In recent years, Earth Day has meant much more than it has. Since climate change became a household term and has gained global recognition as a legitimate and serious problem that demands attention, more and more people are shifting their sights to days such as this, where the general public can participate in their own way. By definition, Earth Day was created as a way to raise awareness about environmental issues. It was first celebrated in 1970 and has only gained attention since then, with more and more ways people can contribute as a community or as an individual.
The past year didn't lend itself well to celebrating much of anything, including days that are devoted to the environment, with so many days spent at home for safety's sake. This year, the outlook is completely different, with many people embracing all the nature that exists around them. The past year also changed the way many people view the world, as less traffic and human footprints left the world in a slighter cleaner, fresher state than it was prior to so many lockdowns. This year, Earth Day is just as much a symbol of hope as it is one of redemption and the promise to do better, and this is how.
Commit To Recycling Or Composting
Taking a dramatic (and positive) step forward comes in the form of embracing recycling or composting, which seems like a small action that can have a ripple effect. Recycling is much more than simply separating plastic bottles and aluminum cans from the rest of the trash, though. Full recycling also includes separating paper products, being educated on how things get sorted, and where to take items that can't be recycled, as well as getting familiar with the local recycling center to see how you can make more of a difference on a local level.
Additionally, composting can be fun! This is a great project to get the kids in on but it does take a bit of an educational process (we've got a good rough guide here) but it's worth it. It feels good to take scraps that would otherwise make the garbage smell, not to mention heavy, and turn them into something useful. The process is educational for everyone and it's a great base for a simple biology lesson.
Spend At Least One Hour Watching A Nature Documentary
Netflix is full of them but there are plenty of good options online. For adults and kids alike, Blue Planet or Planet Earth are great ways to watch exciting footage while also learning about the world around us.
Or, you could pick a particular subject of interest, such as ocean pollution or deforestation, and watch documentaries on the harmful effects it has - then follow it up with ways that we can help from home. Anything on the rainforests or oceans is always fascinating.
Plan A Hike Or Botanical Outing
The best way to get to know the world around us is by simply being in it. Hiking is the perfect way to get some one-on-one time with Mother Nature and all she has to offer and will give you insight into nature right in your own backyard. Plus, fresh air is good for everyone!
Observe all of the things you never had the time to observe before, such as every sound from babbling brooks, to birds singing, and even critters as they scamper around you. The world is so alive when we reverse the brakes and make ourselves still enough to listen, rather than being the ones in constant motion. Listen and appreciate it for all it is.
Donate To An Environmental Charity Or Shop Eco-Friendly Brands
The easiest thing one can do for Earth Day is to support eco-friendly shops, products, or donate to the cause. Something as small as a few dollars helps and if you'd rather get something for your money, consider purchasing from a sustainable brand or one that recycles materials.
There are so many options out there nowadays and many companies are getting creative with what they offer and how they do it. If nothing else, share them on social media!
Plant A Garden Or Invest In Indoor Plants
Earth Day (April 22nd, 2021) is the perfect time to start considering a garden or some type of plant.
Indoor plants can be purchased and care for year-round, obviously, but the end of April/beginning of May is usually the perfect time to start getting ready to dig and plant that garden. Do some research, visit your local nursery, and do some serious dirt-digging... in your yard, that is!