We have holidays devoted to everything from honoring our past presidents to consumption (you know that little holiday called Black Friday), so it only seems appropriate that Planet Earth should get one too. On April 22nd every year, Earth Day is celebrated globally. According to Wikipedia, “Earth Day is an annual event…on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 193 countries each year.” So how can you show your support? Here are 12 ways to celebrate Earth Day!
Keep your car in the garage. This Earth Day give your car the day off. Plan to find a more eco friendly mode of transportation to get where you need to be. If you are able to then plan to walk, ride your bike, take the bus or train, roller blade, or skateboard to your destination! Even carpooling helps to keep the pollution to a minimum.
Volunteer! Put effort into making the world a better place and helping the environment by volunteering your time to local or national organizations. There are usually local activities going on as well so find out how you can help. Helping others and our earth also makes you feel good which can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Cut down on paper. Save millions of trees a year by switching all of your bills to e-bills and online invoices. This also helps to de-clutter your living space so you can keep a calm balance in your home environment.
Educate yourself. Get to know more about what you can do to protect the environment. Take a walk to the library, do an online search, and/or talk to local organizations to better inform yourself. You will then be able to use that knowledge and share it with others. That, in the long run, can make a big difference.
Recycle. If you already have this practice in place, start looking into what you have in order to expand what you’re recycling. The EPA and other agencies suggest that electronic waste (aka e-waste) is the fastest growing waste stream in the world. Take all your old electronic gadgets or appliances that are gathering dust and find out where to properly recycle them. Use this EPA tool to locate a responsible e-waste recycler in your area, and let your neighbors know that you'll be happy to take their stuff in with yours.
Plant a tree. Trees are a big part of our earth that is rapidly declining due to housing and construction. This is taking away much needed oxygen from our atmosphere that is needed for our inhabitants to breathe as well as keep a thriving ecosystem. Planting just one tree will add to the health and wellness of the world that we live in.
Go to a local event. A lot of communities will have an “Earth Day fair” or other event that your family can learn from and enjoy together.
Get a reusable cup! There are plenty of alternatives to bottled water out there. Besides saving a lot of plastic that would, otherwise, be filling up landfills and dumps, you’ll be saving money!
Consider making your yard a wildlife refuge or an oasis for birds and other creatures. On Earth Day you can start your plans to put in a pond, bird feeder, install birdhouses, put in a birdbath, and more. As we have mentioned in other blogs, using your pond as a natural wildlife refuge brings animals right to your backyard. All types of animals gravitate towards water and depending on your location, you can see wild birds, raccoons, turtles, frogs, butterflies, and dragonflies as well as all the underwater life. These critters will call the pond home, making it an interesting and enjoyable environment for family and friends. Observing these animals can also be a great way to decompress after a long day.
Consider putting together your own garden in your yard. This can help kids learn about the environment and start to fall in love with nature while also being a lot of fun. Planting food is a cost effective and eco friendly way to celebrate our planet every day. This Earth Day, make a goal to plant one thing that can be eaten by your family. Maybe it's just a few basil plants, or maybe it's an entire garden. Put it on your windowsill, your fire escape, or your kitchen wall.
Make your voice heard. If you are concerned about legislation at the state or national level when it comes to the environment then contact your government officials. Write an email or letter to your representative, senator, or any appropriate government agency that you can to talk to about your environmental concerns and/or who can create policies.
Get outside! Earth Day is about enjoying and taking care of the planet so do something that gets you in touch with nature and that helps to remind you exactly why it’s important to put so much time, effort, and energy into preserving it. Earth is an amazing, beautiful place to explore. Go on a hike, hang out by your pond, take a nature walk with your kids, make a picnic in the park, or play a game of kickball with your friends. Remember how great it feels to breathe in fresh air and feel the breeze and warm sun on your face!
These are just a few suggestions on how to celebrate on Earth Day. All of these however can be implemented into your daily routine to help the planet every day of the year.