MAKE EVERYDAY EARTH DAY
This year’s Earth Day is on Thursday April 22, and it takes on a new significance after we experienced wildfires, extreme heat, and hurricanes in 2020. Incorporating one new activity that becomes a habit can make a lasting impact on the environment. Here are 20 activities you can do to celebrate Earth Day and everyday:
1. Calculate Your Carbon Footprint
Calculating your carbon footprint will help you understand how much greenhouse gas you are producing and start to identify ways to reduce it to combat the climate crisis. Knowing your carbon footprint gives you a baseline to create a goal to take action. Here is a helpful carbon foot calculator.
2. Zero Waste Challenge
Zero waste is the goal to change your lifestyle and practices to produce less waste and eliminate the need for single use materials. Challenge yourself to log how much packaging and food waste you accumulate in a day, a week or a month and see how you can adjust your habits accordingly. Here are some steps you can take to achieve zero waste.
3. Vegetarian Challenge
Meat production contributes to 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Incorporating one day of plant based meals or adopting a plant based diet will cut down on the greenhouse gas emissions. Check out some of these plant based recipes for inspiration.
4. Plastic Audit
Plastic pollution continues to be a major environmental issue. Reducing the amount of plastic you use can reduce its chance of ending up in landfills, littering natural areas and harming humans and marine wildlife. This video has some fun and easy swaps you can make to reduce your plastic usage.
5. Plant a Tree
Deforestation contributes to 10 percent of emissions in the world. Trees produce oxygen and trap carbon dioxide. If left unchecked, carbon dioxide builds up in the atmosphere causing global warming. Reforestation slows this down, cleans the air and prevents environmental degradation. Consider planting a tree in the backyard or public garden or donate to causes such as the Canopy Project which does reforestation work.
6. Unsubscribe to Catalogs
Trees are constantly cut down to create paper products including catalogs and junk mail that typically gets thrown away. Sign up for an opt-out service like catalogchoice.org to help you cancel catalogs and other paper mail you no longer wish to receive.
7. Spend Time Outside
Because everyone was isolated at home, 2020 reminded people of the joys of being outdoors through socially distant walks and park outings. Continue to take advantage of the beautiful outdoors! Explore local, state and national parks or hang out on the grass doing your favorite activities. Show some love for the beautiful place we call home.
8. Create a Hanging Garden
You can reuse items that you no longer need for DIY arts and crafts. Follow this tutorial to turn an old bottle into a planter for a hanging garden.
9. Create Floral Wind Chimes
Another craft you can try with friends or family is floral wind chimes. While spending time outside, you can gather sticks and flowers, attach them to wax paper, mason jar rings and string and hang them outside.
10. Create a Bird Feeder
Bird populations have decreased due to the loss of habitat and natural food sources. You can support wild bird populations by creating a pretty habitat in your backyard. Birds both act as pollinators and natural pest control and can teach kids how to care for the environment. Learn how to make a bird feeder from this tutorial.
11. Create a Terrarium
Terrariums are a low maintenance way to bring outdoor gardens into your home. They are easy to care for and can survive for a long time, even for people who are new to caring for plants. Follow this tutorial to turn an empty Coca-Cola bottle into a terrarium.
12. Create a Self-Watering Planter
Taking care of plants can be a lot of responsibility and improper watering is often the reason for plants dying. Self-watering planters are great solutions for maintaining indoor plants to create even moisture levels and prevent fungal disease. You can make your own self-watering plant using this video.
13. Create Magazine Art
If you have a lot of magazines cluttering your home, there are a variety of things you can do besides recycling them. Magazine art is a great, creative way to reuse old magazines that you finished reading. Try this tutorial to design beautiful magazine art.
14. Walk or Bike to Your Destination
Walking and biking have environmental benefits over driving. With fewer cars on the road, greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants are reduced. Additionally, both are great forms of exercise to increase your energy and reduce the risk of heart disease and depression. Consider leaving your car at home if you’re going somewhere that’s within walking or biking distance.
15. Plant a Garden
Growing a garden can save you money when buying produce and attract pollinators like bees and butterflies which are vital for a healthy environment. Start small by planting herbs or vegetables that are easy to grow for beginners.
16. Buy Reusable Bags
Americans use about 100 billion plastic bags a year. They are not biodegradable, clog up landfills, and harm marine life. Buy a reusable shopping bag or plain canvas tote to decorate yourself. Then keep it handy for your next shopping trip.
17. Fix Leaky Faucets
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, dripping faucets can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. Assess all of the areas in your home where water is dispensed and tighten the leaky places to prevent waste.
18. Purchase Produce from a Farmer’s Market
Buying food from a farmer’s market is a great way to support the environment and local businesses. The food you get from the grocery store generally travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your home. A local farmer’s market produces less pollution, uses less resources, and needs less packaging because food travels a shorter distance. Farmer’s market produce is also grown using methods that have lower impact on the environment than commercial agriculture. Support your local farmer’s market or sign up for a community supported agriculture (CSA) box to receive local produce delivered directly to your door.
19. Volunteer with Organizations
If you are passionate about environmental causes, get involved with organizations that are doing the work. Volunteer with nonprofits like the Sunrise Movement, Friends of the Urban Forest or us to help educate people about the environment and further causes to fight climate change.
20. Challenge Your Friends or Coworkers
It’s easier to commit to new habits when you do it with others. Challenge your friends, family or coworkers into incorporating Earth Day activities for a certain period of time. It keeps you accountable and everyone does their part to protect the planet.
After trying some of these activities, see which ones you can incorporate into new habits. Make taking care of the environment a regular part of your life.
Thank you to our volunteer Kimaya for curating our list of Earth Day activities!
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