Rodale Editors' Earth Day Tips Include: Air Your Dirty Socks (It Can Be Fun, Really!); Lightbulbs That Make You Brighter; Mow High/Sow Low

- Plus: Easy-to-Keep Earth Day Pledges for You and Your Kids -

Apr 22, 2005, 01:00 ET from Rodale Inc.

    NEW YORK, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Earth Day will officially be recognized
 today, but there are small steps you can take every day to improve the world
 around you. We asked some of Rodale's trusted experts for a few easy-to-follow
 ideas on how to "go green."
                  Jonathan Dorn, Executive Editor, Backpacker
     Hold a dirty sock contest
     Do this with a bunch of friends or coworkers in a parking lot to
 demonstrate how auto emissions affect air quality. Each contestant places a
 clean white sock over his or her car's exhaust and runs the engine for 30
 seconds. The contestants with the cleanest and dirtiest socks earn prizes,
 like a free dinner for the winner and a tune-up for the loser.
     Stencil storm drains
     Discourage dumping of harmful waste in public sewers by stenciling "This
 drain leads to such-and-such watershed" beside local storm drains. A simple
 reminder that someone else's drinking or swimming water may be on the other
 end of that drain can make a big difference. Ask your local water company for
 permission - and supplies.
     Make a pledge
     This is a great way to teach your kids about small habits that - when
 added up - can make a big difference. Have the entire family sign an Earth Day
 pledge that includes statements like, "I will turn off the lights when I leave
 the room," "I will turn off the water while shaving or brushing my teeth," and
 "I will wear a sweater rather than turn up the heat." Post the pledge on your
 refrigerator or in another visible place.
     Organize a hike
     Getting 20 people to explore a local forest or wetlands that are at risk
 for development will create 20 new advocates when the issue comes up for
 public debate. Plus, the fresh air will do everybody good. Best strategy: Work
 with a hiking club in your area to coordinate the event (find one at .
     Find more great tips on how to bring the outdoors to your doorstep in
 Backpacker. Visit, or call 1-800-666-3434 to subscribe.
                 Rosemary Ellis, Editorial Director, Prevention
     Save time, energy, and guilt on Earth Day by knowing that small things
 count. Here are a couple of tips from Prevention's April and May issues that
 will save money and keep you and your home healthy:
     Wash 'em, don't trash 'em
     We're talking about those plastic Zip-lock bags you use for storing
 everything from lunches to frozen foods. Save money and the planet's resources
 by using the nylon Bag-E-Wash gadget. It snaps into your dishwasher rack to
 hold bags open and secure them for easy cleaning and drying. One box of 30
 plastic bags washed and reused 10 times each will save you $30 - and keep 300
 bags out of landfills.
     The best green cleaners
     A 2003 study found that women who clean houses for a living have a 46-
 percent-greater chance of having asthma and a 61-percent-greater risk of
 chronic bronchitis than women in other professions do. Most green cleaners
 contain no phosphates, chorine, petroleum, distillates, or carcinogens - in
 fact, no hard-to-read chemicals at all.
     For more smart ways to live well, visit Prevention magazine online at, or call 1-800-813-8070 to subscribe.
                       Jeanie Pyun, Editor, Organic Style
     Tips on how to make a difference on Earth Day and every day!
     Support your local farmer
     What do all the top chefs have in common? They all rely on local produce.
 It makes perfect sense: Vegetables raised nearby are fresher, and they taste
 better because they're bred for flavor and not for their ability to hold up in
 transit. By buying from farmers nearby, you'll not only cut down on pollution,
 you'll also keep money circulating within your community.
     Change your bleach
     Cleaning with chlorine bleach is a dirty job, potentially toxic and
 dangerous. Gentler and just as effective, choose hydrogen-peroxide-based
 bleaches (Chlorox 2) or borax, like Earth Friendly Oxo-Brite Non-Chlorine
 Bleach (available at Whole Foods) and 20 Mule Team Borax (available at any
 grocery store).
     The lightbulb that makes YOU brighter
     Three great benefits to compact fluorescent bulbs: One, they last 10 times
 longer than an incandescent bulb, so they rarely need changing. Two, they use
 1/3 of the electricity of a regular bulb, cutting pollution and saving you
 about $7 per fixture a year. And three, they cost less than the 10 ordinary
 incandescent bulbs they replace. Look for models with the energy star label,
 which are guaranteed to last at least 6,000 hours.
     Find out more about how Organic Style helps women live a healthy,
 authentic, and balanced life at, or call 800-365-3276 to
                Scott Meyer, Executive Editor, Organic Gardening
     Five steps to a better, more natural lawn:
      1. Mow high. Set your lawn mower at its highest setting when you cut the
         grass - taller grass has deeper roots, which are better able to draw
