The first Earth Day was observed 40 years ago on April 22, 1970. Following are, in no particular order, 40 actions, activities and events to take part in to observe Earth Day 2010.

• Bike or take public transit to work.

• Use reusable bags for shopping or

• Disable screen savers and enable sleep mode on home/work computers.

• Join a carpool to commute to work or school.

• Turn the water off when brushing teeth.

• Take five-minute showers instead of baths.

• Attend a Family Campfire from 7 to 8 p.m. on either April 16 or 17. Activities will include stories, songs and s’mores. Limited space means that pre-registration is required. Please call 847-448-8256.

• Line-dry clothing instead of using dryer, especially for undergarments.

• Turn off the television and read a book.

• Practice the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle at the Ecology Center’s (2024 McCormick Blvd.) Eco Garage Sale on April 17 ( 8 a.m.-noon).

• Take the CTA’s Red Line train to the Loyola stop and walk to North Lake Shore Community Earth Day 2010, at 1050 W. Sheridan Rd., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 17. Learn what other communities are doing to go green.

• Attend a Carbon Footprint Workshop offered by Citizens for a Greener Evanston (CGE) at two locations: the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave. or Whole Foods (South), 1111 Chicago Ave., from noon to 2 p.m. on April 17.

• Work in a garden (plan, plant or pull weeds).

• Unplug energy “vampires” such as computers and other home electronics, microwave ovens and toasters.

• Give away unwanted items through

• Attend screening of “No Impact Man” on Sunday, April 18, 1-4 p.m. at Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark St., 2nd Floor, Chicago; entrance donation is $10 and all proceeds will benefit The Talking Farm.

• Turn the water off after lathering for shaving or showering; turn back on
to rinse.

• Grab some books you don’t need and go to the Chicago Reader Book Swap from 6 to 9 p.m. on April 21 at The Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave., Chicago. Note: must be 21 years or older to attend this event.

• Learn more about composting at this SWANCC workshop from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on April 21. Space is limited to 20 persons; registration is first come, first served. Dow load a form at

• Skip the gym and bike/jog walk along the lakefront.

• Eat seasonable fruits and vegetables.

• Buy breads and rolls from a local bakery rather than a grocery.

• Recycle unused prescriptions and expired over-the-counter drugs at the Environmental Health Division, between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays through Fridays only.

• Don’t own a shredder, don’t worry! First Bank & Trust has scheduled another Shredding Day for Saturday, April 24 at 2925 Central St, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

• Join the festivities at the Evanston Ecology Center’s Earth Day/Arbor Day Celebration on Saturday, April 24, 1-4 p.m.

• Start an indoor or outdoor compost bin.

• Attend screening of “Food, Inc.” on Saturday, April 24, 5-8 p.m. at Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark St., 2nd Floor, Chicago; entrance donation is $10 and all proceeds will benefit The Talking Farm.

• Recycle inkjet cartridges or buy the kind that can be refilled.

• Take a family after-dinner walk (weather permitting).

• April evenings can be chilly—resist the urge to turn on the heat and put on a sweater instead. An extra blanket will keep bedrooms toasty at night.

• Collect rainwater to water plants and flowers.

• Bring a mug to the office for coffee, tea or other beverages.

• Sign up to take the Energy Star Pledge. Go to to find out more and to take the pledge.

• Pack a waste-free lunch.

• Reduce junk mail through Catalog and

• Stop receiving unwanted Yellow Pages Directories at

• Learn more about wildlife through the National Wildlife Federation (

• Creative types can attend a workshop on how to design a project for
SWANCC’s Trashy Fashion Show. Workshops will be held  from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on April 27 and April 29 at the SWANCC office in Glenview (2700 Patriot Blvd). Registration is required, visit or call 847-724-9205 ext. 9.

• Plant a tree; more information at

Contact Eco Gal at or