Earth Day Activities

I had a lot of choices for things to do on Earth Day. I could have called my congressman and ranted about coal-powered electric plants. We never replaced a dying tree in my yard and I considered digging in mucky North Texas clay to plant a native pecan tree. The thought of catching who-knows-what in a local stream cleanup quashed that idea before it had a chance.

The most appealing choice available was to have a manicure. Don't laugh. Now women and men who like color can paint their fingernails or toenails with a polish that does not contain toluene. Can you understand how people could apply that coating to their nails? I don't get it (really, I don't wear nail polish for this reason).

Last month, Jill Buck, founder of the Go Green Initiative, sent information about a nail lacquer called "Aware," which was created by SpaRitual. It contains no toluene, formaldehyde, or dibutyl phthalate. The color is sold in recycled glass bottles and its label uses soy-based ink printing. The compact in-store display is made of eco-friendly recyclable materials. (If your Mom or the mother of your children likes nail polish, this would be a great Mother's Day gift.)

That could be sufficient to help the planet, couldn't it? But wait, there's more -- part of the proceeds from the sale of this nail lacquer benefits the Go Green Initiative.

Go Green, which has been around since 2002, involves families, businesses, teachers, custodians, students, and local governments in stewardship through an environmental curriculum. More than 1.5 million students and teachers in the world are a part of the registered Go Green Initiative schools, which receive assistance in developing their own goals, budgets, and activities that may include composting, recycling, or waste diversion.

Going green is "not a sprint toward stewardship, but a daily walk," the Go Green Planning Guide states. I wish I had written that.

So. I didn't paint my nails yet, because I didn't become Aware in time. Instead, I went to work and wrote a blog about what I didn't do to celebrate Earth.

Please take heart, however, because the building I work in is in "green" mode. The management office distributed compact fluorescent light bulbs to tenants on April 22 and provided a free electronics recycling opportunity in the afternoon. Great! Go Transwestern. Each work station in our suite has a trash container and a recycling container. Smart room lighting turns off when people leave the room, and even when they forget to move in front of their computers.

For more information, visit

L.K. Williams has naked nails and loves the Earth. Send your comments to

Posted by L.K. Williams, EPonline on Apr 22, 2008