Celebrate  Earth  Day!  Have  Fun  and  Help  the  Planet

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Happy Earth Day! We’ve pulled together our favorite fun, eco-friendly activities so you and your friends can spread the love to Mama Earth during this global celebration.

Get Dirty
Plants not only beautify our world, but also release oxygen into the atmosphere. So dig up a little dirt and get your gals together for some gardening! Have some small clay pots, potting soil, gardening tools, seed packets and water on hand. (If you really want to get creative, decorate your pots with craft paints or decoupage, and let the pots dry before planting anything in them.) Each girl gets to take her project home and give it plenty of love and sunshine until it sprouts and is ready to be transferred to the ground.

Get Clean
Have a spa party -- no chemicals or aerosols allowed! You can get beautiful using only all-natural products and organic ingredients. Have everyone wash their faces with a homemade scrub: In a bowl, stir equal parts oatmeal and brown sugar with a dab of safflower oil, if you have it. (Hint: Have hair ties handy!) Thoroughly rinse your faces, and then apply a honey-and-almond-oil facial mask, made of 1 tablespoon honey and two to three drops of almond oil. Leave the mask on for up to 15 minutes.

Everyone can also make their own bath salts to take home. Mix Epsom, kosher, rock or sea salts with a few drops of essential oil, and add food coloring. Experiment with different colors and scents (lavender is perfect for de-stressing), then layer in glass mason jars with lids. For a relaxing bath, add a scoop to running water in the tub.

Get Organized
Organize a school clothing drive, giving gently worn items to charitable organizations. Keep in mind that every donated item does not have to be fit for a fashion show. We met up with Jackie King of the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), and she tells us that worn-out shoes, belts, purses, stuffed animals, books, sheets, towels, socks and even underwear (freshly laundered, please!) can be recycled into materials such as insulation. Ask school officials if you can set up collection bins, then visit SMARTASN.org, click on “Contact Us” and punch in your zip code to find a recycling location near you.

Get Crafty
Have a craft party using supplies that might otherwise get tossed in the trash. SMART posts Cool Craft Wednesday each week on its Facebook and Twitter pages, featuring super-fun recycling projects.

One of our favorites is this no-sew recycled T-shirt bag:

1. Cut the sleeves and neckline off of an old T-shirt. The hole at the top of the shirt will now be the opening of your tote, and holes where the sleeves were will form handles at the shoulders.

2. Use the scraps to cut a long strip of material to be used as a drawstring.

3. Cut a slit to make a small opening at the hemline. (Be careful: Don’t cut past the hem!) Attach a safety pin to the end of your drawstring and pull it through one side of the hemline opening to the other.

4. Pull the drawstring cord until the opening is gathered and closed up, and tie to secure. This is the bottom of your totally awesome new T-shirt bag!

How You Can Help: Save the Environment ... by Shopping!

Here are our best tips for buying stuff that has the least impact on our planet:

Find eco-friendly products online. One of our faves is Reuse Jeans, which manufactures all of its really cute jeans using 80 percent recycled denim.

Shop vintage, whether you’re browsing the Web or thrift stores. We love scouting for one-of-a-kind finds. A recent secondhand score? We got a caramel-brown leather Kelly-style handbag from the ’60s with a matching coin purse for just $45.

Read labels. We just bought a jigsaw puzzle by Majestic, and this is on the fine print: “This box and puzzle is made completely of recycled materials.” Check product descriptions for green bonuses!

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