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Save the Planet, Treat Yourself: Earth Day Freebies 2014

It's easy to celebrate Mother Earth when it means getting something for yourself for free.
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With Earth Day approaching on April 22, it’s the 45th anniversary of an event that dates back to 1970, and one that offers double the chance to save. That is, as you do something to mark the occasion by saving the resources of our land, you can also save some money as well, as the freebies and premiums pop up with the energy of spring bulbs bursting through once-dormant soil.

The roll call below runs the gamut from kid-themed games and activities to yummy beverages, along with some opportunities for you to send along Earth Day wishes via greeting cards. How you celebrate is up to you, but it won’t cost you anything to check this list out — or take advantage of every item on it, for that matter. (And once you're done, don't forget to check out our freebies page where we list gratis offers on a daily basis, and our freebie hub for all the best resources!)

Caribou Coffee: Unlimited Coffee Refills

For the entirety of April, Caribou Coffee is offering an incredible deal when you purchase one of their stylish forest-green Earth Day tumblers. They’ll give you free coffee refills for the entire month. The mug is emblazoned with the slogan “Life is celebrating Earth Day every day.” This certainly beats celebrating other April occasions every day, such as Tax Day.

Free Shakes From EVOS

If free coffee isn’t, uhm, your cup of tea, perhaps a free organic shake will do the trick. EVOS is offering up free shakes for Earth Day. This chain devotes itself to serving All-American fare like burgers and fries in a way that’s healthy and sustainable. Around since 1994, EVOS has locations in the Southeast.

Free Glass Straws From Glass Dharma

Milkshakes … coffee … how about a special straw to go with ’em? There’s a whole lot of plastic going into landfills, and the folks at Glass Dharma have a better idea: glass straws that replace thousands of plastic straws, and leach less toxins into your drinks. They’re made of super-strong borosilicate tubing and they’re so safe kids can use them. An initial giveaway of 1,000 straws went fast, but Glass Dharma is still giving them away for Earth Day if you take this quiz on their website. If you pass (it takes about 15 minutes), you’ll receive a confirmation email with a coupon code for the straw.

Free Greenery and Scenery in Our National Parks

It’s become an annual tradition for the U.S. National Parks system to do something special in conjunction with Earth Day. And indeed, the National Park Service is offering free admission to more than 400 national parks to celebrate Earth Day and National Park Week, April 19-27. Free admission to the parks is good on April 19 an 20. The Park Service also encourages you to volunteer to help with a local park project to celebrate the holiday.

Earth Day Treasure Hunt at Pottery Barn Kids

On Earth Day, Pottery Barn Kids invites you and your young ones to participate in a special eco-inspired treasure hunt. Kids explore the Pottery Barn store for green clues. Those who find them all earn a plantable book mark. And if you want to explore the store for a few bargains, so much the better. Be sure to check the store near you for details. Also taking place on April 22 is an Earth Day-inspired story time at 11 a.m.

Free Earth Day App for Apple and Android

Free apps are always great, but scoring a free Earth Day-themed app is even better in celebration of April 22. It’s called “The Four Seasons - An Earth Day Interactive Children’s Story Book” and it includes many interactive puzzles and games on its pages, including “help the gardner clean the park” and “nurture and grow a tree in the spring.” It’s aimed for younger children, and you can download it either from iTunes or Google Play for Android.

Crafts for Kids DLTK, Spoonful.com

If you’re looking for more things for the kiddos to do on Earth Day, you can snag some gratis Earth Day printables from DLTK’s Crafts for Kids. The selection includes “do not disturb” doorknob hangers, calendar pages, and that all-time favorite of kids everywhere, chore charts. Looking for more? Spoonful.com offers this free downloadable activity packet for kids.

Free Earth Day eCards

Several places are offering free online ecards specially geared towards Earth Day. Care2.com has dozens of cards to choose from, ranging from whimsical cartoons to reflecting ponds and photos from the most untamed corners of the planet. And at Freebie Depot, they've got plenty of Earth Day cards as well, more than 40 to choose from. Look at it this way: You won’t have to sacrifice the smallest shred of a tree to send these cards for free.

In past years, we’ve seen Target and the Disney Store offer reusable bags, Starbucks offer free coffee, and other retailers such as Home Depot and Origins skin care jump into the act. As of press time, we couldn’t confirm any of them returning with Earth Day specials this year. But keep your eyes peeled for those bargains, because it’s a good bet that at least a few retailers on that list — along with some newcomers — will get into the Earth Day act just in time.


Contributing Writer

Lou Carlozo is a DealNews contributing writer. He covers personal finance for Reuters Wealth. Prior to that he was the Managing Editor of WalletPop.com, and a veteran columnist at the Chicago Tribune.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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