With Earth Day quickly approaching, on April 22nd to be exact, we thought we'd share a list of things to keep you occupied and hopeful this year.
What is Earth Day?
Most of us have probably participated in Earth Day at some point in our lives, though this year will be different. Earth Day, founded by Gaylord Nelson, was created as a movement encouraging people to take action on environmental issues to protect the planet.
Earth Day started as a US rally to combat pollution in 1970 but later globalized in the 1990s. Today billions of people recognize the importance of Earth Day, there is more need to combat climate emergencies than ever before.
Earth Day 2020 marks the 50th Anniversary and its theme signifies the importance of Climate Action. For more information check out earthday.org
How can you take part?
You’re probably wondering how you can take action on Earth Day this April. It’s definitely a difficult time to be participating in Earth Day given the global pandemic that is COVID-19.
Rallying together is not permitted in times of social distancing, but there is still the opportunity to participate digitally.
20 Ideas for Earth Day 2020
1. Start a Vegetable Garden
Here’s an Earth Day webinar that can teach you the basics required to grow your own veggies. Growing your own produce is a great skill to learn while reducing the travel required to receive your food. You have the choice to avoid harmful pesticides and fertilizers used in commercial crop production.
2. Plant Wildflowers
Bees and other pollinators are crucial in the development of ecosystems and are responsible for the reproduction of flowering plants. Planting wildflowers strengthens their habitat and population over time. Learn more at The Honey Bee Conservancy.
3. Use Less Water
By limiting shower times and washing your hair fewer days, you are able to cut down your water consumption. Try setting a timer for each of your showers to promote shorter shower routines. Limit the frequency you bathe if possible, roughly 70 gallons alone are used to fill a bathtub. Check out your water consumption at watercalculator.org.
4. Turn off Your Lights
This one is the simplest of them all, just turning off the lights when you don’t need them. During the daylight, it is especially important to keep your lights off to preserve power. In time, this will mean you'll purchase fewer bulbs while reducing your electricity bill and who doesn't love that?
5. Environmental Summit
Pela Case is hosting an environmental summit this Earth Day with eco-enthusiast guest speakers. This is an opportunity to unite and discuss issues facing our current planet and ways to bring a positive impact to our environment. RSVP to the People for the Plant Summit here. Rockwell is a sponsor of this event and will be giving away a Rockwell 6C and 4-months supply of blades!
6. Unplug Idle Appliances
It’s very common for many of us to keep phone chargers plugged in 24/7 but this does still use a small percentage of energy that is not required. You could save up to $200 in a year just from unplugging electronics you aren't using. Make this a habit throughout your everyday life, not just on Earth Day.
7. Calculate Your Carbon Footprint
A great way to make positive changes within your daily routine is to become aware of your carbon footprint. Even if you have calculated this amount before, your carbon footprint is constantly changing with your lifestyle. If you want to learn your carbon footprint, take this quiz!
8. Bike to Your Destination
If you do NEED to go anywhere, biking or walking is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint while getting in some daily physical activity. Just keep in mind that you should be socially distancing and keeping 6 ft. apart.
9. Try a Plant-based Meal
Cutting out meat 1 day per week can reduce your environmental impact. Water, fertilizer, fuel, and land are all resources used just to feed livestock. There are challenges such as No Meat May, that promote reducing your meat consumption with recipes, community, and knowledge to keep you motivated.
10. Cook Your Own Meal
Use what you have and try cooking a meal at home. Not only will it save you money but you can see exactly which ingredients are going into your meal. Staying home means you won’t need to drive to the restaurant and waste fuel or potentially come into contact with others.
11. Swap Your Lightbulbs
If you have been wanting to switch to energy-efficient light bulbs, now is the perfect time to reap their benefits. While the global population is spending more time at home than ever before, the amount of electricity used in your home daily is increasing.
12. Enjoy a Good Book
Picking up an old book is a great way to disconnect and decrease overstimulation caused by excessive use of electronics. If you do prefer reading digitally, there are plenty of articles and books regarding climate change that you could find online. Many Public Libraries even allow you to access e-books free through their website.
13. Practice Yoga or Meditation
Looking for an at-home activity? Practicing yoga was originally used as a form of healing but is beneficial physically and emotionally. Yoga and meditation are linked to nature in many ways, through the 5 elements. If nothing else, these activities may calm your mind during these uncertain times.
14. Clean Your Home
While you’re stuck in your home, you may as well do a deep clean and organization. During this time it is important to disinfect surfaces of your home to eliminate bacteria. Organization is a great way to bring new life to your space and help with productivity. Seeing all of the items you actually own will make you realize you have more than enough stuff.
15. Support Local First
If you do need to purchase something new, it’s beneficial to shop from local businesses. While it is a difficult time for small businesses, many allow you to order online and offer curbside pickup or takeout. Purchasing local makes goods and services accessible to your community by creating jobs and demand.
16. Virtual Protests
Participating in physical protests is prohibited, but thankfully the virtual rallies are still scheduled to continue. Putting pressure of global politicians can still be done through the use of social media, it allows for more participation than ever before. Jane Fonda’s Fire Drill Friday’s have been taking to social media and email to contact congress.
17. Ditch Single-use Plastic
Continue using the plastic you currently own but making the mental switch to purchasing plastic-free is a great step to living a more sustainable lifestyle. In the future, bringing your own reusable bags, coffee cups and containers are great swaps to reduce the need for single-use takeout containers.
18. Journal / Plan Your Future
With the uncertainty regarding COVID-19 and climate change, it is important to keep a record of your thoughts and feelings and look back on them in the future. If you want to see a change in any aspect of your life, it is beneficial to create a plan and coarse of action. Whether you want to learn a new skill or reduce your carbon footprint, setting goals is the best way to track your progress.
19. Join Social Campaigns
While we are unable to participate in person this Earth Day, continuing the conversation online is important. Expect an influx of eco-related Instagram posts on April 22nd with #Earthday2020 #Earthrise @earthdaynetwork.
20. Sign an Environmental Pledge
Another way to participate in Earth Day this year is to sign a pledge you believe in. Check out eco-nnect for numerous pledges you can participate in today!
Happy 50th Earth Day!
We hope some of these Earth Day suggestions inspired you to take part in the digital discussions happening on April 22nd. Continuing the conversation beyond this day is just as important, and adopting small changes to your everyday routine can make an impact. Stay hopeful and stay safe!