celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd began in the
United States in 1970 and was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord
Nelson, who long pondered about finding a way to "put the
environment into the political 'limelight' once and for all".
Earth Day is a perfect time to reflect about what you are doing
to help protect the environment. There are many ways that you
can celebrate alone or with others.
As the date also roughly coincides
with U.S. Arbor Day, over time Earth Day has taken on the role
of tree-planting. Planting trees helps reduce greenhouse gas
emissions, cleans pollution, secures soil in place to prevent
erosion, and provides homes for a lot of biodiversity.
nature crafts at school or home.
Get together with your family and build a birdhouse or make a
bird feeder to encourage the local bird population, which plays
an important role in every ecosystem. Use objects that would've
otherwise been thrown away to create beautiful works of art, the
possibilities are endless:
used guitar strings into a centerpiece
a basket from an old orange juice carton
Convert an old floppy disk into a Starship Enterprise
wear a skirt made out of old umbrellas
Learn more about the environment. Earth Day is a good
time to make a commitment to learning more about the environment
and how you can help to protect it. Borrow some library books
and read up on an issue such as pollution, endangered species,
water shortages, recycling, and climate change. Or, learn about
a region you've never considered before, like the Arctic, the
deserts, or the rainforest. Think about the issues that concern
you the most and if you haven't done so already, join a local
group that undertakes activities to help protect the environment
in your area.
4. Reduce, reuse and recycle all day long. Buy as little
as possible and avoid items that come in lots of packaging.
Support local growers and producers of food products - these
don't have to travel as far and so reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. Take your drink container with you, and don't use any
disposable plates or cutlery. Recycle all the things you do use
for the day or find other uses for things that you no longer
use. Carry a cloth bag for carrying things in and recycle your
Get children to recycle their old toys and games. By
giving their old toys and games to younger children who could
make use of them, older children learn two lessons: One is about
giving to others and the second is about reusing and recycling
instead instead of throwing things away. Adults can also do this
with clothes, electrical items, books and more. Learn about
product exchange communities like Freecycle and other
Rid Litter. Rid litter from our roadways. Many groups use
the weekend of Earth Day to clear roadways, highways and
neighborhood streets of litter that has accumulated since the
last clean-up day. Many companies donate gloves and bags for
clean-up groups and villages organize bag pick ups. Once the
group has collected the trash and placed the recycled bags along
the road, get the village public works department to pick up the
bags up. It's a wonderful community project. Great for scout
troops, rotary clubs and the like.
Sing or listen to "Earth" songs. There are many Earth Day
song lyrics available on the Internet. Many follow well-known
tunes. These make a fantastic classroom activity and help
younger children to become interested in environmental topics.
For listening, iTunes has many songs about the Earth for
downloading: try searching for words such as "planet", "Earth",
"endangered", "pollution", etc. One example being "Earth Day" by
Hold an Earth Day fair. Maybe your school, your street,
your local neighborhood is interested in getting together to
have an environmental fair. Things to have at the fair include
demonstrations or environmentally-friendly products, children's
artwork, healthy/locally grown foods to eat, animal care
demonstrations (including wildlife rescue), games for the
children made of recycled products, musicians and actors
performing environmental music and skits, stalls which are
recycling unwanted treasures and books, local environmental
organizations presenting their issues and wares. Money raised
can go towards a local environmental restoration project or to
an environmental group agreed upon by all the participants
running the fair.
Teach others about the environment. Teachers,
professionals, students, in fact anyone who cares about the
environment and is willing to teach others, can all provide
environmental lessons for others. Most schools already celebrate
Earth Day in the classrooms with activities but there are many
other ways you can teach about the environment. For example,
give a speech at your local library on how to compost with
worms; take a group of children down to the recycling center to
show them how things are recycled; recite nature poems in the
park; offer to teach your office colleagues how to make
environmentally-friendly choices at work during one lunch hour.
Everyone has environmental knowledge they can share with others.
10. Wear green and/or brown. Dress in environmental
colors for the day; think "tree"! Wear badges if you have them
that carry pithy summaries of your environmental views.
11. Engage others in conversations about your environmental
concerns. Don't be bossy or pushy, just tell people some
facts and then explain your feelings about them. Encourage them
to respond and if they have no opinions or they seem to not know
much, help them learn some more by imparting your environmental
knowledge in a friendly and helpful manner.
12. Cook a special Earth Day meal. Plan a menu that uses
locally produced foods, is healthy and has minimal impact on the
environment. Favor vegetable and bean products, as these use
less resources to grow than mass-farmed meat. If you still would
like meat, look for locally produced, organic meat. Try and have
organic food completely. Decorate the table with recycled
decorations made by you and your friends.
13. Consider buying a carbon offset to make up for the
greenhouse gas emissions you create on the other 364 days of the
year. Carbon offsets fund reductions in greenhouse gas
emissions through projects such as wind farms, that displaces
energy from fossil fuels.
14. Ride your bike. Use your bicycle or other forms of
human powered transportation to commute to work or school and to
15. