Earth Day takes place over three days. This year’s theme is simple, “Restore Our Earth.” It’s something we can do together, as a world. This year, it’s a day, though, that many of us will have to celebrate alone in our own homes.
In the past, we’ve celebrated Earth Day in crowds. We’ve celebrated with massive celebrations, clean-up days, and more. With COVID-19 continuing to cause global devastation, new strains, and stay-at-home orders continuing throughout the U.S. and in other countries as well, people are looking for new ways to celebrate this important day – at home.
The first day’s festivities will end with the Hip Hop Caucus, who will present the “We Shall Breathe” virtual summit discussing a wide range of issues, including:
- Environmental justice
- Racial justice
- How the climate crisis impacts pollution, poverty, police brutality, and the pandemic.
The final day of the event will include a wide range of educational panels and workshops focusing on how emerging green technologies and innovative thinking can help to “Restore Our Earth.”
Among the topics being addressed during these discussions are the following:
- Climate and environmental literacy
- Regenerative agriculture
- Equity and environmental justice
- Reforestation efforts
- Citizen science
The goal of Earth Day is to promote a better Earth by encouraging changes among ordinary citizens and activism to encourage governmental and regulatory changes as well. These are 15 ways you can celebrate Earth Day in your home.
1. Plant a Garden
You don’t need a large amount of land to create a green space of your very own. In fact, you can start a container garden on a window sill, or a hanging garden on an apartment balcony or fire escape ledge. Whether you live in a large metropolis, or a small town, Earth Day offers the perfect opportunity to plant a garden of your very own. Not only will you enjoy the personal benefits of doing so, but you can also enjoy the literal fruits (and veggies) of your labor with peace of mind knowing you’ve added no chemical fertilizers or pesticides to your garden.
2. Make the Switch to Greener Household Products
Whether you make the switch to ordering household products and cleaning products from organizations that promote sustainability, like Grove Collaborative or If You Care, or you have some other organization you wish to support, making the switch to greener cleaning and eco-friendly household products (like PlushBeds natural latex mattresses) can make a huge difference for the planet. The more households who make the switch, the better it is for the earth. What better way to start this new process for your household than Earth Day?
3. Commit to Eating More Fruits and Vegetables
Eating green is a great way to go for the sake of your health and the planet. Especially if you commit to locally grown and seasonal fruits and vegetables for your cooking. This doesn’t mean you must give up meat altogether. Only that you’re committing to bringing more green into your family meals. This practice can also save you some green as plant-based meals are often less costly to prepare and make than those containing meat.
4. Begin Composting
Did you know that the average family generates 650 pounds of organic garbage each year? According to Going Zero Waste, much of that compost finds its way into local landfills. When you begin composting in your home, you can not only enjoy the knowledge that you’re helping keep these items out of your local landfill, but also know that you’re reducing your garbage generation by as much as half. If you have your own garden, you can use the composted materials to fertilize your garden. It’s an even bigger win for you and the planet.
5. Make Your Own Cleaning Products
If you’re worried about the high costs of purchasing “greener” cleaning supplies, you do have other options available to you. One of those is to make your own cleaning supplies. The good news is that you can do this for a fraction of the costs of buying them, and still get the heavy-duty cleaning action you desire. Starting with basic ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, salt, and lemons, you can create a wide range of household cleaning supplies.
6. Switch to Essential Oils Instead of Commercial Air Fresheners
Everyone loves a home that smells fresh and clean. Perfumed air freshening products, though, only add chemicals into the air in your home that are harmful to the people who live in your home and the planet alike. Essential oils not only help to freshen the air inside your home, but can also be used to create a variety of health benefits.
Outstanding essential oils to consider are lavender essential oil, magnolia essential oil, bergamot essential oil, orange essential oil, and lemon essential oil. Citrus fragrances, in particular, are often associated with clean homes, and make great fragrances to add to your homemade cleaning supplies.
If you’re not on board with essential oils, you might also consider bringing fragrant house plants into your home to clean the air and provide a pleasant fragrance.
