Friday, July 25, 2014

Explorit: Turning Earth Day into Earth Year

From page A4 | April 25, 2014 |

Much of Davis celebrated Earth Day this past Tuesday, but since this planet sustains us year-round, one day of appreciation just doesn’t seem like enough. Here are a few easy ways we can keep celebrating Earth Day and making healthy choices for our world all year round.

Meatless Mondays: Even if you’re a committed carnivore, choosing a plant-based protein once a week is a tasty way make a real environmental difference. According to, half the world’s grain is used as feed for farm animals who each produce about three times as much waste as a person. Cutting back on meat consumption reduces this waste and helps conserve the water and fuel required to raise cattle and process them into meat products.

Paperless towels: Paper towels are certainly convenient, but just using them to dry our hands creates 13 billion pounds of waste each year! Replacing paper towels with traditional fabric ones could make a significant dent in the amount we’re adding to our landfills each year.

Plus, for the knitting and crochet-inclined, going paperless creates a great do-it-yourself opportunity. Hand-made dish cloths are fun and quick to produce and are a great starter project for anyone interested in learning the craft. And, they can be made into larger versions for towels, floor sweepers or mops.

Environmentally friendly fonts: A great way to cut down on waste and paper use is to limit how much you print. But if you do need a hard copy of something, give some consideration to the font you use. A study from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay demonstrated that Century Gothic font uses 30 percent less ink than Arial. And the new Ryman Eco font may save as much as 33 percent of ink as compared to other traditional fonts like Times New Roman and Verdana.

Fresh face: Those exfoliating microbeads in your face soap are likely to be tiny bits of plastic that get washed down the drain but don’t biodegrade and they’re starting to pollute waterways. Try replacing a commercial exfoliating scrub with a tablespoon of baking soda stirred into a cup of coconut oil. It’s a gentler exfoliant that will moisturize as well and is 100 percent natural.

Teachable trash: Instead of filling your trash bin with all the toilet paper tubes, yogurt cups and juice bottles your household goes through in a week, save them up and bring them to Explorit Science Center instead. Your trash will live a productive second life at Explorit where it will be used in our educational programs. Visiting school classes will turn it into bridges, museum visitors will construct robots, the possibilities are endless. Please make sure that any donations are thoroughly cleaned and ready for little hands to use.

These are just a few ways to make some easy changes to our daily habits that can make a great difference to our Earth. Help keep Earth Day going year-round by sharing your environmental tips with us on Facebook at

Explorit’s coming events:

* Explorit’s “Beautiful World: Science and Art” exhibition is open to the public from 1 to 5 p.m. every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday and from 3 to 6 p.m. every Friday. Admission is $5 per person; Explorit members, teachers and children 2 and under are free.
* Birthday parties are back at Explorit! Call Explorit at 530-756-0191 for more information or to book your party.
* Summer Science Camp is coming. Registration is open now. Visit for all the details and to register.

— Explorit Science Center is at 3141 Fifth St. For more information, call 530-756-0191 or visit, or “like” Explorit on Facebook at


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