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I’ve carried awareness about protecting the earth, the environment and wildlife from early childhood. However, a remarkable thing happened after I took responsibility for my own health. As my health improved, I naturally focused outward on the health of others. And going farther, my desire for a healthier planet increased as well.
Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, an annual event celebrated world wide on April 22, that supports environmental protection. With the stay home orders and sheltering in place, many Earth Day celebrations cancelled this year.
Here instead are Earth Day activities to to practice at home, not just today but every day. Let’s make every single day about protecting the earth and protecting our futures.
The First Earth Day
Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin launched the first Earth Day April 22, 1970. Growing concerns about the environment, spurred by the alarming impact of pesticides, inspired 20 million Americans to participate in rallies and clean up campaigns across the US.
That first Earth Day birthed the environmental movement. Today Earth Day is celebrated each year by an estimated 1 billion people around the world.
Earth Day Activities to Practice at Home Every Day
Although this year we can’t gather in parks to pick up litter or ride our bicycles together to work, we can still take part in activities that benefit the earth. And because we are at a critical point, in protecting the earth and our resources, I encourage others to practice the following activities daily. Let’s make every day, earth day. Let’s teach ourselves and our children how to lessen our impact on the earth.
Try any of these simple activities.
Set up boxes or bins to collect items for recycling, rather than throwing them in the trash. Glass, paper, cardboard, metal containers and plastics are all recyclable. Many cities have a curbside recycling program or at least have a recycling center for dropping items off. Benefits of recycling include less trash going into landfills, less pollution, the conservation of natural resources and energy savings.
While recycling is a wonderful start, repurposing and reusing existing materials is an even more effective way to save energy. Before tossing an item, consider how it might function in a different way. Can it be repaired? Is there another purpose for this item? Get creative. Repurposing is one of my favorite things to do. I love finding new ways to use items, from decorating with them to using them in the garden to fulfilling a practical need with them.
If you can’t find a use for an item, consider donating it to someone who can.
Limit Plastic Use
This is an area I’ve focused on the past year. One use plastics that are then tossed are overrunning the earth. They are affecting marine life, clogging waterways and beaches and impacting our health.
Stop using plastic straws. At restaurants I simply return them to the server or lay the paper covered straw aside. At home, drink from glass or metal water bottles, rather than plastic bottles. Use glass storage containers in the kitchen rather than plastic baggies. Shop with reusable bags, and yes, right now disinfect those bags when you return home.
Read this post, for more simple ways to reduce plastic use.
Eat More Fruits and Veggies
One of the greatest negative impacts on the planet comes from livestock farming. It contributes to land and water degradation, biodiversity loss and deforestation. And livestock farming contributes 18% of human produced greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, causing climate change.
Plan more meals around a plant based diet. Have meatless Mondays, eat meatless two or three days a week or eat fruits and veggies only every day until dinner time.
Create a Garden
Even if you can’t participate in tree planting ceremonies this year, you can still contribute by planting at home. Create a veggie garden, plant a flower bed, plant a tree, shrub or bush. Tuck herbs into the ground for culinary and medicinal uses. Creating a garden draws butterflies, bees, birds and small wildlife to your yard, making it a sanctuary for many.
Check out this post on creating a bee and butterfly garden.
Build Houses for Those Visitors
Have fun building bird houses, bug hotels, frog hideouts and spider havens for the critters drawn to your yard. Try this one board bird house. Turn clay flower pots upside down and scatter throughout your garden for spiders to inhabit. Trust me, they are good for your garden. Dig out a shallow hole and cover with a rock, leaving an entrance for frogs and toads to find. And make your own bug hotel by watching this video.
Shop Sustainable Brands
If you want to get serious about making a difference for the planet, begin shopping sustainable brands. No matter the category, there are amazing companies creating change.
In the US alone, we send 21 billion pounds of clothing waste to landfills EVERY year. Exciting changes are taking place in the fashion industry. Check out these 26 sustainable fashion brands.
Reduce Energy Use
Check out this graphic, for easy ways to cut energy costs at home.
Pick Up Litter
Pick up litter in your yard, the alley way, the vacant lot next door. Text your neighbors and encourage a block wide pick up litter party. If you walk at a park or through your neighborhood, while practicing social distancing, pick up litter along the way.
Create a Compost Box
Rather than tossing vegetable scraps, paper, cardboard and fruit peels, compost them. You can create an elaborate composting system or use a simple box. Freeze most vegetable scraps to create DIY vegetable broth. Save potato skins, banana and orange peels, tea leaves, leftover food that’s gone bad, shredded paper and other food scraps in large container that is emptied daily into the compost bin outside.
Add leaves, wood chips, grass clippings, dead plants and deadheaded flowers to the compost too. In time, the result is rich soil for your garden.
Other Earth Day Activities to Practice at Home
Try these ideas as well:
- watch Our Planet on Netflix
- do a nature scavenger hunt in your yard
- share posts about the environment or ecological tips on social media
- enjoy virtual tours of national parks, botanical gardens, aquariums and museums
- learn to identify trees, flowers, birds and animals
- sponsor or “adopt” a wild animal in a refuge
- stargaze at night
- take nature photos, in your yard or neighborhood
- do science experiments with the kids
- draw and color pictures of plants and flowers, animals and marine life
- learn new skills such as gardening, sewing, making rag rugs, DIY cleaners, etc.
- make a terrarium
- grow a salad garden
For Earth’s future, our future and the well being of future generations, please take action. Visit the Earth Day organization HERE, for many, many ideas on how you can make a difference on this planet.
And consider signing this Pledge, located at Wild Earth Guardians. I did. And I made a financial contribution.
“If Earth and its natural systems are to thrive in the next 50 years we need a deep recommitment to the bold vision that inspired the first Earth Day. It is a time for action. It is time to reweave the threads of the environmental, public health, and economic safety nets, which ensure that the public welfare and the common good are each protected.” Wild Earth Guardians
I’m a guardian, of Earth, of the environment, of wildlife, of human life. My health is connected to the health of the planet. I’m still learning and growing on my healing journey. Please learn and grow with me. And share with me what you are doing to protect this place we call home.
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