Gimmie Earth Day Freebies 2014
On this day, and every day, it’s the perfect time to revisit ways you can reduce, reuse and recycle. I’m probably more green than a lot of people. I guess you could say Earth Day is my middle name (hence the title of this post!) After all, the founder of Earth Day came from the same small town that I did. Senator Gaylord Nelson thought everyone on Earth deserves to have a place as beautiful as our hometown.
Are Freebies Wasteful?
A while back, a friend mentioned that she thought it was interesting that I’d be so into freebies when it’s so contradictory to being green. She said that being a freebie hunter seems wasteful, as if the free stuff I get has no value and therefore can be tossed easily. Or that it’s excessive, or unnecessary, or just plain extreme. I couldn’t disagree more with that thinking. Seeking freebies and free samples means a great deal to me (pun intended!) Just because I got a great deal on it doesn’t decrease its value. To be truly content with freebie hunting and make saving a long-term habit, one should put the same value on free items as if they purchased it full price. And, maybe even more because it was a gift. Not to mention the time invested in finding freebies and deals. Because I value my stuff, I treat it better, it lasts longer and the value is extended even more.
Trying something before you buy gives you the chance to decide if you like it. In my humble opinion, that’s as far from wasteful as you can get! Instead of buying stuff I won’t use and will end up throwing away, I’m much more selective now. My personal care and household waste has been drastically reduced. Did you know that personal care products account for 33% of landfill waste? I think free sampling should be embraced by everyone – from companies to greenies.
Last year on Facebook, we discussed with fans the idea of recycling old magazines. We share dozens of free subscriptions here on Gimmie, and receiving all those free magazines can be overwhelming. When I’m done enjoying them, every 6 months or so, I give away a huge box of magazines on Freecycle. Read our Top 5 Thrifty Tips for Recycling Magazines.
And let’s not forget the packaging involved with mailed freebies. I receive boxes containing freebies every single day in my mailbox, and delivered to my door. I’m vigilant about reusing boxes and packing materials. I’ve donated packing materials to eBayers and others on Freecycle, and I’ve even donated clean packing peanuts to my local pack and ship store. And of course, I save boxes and padded envelopes to reuse. After all, they can be broken down and stored in a very small space. Those packages that aren’t reusable get put into the recycle bin.
Speaking of Freecycle, I urge you to check our your local group. I love how it builds community while giving good, still usable items the chance to be re-purposed. It’s a great way to declutter your stuff, and to receive things you might be looking for. And, it’s all free! I’ve even recruited my company to donate their old office equipment, computers, furniture, etc. It’s really a win-win!
We also have a great local Freecycle Chat Cafe group where we discuss all kinds of ways to green our homes, neighborhoods and World. Imagine having a coupon for saving on your energy bills. That’s what greening your home can do for your bottom line. Whether it’s tax deductions or a reduced bill, it really does add up.
There are SO many ways to save money – way beyond free samples and coupons. Obviously I can’t list them all here, but I hope I’ve given you tools to go forth and explore what will work for you and your family.
More Frugal Recycling Ideas
- EARN MONEY! As you probably know, you can get paid to recycle! Find a recycling center near you. I’ve found that the Penny Saver is a great source to find deals and coupons to get paid the most for your recyclables.
- If you can’t always use reusable totes, recycle plastic bags! Many stores such as Walmart and your local grocery store will have bins to recycle bags
- DON’T PAY to recycle old electronics. Best Buy stores offer free e-waste recycling!
- Recycle batteries – don’t throw them in the trash! Earth911.com gives an eye-opening look at batteries in trash, and has a reycling center locator service
- Get REWARDED for Recycling! Recyclebank rewards those who pledge to be green, and learn more about how they can help the environment. You’ll earn points that can be redeemed for freebies and coupons! You’ll get 500 points FREE when you get your “Passport to the Planet” (thru 4/30)
Earth Day Freebies 2014
Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22. All freebies are on that day unless otherwise noted. For a list of weekend events, click here.
Virtual Free Stuff
- Android App: Free “The Four Seasons – An Earth Day Interactive Children’s Storybook” download.
