That’s right. In just a few weeks, the tree giveaway will be happening at schools and communities across the US (and even in parts of Canada!).
Did you register for a tree this year? Awesome! You’re all set.
Slipped your mind? Forgot to tie that string on your finger? That’s okay. You’ve earned your good karma points. You still have a chance to register for a tree until Sunday, April 9 even if your school’s deadline has passed.
Is your child’s school participating this year? Can’t remember? You can find out here. Don’t see your child’s school on the list? That’s okay too. You can sign up here. (Make sure you do this on a tablet, laptop or desk computer.)
Spring may be the season for tree planting, but there’s some “family members” that haven’t been feeling the tree hugging love.
You might know one or two. We know one. Surprised how we overlooked him. He loves to dig. He loves dirt and after fire hydrants trees are his best friend. If anyone was a natural at tree planting (or tree wetting!), it’s him!
So rather than feeling left out this year, he took the initiative. We still don’t know how he learned to type. But that’s for another day.
Right now it’s time to exhale, lift our heads up and stretch towards Earth Day. As you enjoy this spring season with its blossoming flowers, blue skies and warmer weather, remember to keep your umbrellas handy. It’s going to be raining trees for the next few weeks!
It’s the busiest travel day of the year. Nearly 48 million people will be traveling by car, rail or plane! Three million U.S. airline passengers will swarm airports hoping to catch flights, although many travelers will be stuck at airport checkout counters. Others will be stuck in long security lines holding their shoes, eventually wandering around the terminal in their socks hoping to escape by automobile. Car transportation isn’t any better though. The roads and highways are just as bad, though the bonus is you keep your shoes on.
None of these Thanksgiving travel experiences puts someone in a good mood, but it does burn calories and make a person hungry. So it’s no surprise that at Thanksgiving everyone eats lots of food. There’s the staples like cranberry sauce, turkey and mashed potatoes. There’s new twists on old traditions too – Tofurkey, cauliflower stuffing, and other dairy-free and meat-free options for vegans and vegetarians.
Whether you’re on a special diet or not, today’s the day when rules can be broken. We can loosen our belt four notches, kick our no-carbs diet to the curb and attack apple pies like a ravenous banshee. We justify it with these words: “C’mon! It’s Thanksgiving. It’s only once a year. A little indulgence is okay.”
So this Thanksgiving, whether you’re stuck in security lines or not, whether you’re adjusting the notches on your belt or not, whether you’re eating Tofurkey or not, let’s remember what this holiday is really about. (No, it’s not about the Pre-Black Friday TV Mega Sale at your local Best Buy.)
It’s about giving thanks. Thanks to our beautiful planet for giving us life. And thanks to the amazing trees. They provide us with the apple pie on our plates, the roof over our heads (literally), and so much more. (See video below.)
Let’s be grateful and count our blessings today.
And let’s save our ungratefulness for the food hangover and indigestion tomorrow.
Have you noticed all the new home decorating magazines popping up at checkout counters and bookstores lately? It seems there’s a new one arriving everyday.
There must be hundreds of them now. Some are tied to a famous brand or person. Some have European-sounding names. Some are just weird. But regardless of where they fall on the spectrum, most of them are saying the same thing.
Some of the articles have interesting nuggets of advice, but I find most a little over the top. For instance, one magazine suggested my life will find new meaning when I begin to hold regular soirees filled with glitter balloons, spiced pear truffles and some kind of lustrous light candleholders.
Thanks for the advice, but I’ll pass.
All the inspiration I need is right in front of me. Spring has officially arrived, which means over the next several weeks I’ve got a front-row seat to learn from the Mother of all Home Decorators.
Can anyone match her creativity, her brilliance, when it comes to decorating her own home? What’s a glitter balloon compared to a budding flower? What are spiced pear truffles compared to a juicy, ripe pear she lets me pluck and eat off a tree?
Wouldn’t it be great if we helped Mama Nature out a bit? She’s been doing this for a couple zillion years.
Of course, we can’t match her attention to detail, but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind some extra help. What if we cared for, decorated and celebrated our collective home with the same zeal as she does, with as much love as those magazines want us to care for and celebrate our individual ones?
The good news is we are. Millions of us are coming together on April 22 to honor the greatest home decorator and greatest home ever.
All of us are contributing in our own small way. Neighborhood Forest, for instance, is launching its biggest tree giveaway yet, hoping to give away nearly 10,000 trees to kids during Earth Week (April 18-22).
Do you want a tree for your child? You can sign up (on a laptop, tablet or desktop computer) to get one. To find out if your child’s school participating, you can go to this link: https://www.neighborhoodforest.org/search-for-school/
We know parent participation increases when kids are involved. If a child wants a tree to plant, we don’t want them to go home from school empty-handed. So this year we’ve created a fun video just for them. (See below.)
We hope it will make them smile, reminding them to tell mom or dad not to forget our real “home decorating” day!
Earth Day is coming. Come join the celebration and let’s decorate our home together.
No glitter balloons necessary.
Vivek Narula is the Director of Neighborhood Forest (@treesforkids) – an organization that gives free trees to schoolchildren every Earth Day.
That’s what my brother Vikas asked me in the spring of 1993. He ran a student-run environmental club at our university called Organization for the New Earth (O.N.E.), which promoted green initiatives on campus and in the community.
He and fellow MUM student Belinda Hoole planned to launch the event, which was part fashion show, part creative musical celebration, and part treehugger project all rolled into one.
My brother needed someone to play the music for the show. He already knew I hunched over turntables every weekend, working as a DJ for our university’s Saturday night dances.
I thought about my brother’s request. Should I do it? The question spun around in my mind during my business classes, my spare time reading Billboard and Rolling Stone magazines and in between moments I’d be recording my mix tapes, which had piled up like dirty dishes in my dorm room.
I figured the whole thing was just a one-time event. Play the music, get a pat on the back, smile at the camera, flash the peace sign a few times and I’m done.
I said yes.
Several weeks later, I found myself in a humble looking Best Western banquet hall where the event was being held. There was a small stage set up and a white backdrop with a big Earth on it and Eco-Jam ’93 written above.
A few hours later, after the sound equipment and lighting were in place, I stood behind my “wheels of steel”, looked at the crowd and said: “It’s MC Double V on the M-I-C! Are you ready?” The stage lights went up. I raised the volume on Rhythm is a Dancer as it thumped through the speakers and a beeline of student models strutted down a makeshift catwalk, wearing a range of sustainable clothing outfits.
Contrary to what I thought, Eco-Jam wasn’t a one time thing. The success of the first event turned it into an annual gathering. In three years the event raised enough money to help O.N.E. plant thousands of trees throughout southeast Iowa.
Though the tree planting initiative faded a few years after my brother graduated (although it was revived in 2010 after a series of life-changing events), Eco-Jam (the catwalk part) continued to evolve and blossom.
We grew up and so did those trees.
21 years later, to the amazement of the original co-founders, it’s still alive and kicking! New students took over, other volunteers got on board and it’s become a city-wide event for organic and up-cycled fashion, attracting media, residents and designers from Fairfield, southeast Iowa and beyond.
It’s the end of 2014 and everything’s come full circle. Neighborhood Forest will be relaunching its tree program in southeast Iowa next spring. And we’re excited to be coming home!
Looking back, I realize how wrong I was. That one-time tree event I agreed to do for my brother in the spring of 1993? It’s not done. It’s just beginning.
Thought you might enjoy this video of our long-awaited Eco-Jam homecoming.