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5 Simple Things for Earth Day

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The Nature Conservancy sent us simple things anyone can do to take the pressure off Mother Earth on April 22, the 60th anniversary of the first Earth Day. You can make difference even with the smallest act.

Often it's the smallest changes – multiplied by millions of people – that have the biggest impact. Here are five simple things that we all can do on Earth Day and beyond:

1. Know your carbon footprint:  We all want to be greener in our daily lives, but in order to do that effectively, we each need to know our carbon footprint. Take five minutes (really, it's that quick!) and use The Nature Conservancy's online tool at www.nature.org/carboncalculator. Then, commit to using just a little less carbon.

2. Time your shower: With the warmer months ahead of us, now is the time to start thinking about conserving our water. The next time you take a shower, time it. The next day, reduce that time by a minute or two. If you listen to music, shut off the faucet after two songs.

3. Go for a walk: Even if it's just around the block, getting outside is one of the best things you can do to connect to nature. Bring your kids, too. A growing body of research suggests that a lack of exposure to nature is linked to rises in obesity, attention-deficit disorder and depression in children.

4. Speak up on climate change: Sen. John Kerry – along with Sens. Lieberman and Graham - have introduced national legislation to reduce U.S. emissions. This is a critically important step in the fight against climate change. Let your legislators know you support it!

5. Find a farmer's market: Farmer's markets – selling locally made fare – abound throughout the summer and fall. Find one near you at www.farmfresh.org and mark a date in your calendar to check it out. Or, simply opting for a PB&J instead of roast beef once or more a week is a great way to green your lunch.

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