Friday, February 24, 2012

Celebrating Earth Day at Your Store

Dear Booksellers,

It’s almost here—that special time for honoring the Earth’s rich bounty.

Earth Day officially takes place April 22, although many schools, businesses, and communities celebrate all week long. We invited Clea Danann, author of Sacred Land, to talk about how to bring the spirit of Earth Day to your store.

Bring Earth Day Alive
Clea Danaan

In today’s world of gadgets, customers expect hands-on experiences. Invite interaction with these magical, dynamic Earth Day displays.

These ideas can be adapted to your store and your interests and time. Have time for a big Earth Day celebration? Go all out, offering classes and transforming your whole store into a magical garden (I can just see it!). Or if it suits you better to be subtle and quick, just tuck a few of these ideas into the corners as they fit.

Craft an Indoor Garden

Set up a well-lit corner of your store with an indoor garden. Buy inexpensive planter boxes or pots from a local garden shop, fill with potting soil, and plant pansies, herbs, or lettuces. You may want to protect the floor with plastic sheeting or oilcloth.

Keep the soil moist, and pick off any browning flowers or leaves to keep the display fresh. Decorate your planters with crystals, glass balls (put them at the back out of reach of little hands), or figurines of fairies or animals. Next to the garden, put up a chalkboard or bulletin board with I Spy questions: Can you find the blue frog? The pink fairy? The toadstool?

Simply adding a few potted plants to a book display would also work well as an indoor garden.

For your Earth Day celebration, invite customers to plant a seed. Fill a large, accessible planter with fresh soil. Next to the planter, provide a dish of radish, marigold or chia seeds, purchased in bulk. Customers can plant a seed, offering a prayer for the Earth as they press it into the soil. Instead of one big planter, you might offer little pots made out of newspaper. (Here are instruction and a video for making newspaper pots.) You could also re-purpose yogurt cups or buy tiny peat pots in bulk.

Invite the Fairies

Fairies are guardians of the land; every Earth Day celebration should include a few fairies. If you have planter boxes in front of your store, encourage fairies to visit. Plant pansies, violets, or miniature roses—all favorites of the fair folk.

Wind chimes and sun catchers also draw curious Little People. Tiny furniture crafted by hand or from a garden catalog also encourages them to take up residence. For a unique and lighthearted workshop, offer an Earth Day class on making fairy furniture or fairy gardens.

To make a fairy garden, fill a re-used plastic container with soil. Plant grass seed or Johnny jump up flowers. Add a fairy figure, little frogs, and crystals. Fairy garden kits can also be purchased from toy and craft stores and would make another fun craft class. Or just make your own for the front counter or near a display of books on fairies.

Start a Worm Bin

Worm bins turn newspaper and leftover lunch scraps into garden fertilizer. Unlike regular compost, you can keep a worm bin in an apartment or store, tucked onto a shelf or under a table. They are also easy to make. (Here are instructions for making your own worm bin.)

Include a worm bin in your Earth Day book display. Use the vermicompost in your store garden or planters, or offer it to customers who appreciate the immense benefits of compost. You could also offer a class on making worm bins.

Heal the Waters

An interactive display that takes up very little space can help heal the planet’s water. Fill a glass jar with water and set it on the front counter where everyone will see it. With a little sign, invite people to send “love and gratitude” into the water, seeing that healing intention spread to the planet’s water. People can hold or touch the jar, sending positive intention to the planet.


Clea Danaan (Colorado) has been gardening organically for over fifteen years. She is the author of Sacred Land and Voices of the Earth. Her articles on gardening and environmental activism have appeared in Sage Woman and Organic Family. Visit her website.

Clea Danaan on her favorite bookstore:
“I love Elliott Bay Books in Seattle for the creaky floors and old wooden beams.”

Let us know how you’re planning to celebrate Earth Day this year!

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