In the spring of 1970, Gaylord Nelson announced that a demonstration about the environment would happen on April 22nd . Approximately 20 million people showed up to celebrate the first Earth Day. Since then environmental concerns such as oil spills, global warming, extinction of wildlife and pollution have been pushed to the forefront of political agendas and popular concern. - From Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
COMMUNITY RHYTHMS (25 Ways to engage):
- Get a recyclable water bottle
The US alone consumes 50 billion plastic water bottles annually. Most of these bottles are not recycled and end up in landfills, in oceans and elsewhere, which harms organisms and the environment. Just creating these bottles uses 17 million barrels of gasoline, which would be enough to power 1.3 million cars for a year. Even more energy is then spent transporting water bottles and then recycling them.
Ending society’s addiction to unnecessary water bottles would be greatly appreciated by Earth.
You can start your transition to an eco-friendly reusable bottle on Earth Day. Here are a few good list to choose from.
- Start composting
Earth is the ultimate recycler--it reuses everything that it creates with a little help from the Sun. And everything that lives on the planet is cool with this system of recycling--everything except humans.
Humans are the only things that willfully don’t recycle what they create and use. And that means that a lot of nourishing substances that would otherwise feed wildlife and help it flourish end up in landfills or on strips of asphalt or somewhere else.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Composting biodegradable food and materials is a great way to feed soil, organisms in the soil and plant life while reducing waste.
All you have to do is create a compost pile in your backyard or, if you’re a city slicker, store all your vegetable, fruit, and other natural scraps in a plastic bag in your freezer and then dump it when full at a compost collecting place.
Learn more HERE
- Plant a garden
Plant some flowers and get a beautifully fragrant garden. And then plant some vegetables and get all the produce you need. Here’s a guide to starting a garden.
If you live in the city, check out this starter guide.
- Plant a tree
Trees are a big part of our earth, and planting one will just add to the health and wellness of the world that we live in.
- Buy a tree certificate
Trees are amazing. But humans relentlessly chop and burn them down. So this Earth Day buy a certificate from Stand for Trees to protect a batch of trees somewhere in the world that’s at risk of deforestation.
- Build a birdhouse or start a bee farm
Building a birdhouse is definitely the easier option here. All you’ll need is a couple pieces of wood for birds to stand on and a place to put bird feed.
Starting a bee farm is more complex. But here’s a handy guide that will help you beat back the decline of bees around the world.
- Make your home energy efficient
Houses consume a lot of energy for electricity and heating. In fact, 40% of the energy consumed in the US goes to residential and commercial buildings. For the world to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, everyone would have to consume a set amount of energy annually. The average US household surpasses that amount in 2 weeks .
Fortunately, there are many simple ways to cut down on this energy consumption.
From improving insulation to using LED lights to getting a water heater, improving a house’s energy efficiency both helps the environment and saves you a lot of money in the long-run. Here are a few pro tips.
- Become a better grocery shopper
First, get a reusable grocery bag to limit all the plastic produced in the world.
Then try to buy fresh foods that you can carry in reusable containers. For example, fresh fruits and vegetables don’t come prepackaged. Also, nuts, lentils, coffee beans and many other dry goods can generally be purchased from bulk containers. By using reusable containers, you’re further reducing the amount of plastic in the world.
Finally, try to buy local, ethical and environmentally sustainable products. If you can't go local, go ethical and sustainable.
- Enjoy nature!
Make sure you set aside a lot of time to enjoy nature this Earth Day. Go for a hike, head to the beach or just sit in a park and appreciate the moment.
- Drive Less
If you are in a situation where you can actually walk, ride your bike, or carpool in order to get from place to place, then it may be time for you to consider that. The fewer cars on the road, the better off that we will be when it comes to our atmosphere.
You can volunteer your time to organizations (local or national) that put effort into making the world a better place and helping the environment. There are a lot of great things that you can do, and on Earth Day, there are usually local activities as well.
- Educate Yourself
Education is the key to everything that you do for the environment. If you know more about what you can do to protect the environment, then you will be able to use that knowledge and share it with others who may be interested in it as well. And that, in the long run, can make a big difference.
- Make A Pledge Board
Do you want to encourage others to get in on the celebration? Then consider putting together what is known as a pledge board at work, school, or your place of worship. You can leave post it notes there so that people can write down the activities that they pledge to do for the environment throughout the next year or so.
o you have a recycling plan in place? If you already do, start looking into what you have in order to expand what you’re recycling. If you do not, then you want to take a look and see what you can recycle in your local area and if you can work to make a difference in that way.
- Fix Your Leaks
Do your faucets leak? If so, did you know that this wastes a lot of water on a yearly basis? If you haven’t done so yet, then you may want to look into how you can go ahead and get started with it during the next year.
- Contact Your Representatives
Are you concerned about legislation at the state or national level when it comes to the environment? Then now may be the time for you to write an email or letter to your representative, senator, or whatever official that you may be looking to talk to about environment.
- Check Your Bulbs
Have you updated your light bulbs yet? There are a lot of different options out there that you can choose from, and most of them are much more environmentally friendly than what we grew up with. Changing them can save you a lot of time, money, and energy.
- Build Community
Put together an activity for your community if there isn’t one going on. Organize an event, do a community clean up, or put together a fair if there isn’t one already there.
- Adopt a Highway
Our roads get a lot of litter and junk on them on a regular basis, and there are highways all over the country that do not have what they need when it comes to people that can clean them. Go with your work or group of friends to take care of things.
- Connect with Schools
Local schools need all of the help that they can get when it comes to figuring out the best way to get kids more interested in the environment and its care.
- Green Up Your Workplace.
See what you can do in order to make it just a little bit easier on everyone when it comes to getting involved with caring for the environment. Do research on recycling and get everything in order so you can all do your part.
- Make Goals
Put together a list of goals for the following year. What do you want to do throughout the year? What steps are you going to take in order to make sure that you can get everything that you need without a lot of hassle? Focus on those things above everything else.
- Support the Work
Consider finding a way to help an environmental organization financially. If you have additional finances, there are all sorts of organizations out there who will need a little bit of help with money. Most are nonprofit organizations, so look into the ones that work on the things that you are most concerned about or most interested in and consider donating to them.
- “Adopt” a creature at a wildlife preserve.
There are a lot of them out there that need sponsoring, so consider finding a rescue that takes care of your favorite animals, then see how you can adopt and help pay for the care and such that one of these beautiful animals needs.
- Don’t just leave it to Earth day!
If we can do a myriad of things when we are celebrating Earth Day, imagine just how much more that we could do if we took care of the environment every other day during the year. So, why not look into what can be done through the whole year and make taking care of the environment a regular part of how you live.