Earth Saving News > October 13, 2009

Having a bad day? Take a hike!Biking

No, literally! A new study from the University of Rochester shows that interaction with nature makes us kinder, happier people who are more likely to give back to our communities and the environment. EarthShare member Rails-To-Trails Conservancy is helping you catch those feel-good vibes by converting railroad track lines into walking, hiking and biking trails that we can all enjoy. To date, they’ve built more than 15,000 miles of trails across the U.S. and have hundreds of other projects underway! Visit to find a trail near you, or check out their Trail-building Toolbox.

When you head out for your hike, be sure to track your nature sightings! Our friends at National Wildlife Federation have an online Wildlife Watch where you and your family can share nature stories and track nature finds across the country. Can’t get outside? Check out their website for great nature photos and enter to win their monthly photo caption contest!

Will you skip a few lattes for the environment?Facebook

From now until November 7th, EarthShare is participating in America’s Giving Challenge through Facebook and the Causes application, giving us a chance to win prizes from $500 to $50,000 that will help support the work we do for our member charities.

To start, we're setting a goal of raising $500 by October 31st and we need your help. It doesn't matter how much you give, but your efforts to encourage friends and family to get involved in EarthShare’s cause will make all the difference. If just 50 people give up a few trips to the coffee shop this month and donate those dollars to our cause, we could meet our goal in no time!

Please help us help our member organizations! Get started here: become our Facebook fan and then join our Cause.

San Jose may go bagless by 2011.Plastic-bags

To help reduce the land-based waste that often contributes to the trash found in our ocean and other waterways, many companies have stopped producing and distributing plastic bags in their stores. Now some cities are enforcing that standard. Last month, the San Jose city council voted 9 to 1 in favor of banning plastic and paper bags from its retail stores. The ban will officially take effect in 2011, after an environmental impact study. If the bill passes, retailers would no longer be able to provide plastic or paper bags to customers, even for a fee. The idea came from Councilman Kansen Chu who was also responsible for establishing a green building code on all new buildings in San Jose.

Why is this an important step in the right direction? Plastic bags and other items like water and soda bottles are very harmful to the environment because they’re not biodegradable. They can leech harmful chemicals into our water sources, potentially causing serious harm to the people and wildlife that rely on these resources. Researchers recently explored the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to see what kind of impact these plastics are having on marine life. There are a lot of rumors and misinformation about the Patch, though – can you separate fact from fiction? Take our quiz and if you answer correctly, you could win an eco-friendly prize from EarthShare!

Green your Halloween.

Each Halloween we spend countless hours designing costumes, mapping candy-filled routes and decorating our homes… but how often do we consider the environmental impact of these choices?

Greening your Halloween can be quite easy! Simple choices like buying your costume from a thrift store, using pillowcases for candy and trick-or-treating locally not only save money, but they reduce your impact. Check out our recommendations to plan your environmentally friendly green Halloween.

We want your feedback! Got a great holiday Green Tip? Think you’re the new face of environmentalism? Share your story with us and we may feature your great work on our website!


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