It’s that time of year again.
The time of year when the weather is nicer and people want to be outside to get fresh air and forget about the cold and snow.
Whether it’s starting to plan the annual garden, or just going on a casual hike or bike ride, there’s nothing better than enjoying Mother Nature.
That’s why it’s a good time to focus on Earth Day.
Every year, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd.
What is Earth Day?
Founded in 1970, Earth Day is an annual event that encourages people around the world to celebrate the planet while focusing on how we can become more environmentally friendly.
There are countless activities that promote community interaction, including planting trees, volunteering for green projects and cleaning up the community, to name a few.
The first celebration included 20 million Americans and is credited with “launching the modern environmental movement.”
Now, almost 50 years later, one billion people across the globe are involved with Earth Day each year. It has become the largest civic observance in the world.
“Earth Day began in the US in 1970 as a day to celebrate the planet and encourage people to be more environmentally friendly. It is now an annual event and is widely regarded as the beginning of the modern environmental movement.”
What can I do?
There are many activities that we can all participate in to help make our planet a better place.
Learn: Before it’s time to celebrate Earth Day, do some research to really understand the environment and how you can protect it.
There are countless articles on climate change, clean water initiatives, energy conservation, etc.
Also, you can go here to find more information on Earth Day and what you can do to help.
Further, there are many helpful resources on important topics such as different community campaigns, endangered species and green schools and cities.
Get outside: Take a hike. Ride a bike. Go for a walk. Go kayaking.
This is a perfect day to be outdoors and relish in the many wonders that Earth has to offer.
Whether you just want to soak up the sun or feel the fresh air, make sure to spend a few hours away from your home.
Clean up: Many towns participate in clean up events on or around Earth Day each year. The Town of Brooklyn and The Last Green Valley are sponsoring an Earth Day event on April 29, 2017. Please join the community and participate in this important event.
The State of Connecticut has a link to some area towns that are celebrating Earth Day here.
Not local to New England but an important concept related to Earth Day is an ongoing project on the waterfront of Baltimore, MD. It is called the Trash Wheel Project. Since May 9, 2014, Mr. Trash Wheel has removed 1,094,340 lb of garbage and debris from the Jones Falls River.
Plant Trees: One of the most important and popular Earth Day activities is planting a tree.
Besides making an area look better, planting trees are extremely vital to the environment.
They help clean the air by filtering out pollutants and also help produce oxygen.
Also, trees help provide homes for many animals including birds and insects. If you can’t plant a tree in your own yard, volunteer to plant one in your local community!
Use less water: Most of us probably don’t realize how much water we use on a daily basis.
Whether it’s leaving the water on while we brush our teeth or wash our hands, washing dishes, or the long showers that we take, we can all be more efficient with our water use.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: According to the EPA, Americans consume about 50 billion bottles of water per year. Further, it is estimated that 17 million barrels of oil are required to produce those same water bottles.
Many of these bottles end up in landfills and oceans which harms both our wildlife and our environment. Check out this list of reusable, eco-friendly water bottles.
Include the family: Earth Day isn’t just about being involved. It’s about educating our youth and making it fun! There are many activities that include the entire family:
- Take a nature walk: Bring a bird or insect book. Draw what you see!
- Virtually adopt an animal: Your child will be able to look at pictures and read information on their new “pet.”
- Donate: Have your kids pick out what they don’t need any more and donate them to someone in need instead of throwing them away.
While it is important to discuss what Earth Day is all about and how it was created, planning what we can all do to contribute, we do want to stress that every day should be Earth Day. It takes more than just one day out of the year to make a lasting impact on the environment.
Being environmentally responsible as a community one day of the year is great but being responsible for your environment all year is even better. Holding ourselves accountable and doing our part to make the world a better place should be done 365 days of the year!