Earth Day 2013 gets its own Google Doodle today, an honor that kicks off a day dedicated to reminding us to tread gently on this planet that we all share.
The Earth Day 2013 Google Doodle unveils a scenic mountain meadow, with a babbling brook and a lake that's home to a school of fish. Click around and you'll see more: fireflies, a bear emerging out of a cave, a -- what is that? a badger? -- as well as ants, and dandelions you can "blow out." The passing of the seasons provides a backdrop, all under the watchful, alternating eyes of the sun and the moon.
Google also posted this handy, dandy "sightseeing checklist" so you don't miss a single element of what is considered one of the most ambitious Google Doodles yet.
But the Earth Day 2013 Google Doodle isn't exactly surprising.
The doodle is known for celebrating unexpected benchmarks -- who would have predicted Nicolaus Copernicus' 540th birthday? But Google has reliably marked Earth Day in recent years. Here are the Earth Day Google Doodles for 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 ...
This year's Earth Day doodle has a serious side as well.
It underscores one of the Earth's most precious natural resources, and one that we in the United States may take for granted: fresh, clean, safe water.
According to UNICEF, nearly 4,000 children die each day due to unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation standards. Moreover, 783 million people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water.
The Earth Day 2013 Google Doodle captures the water cycle, documenting the ties among snow-capped mountains, icy lakes, evaporation and rain, and groundwater.
If you're wondering what you can do this Earth Day to save the planet, here are some suggestions from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Among them: Don't waste water and other resources, use human powered modes of transportation (instead of your car), or plant a tree.
But we here at the Daily Dish especially love this suggestion: Buy locally. That helps offset pollution caused by the transportation of products, including food, the EPA says.
To that end, here's an L.A. Times Food map that will help you find your local farmers market. And in case you are wondering "Uh, how do I know what's in season? What do I do with it once I get it home?" Don't worry, we've got you covered.
Here's Los Angeles Times Food Editor Russ Parsons' guide to figuring out what produce is hitting its peak each month. His guide also includes quick and easy recipe suggestions.
You might also want to check out our weekly farmers market column by David Karp, who gives you the inside scoop on what specialties are arriving fresh. He also introduces you to the farmers putting that fresh food on your plate.
Happy Earth Day, everyone! How are you planning to celebrate?
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