Earth Day falls on April 22, 2019. It represents a day when the world celebrates the planet together. In fact, the current belief is that more than one billion people from 195 countries around the world participate in Earth Day activities that involve both political action and civic participation in activities such as:
- Drafting and gathering petition signatures
- Cleaning up roads, lakes, and more
- Meeting with elected officials to encourage change
- Participating in fundraisers
- Gathering pledges
- Enacting sustainability measures in homes and businesses
Earth Day is a wonderful day and it helps to raise awareness about the health and preservation of our planet. But one day is not enough. Here are 22 simple things that you can do to show the Earth a little love all year long:
1. Plant wildflowers. It’s something simple that almost anyone can do, and fun enough that people of all ages will want to participate. Choosing native wildflowers allows you to use plants that are native to your area, and accustomed to environmental conditions, that might be problematic for other plants.
2. Pick up litter in a community park. Cities spend a lot of money maintaining local parks so children have safe places to play. Not all families who visit share your concerns over the planet, and many leave litter behind. Take this opportunity to clean up the litter in your community park.
3. Start a community garden. Creating green spaces within the city helps to clean the air, and provides fresh fruits and vegetables for your family. If you don’t need the vegetables your garden space produces, feel free to donate them to local food banks that are always happy for gifts of fresh produce.
4. Plant a tree. It made Johnny Appleseed a hero, and you can be one too. April 22nd is a wonderful day to do your part to replenish the dwindling population of trees around the planet.
5. Start composting. Composting provides dense nutrients and organic material to the soil, and eliminates much of the food and yard waste that clutters up landfills in communities throughout the country. While it isn’t an effortless task, it is one that pays huge dividends for the planet.
6. Open your windows. It’s one day a year when you can turn off your furnace or air conditioner (depending on where you live in the country), and throw open your windows to let the fresh air in. It’s an ideal solution for shaking off the final dregs of winter while bringing fresh, clean air into your home.
7. Create an upcycling project. The possibilities to upcycle are nearly limitless. Whether you visit a thrift store to take on a second-hand piece of furniture for the transformation process, go dumpster diving for treasures, or find road treasures in your community, there are plenty of opportunities to turn someone else’s trash into a treasure for your home and the planet.
8. Visit a local park. While cleaning up litter from a local park is great, some celebrations simply involve visiting the park and taking in the sights and sounds. Listen to children playing in the great outdoors. Hear the sounds of their laughter and enjoy the opportunity to commune with nature.
9. Make a rainwater collection barrel. Water is one of the most precious and wasted resources in the world. With much of the country in drought conditions, conserving water is not only a priority, but a necessity. Use collected water for things like watering gardens, washing cars, etc., saving clean water for cooking, drinking, and washing hands.
10. Come up with a water conservation plan for your family. In addition to building a rain barrel for your home, consider creating a water conservation plan for your household so your entire family can participate.
11. Go on a bicycle ride with the family. Instead of dragging out your car, SUV, or minivan to run errands for the evening, get out the bicycles and go for a ride together.
12. Make your own non-toxic cleaning products. Cleaning products often contain ingredients that are not only harsh for the planet, but also harsh for your family to breathe in. Try using natural ingredients, like baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, lemons, and salt to create your own cleaning products. They are highly effective and easier on the sinuses.
13. Adopt a pet. Caring for the planet involves caring for the creatures that call it home. Adopting pets is the purr-fect way to show you care.
14. Gather electronics from friends and neighbors and deliver them to your community electronics recycling center.
15. Begin washing your clothes in cold water. This simple step can reduce a great deal of energy used to heat water each year. The more households that make the switch the better it becomes for the planet.
16. Go on a nature walk. Nature walks offer you an opportunity to commune with nature while enjoying pretty flowers, plants, trees, and animals along the way.
17. Hike in a state park. State parks are far too often underutilized despite offering an infinite playground of pleasure for nature lovers everywhere. Get reacquainted, and have a lot of fun on a hike.
18. Make a bird feeder. Feeding the creatures of the earth is a fantastic way to remember all the joy they bring.
19. Create a fairy garden. This is an activity your little fairy is sure to appreciate, and allows you to work on something positive for the planet together.
20. State a recycling bin. You can do this in your home, your office, your church, or your school. Anywhere that doesn’t have one needs someone to take responsibility for managing this important project.
21. Switch your bills to electronic bills. It’s a small step that conserves paper, and saves countless trees each year. Bonus: it helps you reduce paper clutter in your home.
22. Visit a national park. Few things allow you to commune with nature more than visiting one of our stunning national parks. You may have to drive a little to get there, but it is a trip well worth the time and effort. If you can’t go on Earth Day, make plans to visit one near you soon.
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