Earth Day turns 43 on April 22, and the event started by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970 continues to grow in popularity and impact. In fact, Earth Day has gained such widespread acceptance that major retailers and beloved brands now get in on the act. That's not just good news for the environment, but for all of us as consumers, too. Freebies and sales abound, and we've gathered the best of the lot here.
Free Reusable Bag from Target
In what's becoming an annual rite of spring passage for Target, the company is giving away one reusable Target bag per shopper on April 22. Head to your nearest store and visit the Guest Service desk to claim yours. We love Target bargains, and their freebies are even more on point!
Free Reusable Bags from Kellog's
If you can't make it to Target on Sunday, April 22, consider earning yourself a series of reusable shopping bags from Kellogg's. While you'll need to have purchased any two Kellogg’s cereals or Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts (10 oz. or larger) to earn a freebie, toting around a '60s-inspired Kellog's print is almost priceless. Just fill out a short form and you can start collecting all four. Think of all the plastic bags you won't ever need!
Free Origins Skin Cleanser from Origins
Bring one of your current skincare products (either full or empty) to any Origins counter, and they'll swap it out for a full-size sample of one of their gentle, high-performance cleansers. Visit your local Origins store to receive either A Perfect World SPF 25 Age-defense moisturizer with White Tea or the Starting Over Age-erasing moisturizer with Mimosa. What's more, all cosmetic packaging collected will be recycled or responsibility converted to energy through the Return to Origins Recycling Program.
Free Greenery and Scenery at the National Parks
The National Park Service is offering free admission to all 397 national parks to celebrate Earth Day and National Park Week, April 21 to April 29. If you miss out now, mark down June 9 (Get Outdoors Day) as the next day for free admission sponsored by the Park Service.
Free Sunflower Seeds from Pottery Barn Kids
In association with National Geographic, Pottery Barn Kids is giving away free packets of sunflower seeds on April 21 and 22. Just head to your local store to pick up your Helianthus annuus seedlings, then get to planting!
Win a Year's Supply of Better Life Greener Cleaners from Whole Foods
OK, so this freebie is only going to one person, but that person could be you! Share one simple change you’re planning to make for Earth Day to win. It's that simple. Pledge your Earth Day everyday commitment by April 22 to win $350 worth of Eco-Scale rated cleaners.
20% Off Earth-friendly Toys at BN.com
Recycle the old notion that eco-friendly toys involve just a cardboard refrigerator box and some string. Barnes & Noble knows that a jungle playroom full of Animalz is more fun! You'll find an assortment of kids' toys and games marked down 20% to celebrate Earth Day. Plus receive free shipping on orders of $25 or more.
Free Burritos from Chipotle with Lunch Bag Purchase
Purchase Chipotle's "repurposed billboard" lunch bag ($18) before April 14, and you'll get earn a free burrito on Earth Day. Made from old Chipotle billboards, these waterproof bags have a reinforced handle and side seams, a classic top-roll Velcro strap closure, and a convenient extra-large side pocket. Chipotle says these unique bags are nearly indestructible, and all proceeds will benefit the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation.
Earth Days Past
Last year three very popular Earth Day freebies included free milkshakes at EVOS, free coffee in your personal mug at Starbucks, and free trees at Lowe's. While we want to stress than none of these companies have announced what (if anything) they'll do for Earth Day 2012, we're inclined to believe that they'll offer something free again this year. At the very least, Starbucks begins giving away used coffee grounds to gardeners around this time of year, so be on the lookout for that sustainable perk.