         up nutrients and moisture from the soil. (And taller grass looks
      2. Leave the grass clippings. Rather than bagging the clippings, let them
         fall on the lawn and they'll add nitrogen to the soil, and you'll only
         need to fertilize your lawn once a year.
      3. Feed sparingly, and when you do, use a slow-release natural
         fertilizer. High-nitrogen, fast-release lawn fertilizers are like
         steroids - they pump up the grass's growth (so you have to mow more
         often), and they make the lawn susceptible to diseases. (They also
         contribute to freshwater pollution.)
      4. Water when necessary. Newly seeded lawns need to stay consistently
         moist while they are getting established. After that, don't water
         cool-season grasses in summer; they're dormant and the water makes
         them susceptible to stress. Unless you have an extended dry spell, an
         established lawn with the grass mowed high almost never needs
         watering. When you do water, don't sprinkle it lightly and often -
         this encourages the grass to grow shallow roots. Rather, give the lawn
         a good soaking infrequently.
      5. Sow your grass. Whether you are seeding a new lawn or just trying to
         make an existing lawn thicker, you want to plant varieties that suit
         your conditions. In the North, use cool-season grasses, such as
         Kentucky bluegrass, turf-type tall fescue and perennial ryegrass.
         These varieties grow vigorously in spring and fall and go dormant in
         the heat of summer. Check for more
         details about what grows best in your neighborhood.
     Let Organic Gardening help you grow your organic green thumb. Visit, or call 1-800-666-2206 to subscribe.
                    Steve Madden, Editor-in-Chief, Bicycling
     Once you learn, you never forget
     This Earth Day, if at all possible, try riding your bike to work at least
 one day a week. Americans make 4.5 billion car trips each week; the average
 one is 9.86 miles long. If we all replaced at least one car trip per week,
 we'd reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2.4 million tons/week; 126 million
 tons/year and lose a collective 37,714,286 pounds/week.
     Find out more about how a bicycle can help the environment - and your
 health - by visiting Or, call 1-800-666-2806 to subscribe. How
 would the gift of a bike change your life? If you live in one of the 20
 designated BikeTown cities, you may just be about to find out. For more
 information, visit .
          Stacy Sindlinger, Creative Director, Organic Style Boutique
     Trust What's Inside
     I suggest "instinct math." When you make any purchase, check the labels,
 and if you don't see answers to the What, Who and Where questions, ask (or
 better yet, get your kids to ask - they will love it!). Once you know what the
 product was made from, who made it, and where it was made...let your
 conscience be your guide.  Your instincts will tell you if it's a good buy,
 and you'll be amazed at how great it feels to start "voting with your
     And, to bring a little more style to your home this Earth Day, try rifling
 through your jewelry box full of inherited clip-on earrings and pins that are
 "not-quite-you" but full of sentimental meaning. Consider adding them to
 curtain tie-backs, lamp- or overhead-light chain-pulls.
     During the month of April, the Organic Style Boutique will honor Earth Day
 by donating 5% of proceeds from the sale of select items to the Natural
 Resources Defense Council. Visit to order.
     About Rodale Inc.
     As one of the world's most trusted sources for health-and-wellness
 content, Rodale Inc. ( reaches more than 30 million
 people in 42 countries each month through its category-leading media
 properties and integrated marketing solutions. For more than 60 years, the
 privately held company has inspired and enabled people to improve their lives
 through its reporting of groundbreaking, science-based health-and wellness
 information. Rodale's magazines, including the worldwide brands Men's Health,
 Prevention and Runner's World, as well as Backpacker, BestLife, Bicycling,
 Mountain Bike, Organic Gardening and Organic Style, regularly garner honors
 for editorial, design and circulation performance and, as a whole,
 consistently outperform industry averages in both ad-page and ad-revenue
     Rodale is also the largest independent book publisher in America, with an
 expanding stable of international titles. Recent New York Times Bestsellers
 include the titles within The South Beach Diet and The Abs Diet franchises, as
 well as Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars and Dr. Shapiro's Picture Perfect
 Weight Loss. Special interest publications, including the company's newest
 title, Women's Health; a broad range of successful interactive media products,
 like; and integrated marketing solutions, such as the
 custom-publishing partnership with Curves International, are among the assets
 that round out Rodale's portfolio of innovative, mission-based brands and

SOURCE Rodale Inc.