- Care2 eCards: Send free Earth Day eCards. Save paper and celebrate Earth Day online. Our free eCards let you pay tribute to nature while you brighten a friend’s day.
- DLTK’s Crafts For Kids: Free printable Earth Day coloring pages for kids.
- Kaboose.com: Free Earth Day games, crafts, food, coloring pages, projects, quizzes, galleries and more!
- Scholastic: FREE Earth Day Lesson Plans for teachers and homeschoolers! Part of the collection: Celebrate Earth Day
- Spoonful: Free Earth Day game ideas, craft ideas, snack ideas and more for Earth Day!
- Caribou Coffee: Purchase the Earth Month tumbler from Caribou Coffee, and score unlimited FREE coffee refills for the entire month of April!
- EVOS: Grab a FREE Organic Milkshake at your local EVOS on 4/22.
- H-E-B: Bring in 5 plastic bags, and they give you a Free tote bag, 4/22.
- LakeShore Learning: Kids make Free Earth Day Binoculars on 4/20 from 11-3pm
- National Parks: Free Admission April 22 – 26 for National Parks Week!! Check out several fee-free days at more than 400 national parks that usually charge entrance fees.
- Origins: Select stores may be participating in Origin’s Earth Day promo: 4/17-4/26: Celebrate Earth Day 4/22 with an Origins mini facial and receive an exclusive Earth Day Tote with any $65 purchase. Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, you can bring your empty cosmetic containers into Origins and they’ll recycle them for you for free!
- Pottery Barn Kids: Visit your local Pottery Barn Kids the week of 4/21 for an eco-inspired treasure hunt! Explore the store to find green clues, those who find them all will receive a FREE plantable bookmark!
- Starbucks: Bring your travel mug to Starbucks to get Free Coffee or Tea at Starbucks on Earth Day (April 22). No coupon required! (Some have said this is a rumor, but many stores are participating. I recommend calling ahead to see if yours is giving free coffee.)
- Wegmans: Exchange a clean plastic bag for a Free Reusable Bag + $10 in Organic item Coupons. First 300 customers on 4/26
- Disney Store-Visit any Disney Store on April 22, 2014 and receive a FREE Disneynature Bears Reusable Tote Bag when you bring in 5 plastic bags.
Local Free Events & Freebies
Don’t see your local event listed? Try a Google search to see if your area is sponsoring similar events! These events will give you an idea of what to look for locally.
- Ann Arbor Area: 43rd Annual Earth Day Festival
- California Businesses can get an awesome Recycling Container free!
- Earth Day Texas is a two day festival in Dallas, TX, on 4/26 & 4/27. Admission is free!
- NASA: Free Family Activities in Washington D.C 4/20- 4/22
- New Orleans: Celebrate Earth Day 2014 at Louis Armstrong Park on Saturday, April 19th, 10 am to 7:30 pm!
- Northwest Indiana: Free Family Fun day 9th annual Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 19, at the Porter County Expo Center, 215 E. Division Rd., Valparaiso.
- Pleasanton, CA: Free Community E-Waste Event for Earth Day. Residents can drop their items on April 18 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and on April 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- San Louis Obispo, CA: Sunday, 4/27 – 10 am to 5 pm, 24th annual Earth Day Fair & Music Festival. Free bus rides from SLO City Transit Center, carpool with your family and friends, or bicycle to El Chorro Regional Park and SLO Botanical Gardens for a day of discovery, exploration, inspiration and fun for all ages. Admission is free.
- Santa Barbara, CA: Earth Day Festival 2014 April 26-27, Alameda Park
- South Louisiana: 6th Annual Earth Day South LA
- Takoma Park, MD: 2014 Takoma Park Earth Day event Sunday, 4/27, from 10 am – 4 pm
- Washington, D.C.: Earth Day 2014 at Union Station, free admission. activities, entertainment, discussion panels, contests, games, giveaways and more, with a full day of special events and entertainment on Earth Day 4/22
- York, PA: Free tire disposal thru Earth Day 2014
Let us know if we missed any!