Earth may be a zillion years old but Earth Day turns 46 on April 22 — the ideal natural tonic just a week after drowning in a sea of Tax Day red ink. What will you do to mark the occasion? If your list hasn't gone beyond "hug a tree," fear not. Shall we say we went to the ends of the Earth to find great bargains? Maybe not, then.
Whether you want to play with the kids, frolic in the woods, or chug-a-lug some liquid grub, we've got seven options to consider that'll make Earth Day as festive as a birthday — though to be sure, it isn't Earth's birthday.
Amazon Earth Day Sale: Up to 50% off
OK, you can't call this a freebie. But with what you could save, you can treat the whole gang to granola and fresh-pressed carrot juice. Amazon is offering half off on new DVDs and Blu-ray discs with environmental and nature themes.
These run the green gamut from "Who Killed the Electric Car?" (42% off, $8.69) to "Earth: The Biography" (42% off, $14.84). We're not sure that Earth has an upcoming autobiography, but in lieu of that, keep an eye out on Instagram for "Earth: The Selfie."
Free Shakes From EVOS
Organic milkshakes are hard to come by; harder still are organic milkshakes that cost bupkis. EVOS is once again offering up free shakes for Earth Day, along with a loud shout out to sustainable farmers everywhere. They also serve your typical fast food fare, but in a way that's healthy and sustainable all year round. In business since 1994, EVOS has locations in the Southeast.
Free Reusable Bag From Wegman's
It's crucial to always have a reusable bag on hand, in your car or purse, so that you can avoid using disposable bags during those last minute trips to the grocery store. Wegman's is offering a coupon for a free reusable bag for anyone who brings in plastic bags on April 25 from 11 am to 3 pm. There appears to be no requirements for how many bags you bring in, but whatever you donate will be recycled and made into new bags.
Playing Games With Mother Earth at Primary Games
Maybe you're worried that your kiddos will be too tied up with video games to worry much about Earth Day. Ah, then maybe it's time to check out the Primary Games website, where younger children can enjoy Earth Day-themed games, gratis.
These run the gamut from Green IQ (a trivia challenge game) to Recycle (where you sort the waste into the correct bins). More than a dozen Earth Day diversions are up now; make sure you have Adobe Flash installed on your computer.
'Plant It for the Planet' at Pottery Barn Kids
On Tuesday April 21, Pottery Barn Kids invites you and your young ones to decorate biodegradable pots and plant seeds. Kids will learn all about the importance of pollination to our planet and go home with a special takeaway to track their flower's progress. The event starts at 11 a.m. and space is limited; call your local store to RSVP.
Free Earth Day eCards
The bad news is that one business giving away four free Earth Day cards with embedded seeds (Day2DayPrinting) had to close the promotion after more than 100,000 visitors nearly crashed (or is that trashed?) the server.
But you can still get free online ecards specially geared towards Earth Day from several different websites. Care2.com has more than 100 cards to choose from, ranging from an earthrise over the moon to a scraggly-haired hippie doing the Earth Dance. Punchbowl has a much smaller collection (just five), but these cards contain specific Earth Day greetings and look classy. No trees were harmed in the creation of these cards.
A Delightful Duo of Free Earth Day Apps
Some of the coolest free apps have themes that fit in with Earth Day. Google Earth for iOS or Android makes for a natural conversation starter about Earth's wonders. (Sorry, your favorite childhood bowling alley doesn't count.)
NASA also has the incredible Earth as Art app for iPad. If you haven't seen it, then … WOW! One look at the spectacular color photos taken by NASA's environmental satellites (first launched in 1960) will put you in orbit.
Just as you'd keep an eye out for Mother Earth, keep an eye out for deals that haven't been announced. Some of the more creative ones (free glass straws from Glass Dharma) have already been closed due to unprecedented demand. But it's likely that coffee shops will dole out the joe, retail shops will give away totes, or some local farmer or planter will offer up a generous sample.
If you're the beneficiary of area growers or park volunteers, be sure to thank them. Without stewards of our most precious resources, there wouldn't be any Earth Day to celebrate.