Founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson and originally organized in 1970 to promote respect for life on Earth, to support awareness of ecological needs and water, air and soil pollution, Earth Day has been and is celebrated in a variety of ways. For example, planting trees, picking up misplaced garbage, emphasizing the importance of recycling, conservation and more are often part of the celebration.
Likewise, earth-friendly services or performances as well as focused communications—including the Internet, TV shows, radio shows and other means—are also common. Rallies and petitions to our government for further environmental awareness can be a part as well. You will also often see people and events clad in “earth colors” such as green, brown or blue to show support for Earth Day. Here are some ideas for joining in on the celebration:
Plant a tree—or trees. Since Earth Day is close to when our country celebrates Arbor Day, tree planting is a great way to show your appreciation for our planet. By planting a tree, you not only show your outward support for nurturing our earth, but it also helps to reduce greenhouse emissions, protect soil against erosion, while supporting biodiversity and making for a cleaner environment by clearing pollution. Of course, you’ll want to select a tree that will thrive in your neck of the woods’ climate, so be sure to choose accordingly.
Learn—and share/educate—about our environment. Earth Day provides a ripe opportunity to learn more about environmental issues that tax the earth. In everything from water shortages and the benefits of recycling to the topics of climate change, endangered species and pollution, you can learn and share a lot. Check out resources online or at your public library and then share your information by joining a group that actively advocates and works for the environment, or by offering a seminar or neighborhood learning station or Earth Day fair about your and others’ findings. Some schools or universities may want to participate, so why not ask them?
Engage the Earth-friendly three Rs—reduce, reuse and recycle. For starters, reduce what you buy and use, particularly when it comes to disposables such as plastics and more. For instance, bring your own cloth bags for shopping; carry your own reusable drink containers; and avoid any disposable plates, cutlery and more. Along those lines, recycle what you do use and find other uses for what you don’t use or give those items to someone who can use them. You might be surprised at how many people could use what you no longer utilize. Have a garage sale or a clothing swap with your friends, neighbors or co-workers.
Give garbage the boot. Typically, you don’t have to look far to find litter along our roadways, parks or other areas. Join forces with some neighbors, friends or co-workers and pick up the trash on Earth Day—and then pledge to do so each weekend or even each day. A cleaner Earth is a healthier Earth, and you can know that you’ve had a part in making it that way.
Buy local; and make eco-friendly cleaning products. When it comes to shopping for your food, try to buy local—and organic—and try incorporating meals including veggies and beans, since they typically take fewer resources to grow. You can also make your own cleaning products that are friendlier to our earth. For instance, vinegar and water is simple to make and effective at cleaning many surfaces.
So, be sure to celebrate Earth Day—on the actual date and every day—because every day is truly a day to take care of our earth!