April 22nd has been known as Earth Day since 1970, when people across the world partake in activities to do something good for our beautiful blue planet. What started as a movement of environmental awareness in 1970 has resulted in policy changes that led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as imperative environmental laws being passed. The Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act were all instated as a result of Earth Day’s impact!
According to the Earth Day Network, over one billion people participate in Earth Day festivities each year in 192 countries – that’s a lot of hands!
Now, the focus of Earth Day is to spread conservation awareness, protest against climate change and global warming, and encourage every single person to do something, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant, for the good of our Earth.
So, what can I do for Earth Day?
There are a number of activities you can do on your own, or encourage your family and friends to get involved in, to give nature a bit of a helping hand.
Get Your Hands Dirty
Mud is good for the skin, and plants are great for the earth, so try your hand at planting something for Earth Day. Whether it’s a plant that will help clean your own home’s air (bonus) or a supporting flower for bees and other beneficial insects, there are many plants that you can plant on your own using very simple materials.
Not sure which is best for you? Check out a list of great plants to plant right here!
Thinking of planting a tree for Earth Day? Fantastic. Specific trees not only look great, provide shade (and sometimes fruit), they also help decrease a city’s temperature and can act as a filter for polluted air. Again, it’s not just any tree that will give nature a breather, so check out the list of trees you should plant on Earth Day here.
Volunteer Your Time
Earth Day falls on a Friday, and many of us have to work. This shouldn’t stop us from doing something proactive over the weekend! If you simply Google “volunteer organisations near me”, you’re guaranteed to find a cause that is looking your help! Whether you go and fish some plastic from a water source close-by, or walk a few dogs at a shelter, these are all acts of kindness that will make an impact.
You’re also going to get yourself a powerful serotonin high from doing good – so it really will be an act that will benefit everyone involved.
Start a New Habit
Of course, loads of people taking actions on a day in the year is wonderful, but imagine if all those same people did something small every day that helped in the smallest way. Instead of throwing out your veggie peels and eggshells, why not look into composting to use later to grow more plants? Keep a reusable bag next to where you put your keys so that you can say ‘no’ to the plastic bag at the store. Make active hour for your family where you all get out together in the fresh air to enjoy nature, even if it’s just to take the dog for a walk. Encouraging a love for our planet in our children is a great way to ensure these helpful habits live on.
Support Local Produce
Not only does supporting your local farmer’s market give your community a boost, it is also typically much healthier and better for the planet to support those who grow on smaller holdings. Grocery store produce needs to be grown quickly, in bulk, using many unnatural, and oftentimes harmful, means to get to the shelf you’re plucking them off of. By supporting local, you’re encouraging a more sustainable way of growing produce, and you’re also eliminating a lot of the harmful factors that are associated with grocery store bulk produce.
Go Digital All the Way!
100-million trees are cut down annually to produce those glossy tabloids and fashion magazines that dwell in the waiting room (or at least they used to before COVID). All these printed magazines are still available to take home, but… if we can save trees by getting a digital subscription that we can read on our phones while we’re on the loo or the bus, why not? Same information, much less damage. Most of your favourite magazines will have online versions – find them, and save the trees!
We can all do our bit. It doesn’t mean feeling guilty about every piece of plastic we have in our home, or enjoying a meaty meal with a side of guilt – if we do one small thing daily to be better for our home, we’re already on the right track.
Happy Earth Day, Earthlings – let us know what you’re going to be up to!