive, using a reusable bag keeps plastic bags out of landfills. In fact, only 1% of all plastic bags are recycled (CNN.com). The rest end up in landfills where they take years to disintegrate.
Take advantage of these freebies so you can start lowering the environmental impact of using plastic bags:
- Receive a free reusable bag from the Disney Store when you bring in 5 plastic bags for recycling on April 22nd.
- Go to Guest Services at Target on April 22nd and get a free reusable tote bag. Quantities are limited, so you might want to get there early.
- Get a free Kellogg’s reusable bag with the purchase of any two Kellogg’s cereals or Pop-Tarts. (You must fill out a form, include the UPC codes and pay $1.75 shipping and handling. There are 4 different bags available, and you can get them all if you turn in 8 UPCs and pay shipping and handling on each.)
Reusable Drink Container Offers
We love beverages on the go, from plastic water bottles to disposable coffee cups.
However, our love for these beverages creates havoc with the environment. In fact, CNN.com reports, “Today, despite the fact that 80 percent of American households have access to plastic recycling programs, only around one in four of them take their plastic bottles to the recycling bins.”
Getting in the habit of using a reusable container can save quite a bit of money. Starbucks offers a 10 cent discount every time you fill up a reusable cup, and carrying your own water in a water bottle is certainly much cheaper than buying bottled water.
To reward you for using a reusable container, take advantage of this freebie:
- Caribou Coffee is offering a free cup of coffee to those who bring in a reusable drink container for the drink.
To help you and your child to get in the habit of using a reusable drink container, take advantage of this discount:
Get 15% off Kid Konserve products when you use the code BLOG15.
Freebies from Nature
Of course, in addition to limiting your global footprint, another part of Earth Day is just enjoying and appreciating Nature, which you can do with these freebies:
- The National Park Service is offering free admission to all 397 parks between April 21st and April 29th.
- Pottery Barn Kids, in conjunction with National Geographic is offering free packets of sunflower seeds on Earth Day while supplies last.
Discounts for the Children in Your Life
It used to be that most kids’ toys were made out of plastic.
However, more and more toy manufacturers are looking to create more eco friendly toys.
- Barnes and Noble, which sells some of these eco friendly toys, is offering 20% off select eco-friendly toys and free shipping on orders over $25.
Discounts for the Woman in Your Life
Shortly after Earth Day is Mother’s Day, and some companies are offering discounts on products that are not only more environmentally friendly, but that may also double as Mother’s Day gifts.
Here are two of them:
- At Origins Skin Care, get a free wish bracelet with any skincare purchase. They will also plant a tree on your behalf.
- NOVICA is offering free shipping on all of their products in celebration of Earth Day.
In addition to these freebies, remember to also look for events locally that you and your family can enjoy.
Happy Earth Day!