5 simple ways to celebrate Earth Day
April 22 is Earth Day, an annual opportunity to celebrate the natural world and get involved in short- and long-term efforts to protect the environment. Here are five ways to celebrate.
1. Volunteer. Many neighborhoods and communities around the country host volunteer clean-ups to honor Earth Day. Find one in your area or organize your own: gather some friends, some sturdy garbage bags and pairs of work gloves, and head out to a park or the shore of a local waterway for a clean-up.
2. Get outside and enjoy nature. Celebrate the beauty of the planet by getting outdoors. Whether you’re taking hike, riding a bike, taking a jog, kayaking, or just going on a walk. It’s good for your body, and your mind.
3. Plant a tree. Trees provide shade and food for people and a habitat for birds and other wildlife. What’s more, they produce oxygen for people to inhale, as well as sequester CO2. Trees also reduce polluting runoff by intercepting water. In short, we need trees! Celebrate Earth Day by planting one. Each year, you can watch it mature and grow.
4. Reduce waste. The land and ocean have become saturated with plastics and other trash. Get into the habit of reducing waste by recycling and reusing items as much as possible. Take a look at the footprint you create with your plastic consumption and find ways to improve your habits. Bring a reusable bag to the grocery store. Buying a drink? Don’t use a straw. Getting takeout? Ask the restaurant to hold the plastic silverware.
5. Make smart swaps. Outdated items such as batteries, and light bulbs often contain harmful elements that can hurt the environment. Take a walk through your home and swap out items containing hazardous materials, looking to switch to rechargeable or hybrid alternatives. Disposing of these items can also be tricky. Consider saving batteries to deliver to a hazardous waste clean-up day rather than dumping them in the trash. Consider swapping out old incandescent light bulbs for compact florescent, or better yet, LED bulbs, which last longer and don’t use quite as much energy.
Bonus tip: Get your veggies. Pick one day each week to eat a plant-based meal and skip the meat. You’ll be doing the planet a whole lot of good, as the production of meat and animal-based products requires far more water and land use than the production of plant-based foods do. Consider also being more mindful about food waste in your own household, buying only what you need.
This Earth Day, celebrate a healthy planet with environmental stewardship at-home and in your community.
Photo: Street Protest TV | commons.wikimedia.org