7. Offer to Clean Up a Neighbor’s Yard
From fallen limbs to leftover leaves, and a few untended flower beds in between, there are plenty of lawn jobs to do in spring. Many people are unable to get out and work their lawns and gardens as they have in years past. There are likely to be plenty of projects in your neighborhood that you can do. Always remember to ask, of course, as some people may have other plans for their lawns and gardens.
It’s a good deed most neighbor’s will be grateful to receive, and it helps you spread the message to others about the importance of Earth Day, and preserving the planet.
8. Make Your Own Earth Day Cake
Few things will get your kids (and even your spouse) on board for your Earth Day efforts than baking a cake. Who doesn’t like cake, after all? Plus, it reminds everyone in your home that there are sweet rewards for doing good things for the planet. Don’t forget to use sustainably sourced ingredients when making your cake.
9. Plant Wildflowers and Native Plants in Your Yard
Another great way to help the planet is by planting native plants and wildflowers. These plants are not only known to attract pollinating bees to your neighborhood, but also for thriving in normal weather conditions where you live. This means they do not have special watering needs that may place a strain on your local water supply.
10. Find Ways to Conserve Water
There are many “Earth Day” projects you can do around the house that will help you conserve water in your home. These are just a few project ideas to help your family reduce water waste, and conserve this precious resource.
- Set up rain barrels to collect water from your gutters. Make sure this is allowed in your community first. This can help you conserve this water to use in your garden, to wash your car, or to water your grass.
- Consider using a drip irrigation system in your yard to keep things nice and green.
- Install low-flow toilets in your home. Plus, you stand to save $110 per year on your water bill, just by converting to a low-flow toilet.
- Install water-saving faucets in sinks, tubs, and showers.
Small actions, like these, can save a lot of water over the course of a year, allowing your family to be water conservation warriors!
11. Write an Earth Day Poem
If you’re looking for a great way to get the family involved in Earth Day celebrations at home, consider having everyone write an Earth Day poem, riddle, or limerick. While saving the Earth is serious business, there’s no rule that says you have to be serious at every step of the journey. Take a break, and have a little fun in the process. It will make the day far more memorable for everyone, and ensure the message is received loud and clear amongst your family.
12. Create an Earth Day Art Project
This is fun your family can do together or individually, allowing each family member to create a masterpiece of their own. If you want to get really creative, have everyone use something from the recycling bin as the centerpiece for their work of art. Once again, the goal is to drive home the message of Earth Day, so it is one your entire family will carry with them throughout the year.
13. Get Politically Active
Now is the perfect opportunity to sit down and write your Senator, Congressional representative, or Governor to remind them how important their roles are for safeguarding the planet. Be specific about actions you’d like them to take within their next sessions to put the plight of the planet front and center. You can use email for this important project, or send an actual letter through the post office. The bottom line is that you don’t need to attend a rally surrounded by people to make a statement on behalf of the planet.
14. Go Car-Free for the Day
While this is not a suitable choice for everyone, can you imagine the difference it would make if everyone who could commute by bicycle or walking chose to do so? Just one day out of the year can make a huge difference. We all watched around the world as the air cleared in the initial days of COVID lockdowns when few people were on the streets. One day a year can easily turn into one day a week, or even more, conserving fuel and greatly reducing greenhouse emissions generated by your household.
15. Plant a Tree
Trees are vital for cleaning the air and providing homes for many creatures, such as squirrels, birds, possums, and more. That doesn’t even count the many insects who make their homes in trees. Insects that are vital to the process of decomposing organic material, so that it can return to the earth. Trees also help to provide important shade in the summer, and break the wind in winter to help keep homes warmer. It’s rarely a bad idea to plant a tree as part of your Earth Day festivities.
Earth Day will be here before you know it. Whether you plan to celebrate at home or are participating in various community cleanup or activism events, you can do these 15 things to celebrate on Earth Day, or any other day of the year.
Happy Earth Day, from all of us here at PlushBeds!
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