Solar Trumps Recycling: Searches on Yahoo! Indicate Green Living, Organic Trends & Freebies Define Earth Day 2011

Did you know the average American household spends roughly $1,900 annually on energy and creates more than 26,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year? That’s how much the damage is, according to Yahoo! Green. These high numbers and online searches this month on Yahoo! signal a need to revisit how the basic guidelines of –reduce, reuse and recycle—can, when combined with alternative energy sources, help in our fight to preserve planet Earth for generations to come.

This Earth Day, online searches suggest the three R’s are taking a back seat to more revolutionary technology as searches this month on Yahoo! Green for “recycling” are down 56% and 93% compared to the same period in 2010 and 2009, respectively. And it seems the recent nuclear crisis in Japan has caused consumers to look into safer alternative energy sources, as searches on Yahoo! Green this month are up 208% for “solar energy” and up 1,307% for “wind power.” Interestingly, more men are showing more interest, as 3-out-of-5 searches this month for both “wind power” and “solar energy are by males, especially in Illinois, Ohio, Texas and New Jersey.

Searches on Yahoo! this year for “organic food” have decreased 44% when compared to the same time period in 2010, but there is an upswing this month as searches spike 8%. Organic foods seem to have become more mainstream as 44% of searches for them this month are by consumers with an average income of $25K and below. Additionally, it’s not just women who are interested, as 1-out-of-3 “organic foods” searches are by males.

Alternative energy and green living aren’t the only hot topics as retailers give away products and coupons this April 22nd. Yahoo! Green has a list of the top Green related freebies to help you celebrate Earth Day, some of which include:

  • A free brewed coffee or tea when you bring in a reusable mug on April 22 at participating Starbucks stores
  • A free full-size face cleanser from Origins when you bring one of your empty skin-care bottles to their trade-in program on Earth Day
  • A free organic milkshake from Evos on Earth Day. The healthy-fast food chain has locations in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina
  • A free reusable shopping bag from the Disney Store when you trade in five disposable plastic bags for recycling
  • Free admission into all 394 U.S. national parks now through Sunday, April 24.
  • A 60% discount on green and natural products at drugstore.com through April 22.
  • Discounts on eco-friendly kids’ books from Barnes & Noble.
  • A discount of up to 40% on Green Hotels on Travelocity.

Of course, your green deeds shouldn’t just be limited to Earth Day. To help find ways to make your world and the world a safer and more sustainable to live in, check out Yahoo! Green, and don’t forget to become a part of our community on Facebook and Twitter!