April 22, 2022, is the 52nd annual celebration of Earth Day. For the day dedicated to conserving our planet’s resources and embracing the outdoors—what are your Earth Day plans? Do you do anything special? We have some Earth Day ideas to share with you to honor our planet and conserve our resources.
What is Earth Day?
Have you ever heard of Senator Gaylord Nelson from Washington? Honestly, I hadn’t, but he is the key player in why we have Earth Day. In 1969, Nelson was inspired by the energy of the anti-war movement and spurred on to push for environmental change by a massive oil spill in California. He suggested teach-ins on college campuses to inform the students of environmental issues. April 22 was chosen as Earth Day because it’s after Spring Break and prior to finals, pretty smart planning. In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was born. By 1990, Earth Day was global; 200 million people and 141 countries joined the celebration. Today, Earth Day is the largest secular observance in the world with 1 billion people and over 190 countries celebrating our planet.
Ideas to Celebrate Earth Day
A little unsure of what exactly to do with “reduce, reuse, recycle” beyond what you’re already doing? We’ve come up with a list to help. See if one of the following ideas works for you.
- Turn the water off while you’re brushing your teeth and conserve up to eight gallons of water each day.
- Unsubscribe from junk mail and those catalogs you don’t know why you get. Go to https://www.catalogchoice.org/ to unsubscribe. 100 million trees are cut down each year to produce junk mailings.
- Save gas money and reduce pollution by walking, biking, carpooling, or using public transportation.
- Volunteer for or start neighborhood clean-ups or start a community garden in your area.
- Make a compost pile or bin. You can use your kitchen scraps, which saves landfill space. Compost will also add outstanding nutrients to your soil, lawn, and gardens.
- Plant a garden, container garden, or greenspace. Planting pollinators help the bees which in turn help our gardens!
- Plant a tree. It’s shocking to me, but 15 billion (yes, billion) trees are cut down each year. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen; we need them. Collectively speaking, trees help lower city temperatures by up to 10 degrees. They provide shade and also a home for animals.
- Reduce energy costs in warm months by using a ceiling fan (run it counter-clockwise in warm temps) instead of your air conditioning. Or use a ceiling fan with your AC set at a higher temperature to use less energy.
- Take reusable bags with you instead of getting plastic, store bags. Americans use 100 billion plastic bags each year which require 12 million barrels of oil to produce.
- Use refillable water bottles to cut down on plastic waste. There are two million tons of water bottles in US landfills which required 1.5 million barrels of oil to produce.
- Replace your indoor light bulbs with LED bulbs (light-emitting diodes) and/or use solar powered outdoor lights or LED outdoor lights. LED bulbs last 10 times as long as regular lightbulbs, making their initial cost logical. And, of course, I can’t help but hear my mom in my head from when I was a kid: “Turn off the light if you’re not in the room.” Turn appliances off if you’re not using them or if you rarely use them, unplug entirely.
- Support your local farmer’s markets. Not only are farmer’s markets super fun and the produce fresh, but you’re supporting local businesses. Grocery store food travels approximately 1,500 miles to reach you, so using farmer’s markets reduces pollution, fossil fuel consumption, and carbon emissions.
- Check out these other 52 Earth Day tips from EarthDay.org, the official site of Earth Day.
We’d love to know if you have special plans. Let us know in the comments. Happy Earth Day, everyone! Let’s get outside and enjoy our beautiful planet!