Celebrating Earth Day the organic way

Choose organic: good for your body, good for the earth.

provided by The Organic Trade Association


arth Day, which marks its 35th year in 2005, is a time for people around the world to celebrate the good things the earth provides: food, water, plants, animals, and everything we need to survive and thrive. April 22, 2005, is a day designated to remind us to celebrate the nourishment, beauty and simplicity the earth offers every day.

    “Earth Day is our annual reminder to give back to the planet,” said Katherine DiMatteo, executive director of the Organic Trade Association. “Parents and kids lead busy, hectic lives, but on this day we should all remember to do something good for the earth.”

    Organic farmers support Earth Day every day by using certified organic agricultural practices, which do not use toxic and persistent pesticides, chemical fertilizers, sewage sludge, and genetically engineered seeds, and prohibit the use of antibiotics, and added growth hormones in livestock. Certified organic farmers work to create rich, healthy soil to nurture their crops while using natural methods of pest control.

    Choosing organic foods and other products made from the bounty of organic farms is one simple step that will pay off for you and the planet. According to a report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Regional Conference for Europe, organic farming can help reduce ground and surface water contamination, and can safeguard drinking water supplies. A Swiss report showed that organically grown crops use less fossil energy than conventional crops, and organic farming enhances soil fertility and biodiversity.

Earth Day every day, the organic way

    This Earth Day, the Organic Trade Association encourages all of us to make a difference for the earth through efforts in our homes and communities. But most of the following suggested activities can be conducted any time of year. Remember, each little step that an individual takes contributes to the health of the planet and, ultimately, the health of its inhabitants.

    The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is a membership-based business association whose mission is to encourage global sustainability through promoting and protecting the growth of diverse organic trade. OTA's approximately 1,500 members include growers, shippers, retailers, processors, certifiers, farmer associations, brokers, consultants and others. For further information, visit OTA's Web site at www.ota.com.

    A dozen ways to create positive change on Earth Day, Courtesy of the Organic Trade Association:

  1. Look for the “Go Organic! for Earth Day” campaign in supermarkets across the United States.Featuring samples of organic food, coupons, sweepstakes, and information about how your food choices can make a difference. Find out more at www.OrganicEarthDay.org.
  2. Visit your local farmers’ market or farm community and buy certified organic ingredients for an all-organic Earth Day dinner. Visit www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/ for a farmers’ market in your area. Don't forget certified organic coffee, tea and chocolate for dessert, along with a beautiful bouquet of organic flowers for the table.
  3. Purchase certified organic bedding plants, seeds and flowers and start your own organic garden. Remember to use only nontoxic methods of pest control and fertilization throughout the growing season. Look for garden supply vendors at www.TheOrganicPages.com.
  4. Organize a neighborhood cleanup. Bring trash bags and encourage families to help pick up litter, while separating recyclable cans and bottles that don't need to go to the landfill. Celebrate your good deeds at the end of the day with a certified organic banana split party.
  5. Volunteer to help clean and maintain hiking trails or city park facilities.
  6. Join a local CSA (community sponsored agriculture) or co-op for year-round access to great organic food.
  7. Commit to doing your spring cleaning with only environmentally safe household cleaning and laundry products. Clean out your clothes closet, and choose items made from organic cotton or wool when you need to replace old items.
  8. Write to your elected officials about your environmental concerns.
  9. Plant a tree in your yard or community.
  10. Ride your bike or walk to work or school instead of driving.
  11. Make a donation to a nonprofit organization that works to resolve environmental problems.
  12. Join your community at a local Earth Day celebration.Visit www.earthday.net to find events in your city and state. Or start your own Earth Day event!