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Happy Earth Day!

by Paula on April 22, 2012


Earth Day 2012

Today is Earth Day and Ariel and I are totally into celebrating!!  We actively recycle, work hard to buy items that use less packaging and strive to re-use as many items as possible.  We limit our driving around town if possible, combining trips when we can and sometimes just making a choice to postpone a trip if it’s not urgent.  We often buy crafting supplies, household goods, and clothing at local thrift stores, which not only helps our budget but also gives discarded items a second chance at life.

fingerprint art squirrel for Earth Day 2012

Even our free time pays tribute to the earth!  One of our favorite activities is nature watching.  (yes, I did just make up that term–but it fits!)  We enjoy the scampering squirrels in our yard, love listening to the pleasant songs of the beautiful birds in the trees, and gaze adoringly upon the bright blooms that brighten up our lives.  And there’s not much that brings more joy to us than a day spent playing in the surf and sun at the beach or in the refreshing coolness of a mountain stream.

fingerprint art mountains for Earth Day 2012

Where we do our nature watching depends on where we are.  Sometimes it’s at home, sometimes when we’re traveling–but it’s something we do all. the. time.  We are active watchers!

Why is this important?

fingerprint art deer for 2012

It’s important because Ariel and I strive to have a gratitude attitude.  Thanksgiving is not just a day in November to us.  We try to appreciate all of the little things that make each day special and unique.  It might be a really cool cloud formation…. or a funny little bird that takes his dear sweet time crossing the road…. or the graceful whitetail deer that live in the woods near our home.  It also is the glimpses of the Great Smoky Mountains that we catch from certain viewpoints around the upstate.  It’s the genuine smile on a clerk’s face as we make our purchases at the local pharmacy and the sheer bliss of the perfect bite of an absolutely delectable gourmet pizza.  Part of it is living in the moment, being fully present in our everyday lives and part of it is completely intentional living.  Working to squeeze in LIFE in all of the details and to make sure that we appreciate as much as we humanly can is our goal.

fingerprint art bird for Earth Day 2012

Part of being grateful and appreciative, at least to us, is taking care of what’s been given to us.

We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children; Earth Day 2012

And here’s something that we totally appreciate!!  FREE Entrance Days at US National Parks!  What could be better than saving money and being able to visit some of the biggest treasures of the United States?

Today is just one of the series of free entrance days for 2012.

US National Parks offer free admission throughout the year

The others for the rest of the year are:

*** April 21-29 (National Park Week)

*** June 9 (Get Outdoors Day)

*** September 29 (National Public Lands Day)

*** November 10-12 (Veterans Day weekend)

Here’s a listing of the National Parks that are participating (and some aren’t participating because many already offer free admission all the time!!):

Denali National Park and Preserve

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
Chiricahua National Monument
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Grand Canyon National Park
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Montezuma Castle National Monument
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Petrified Forest National Park
Pipe Spring National Monument
Saguaro National Park
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
Tonto National Monument
Tumacacori National Historical Park
Tuzigoot National Monument
Walnut Canyon National Monument
Wupatki National Monument

Fort Smith National Historic Site
Pea Ridge National Military Park

Cabrillo National Monument
Death Valley National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lava Beds National Monument
Muir Woods National Monument
Pinnacles National Monument
Sequoia National Park
Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
Yosemite National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Colorado National Monument
Dinosaur National Monument
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Hovenweep National Monument
Mesa Verde National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park

Canaveral National Seashore
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
Dry Tortugas National Park
Everglades National Park
Gulf Islands National Seashore

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
Cumberland Island National Seashore
Fort Frederica National Monument
Fort Pulaski National Monument

Haleakalā National Park
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park

Craters of the Moon National Monument
Yellowstone National Park

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial

Acadia National Park

Antietam National Battlefield
Assateague Island National Seashore
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park
Fort McHenry NM and Historic Shrine National Monument
Fort Washington Park
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Gulf Islands National Seashore

Adams National Historical Park
Cape Cod National Seashore


Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Pipestone National Monument

Vicksburg National Military Park

Harry S Truman National Historic Site
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
Glacier National Park
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
Yellowstone National Park

Scotts Bluff National Monument

Death Valley National Park
Lake Mead National Recreation Area

New Hampshire
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site

New Jersey
Thomas Edison National Historical Park
Morristown National Historical Park

New Mexico
Aztec Ruins National Monument
Bandelier National Monument
Capulin Volcano National Monument
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Chaco Culture National Historical Park
El Morro National Monument
Fort Union National Monument
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
Pecos National Historical Park
White Sands National Monument

New York
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site
Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site
Martin Van Buren National Historic Site
Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
Saratoga National Historical Park
Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site

North Carolina
Wright Brothers National Memorial

North Dakota
Theodore Roosevelt National Park

James A. Garfield National Historic Site
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial National Memorial

Fort Smith National Historic Site

Crater Lake National Park
Lewis & Clark National Historical Park

Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site
Fort Necessity National Battlefield
Johnstown Flood National Memorial
Steamtown National Historic Site

Puerto Rico
San Juan National Historic Site

South Carolina
Fort Sumter National Monument

South Dakota
Badlands National Park
Jewel Cave National Monument

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park


Big Bend National Park
Fort Davis National Historic Site
Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Padre Island National Seashore

Arches National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Capitol Reef National Park
Cedar Breaks National Monument
Dinosaur National Monument
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Golden Spike National Historic Site
Hovenweep National Monument
Natural Bridges National Monument
Zion National Park

Virgin Islands
Christiansted National Historic Site

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
Assateague Island National Seashore
Colonial National Historical Park
George Washington Memorial Parkway’s Great Falls Park
Manassas National Battlefield Park
Petersburg National Battlefield
Prince William Forest Park
Shenandoah National Park

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
Lewis & Clark National Historical Park
Mount Rainier National Park
Olympic National Park
Whitman Mission National Historic Site

West Virginia
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
Devils Tower National Monument
Fort Laramie National Historic Site
Grand Teton National Park
Yellowstone National Park


How will you celebrate Earth Day?

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