Leap Day gives us 24 hours to help the planet

What are you doing for Leap Day?

According to folklore, it’s a good day for a woman to propose marriage. But if you’re not looking for that kind of commitment, you can instead commit to make a positive impact in the world during your extra 24 hours this year.

Here are seven things you can do to commit to a better planet Earth this Leap Day:

1. Plan an environmental outing with friends or co-workers. This might mean cleaning up a local stream or helping a local school build a live-and-learn greenhouse or garden. C2ES staffers planted wildflowers at a local park last year and are working on a new outing. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers some other great environmental project ideas.

2. Host an environmental film screening. Educate yourself and friends by watching and discussing an environmental film or TV series like “Chasing Ice,” “Planet Earth,” or “Symphony of the Soil.”

3. Take steps to save energy. Lowering your personal footprint begins by taking stock of how you use energy at home, at work and on the go. With better understanding, you can take action and live more sustainably while saving energy, money and the environment. Use our carbon calculator to find your footprint and complete pledges to improve it.

4. Be heard. Write to your local, state, or national elected officials asking them to support your favorite environmental policy – be it promoting clean power, protecting endangered species, or building green and technical job skills. Citizen’s Climate Lobby has tools to get you started.

5. Join an environmental network. The National Phenology Network connects citizen scientists, government agencies, and non-profit groups to track and monitor the impacts of climate change on plants and animals in the United States. Net Impact brings together professionals passionate about environmental and social change.

6. Buy from brands focused on sustainability. What we buy consumes raw materials, energy, and other precious resources. But there are brands consciously trying to improve their impacts. Start finding more sustainable products by checking out the Good Guide.

7. Donate time or money to a green cause. Find out how and where you can volunteer for an environmental group to widen your social circle and protect the planet. We at C2ES also appreciate your donations.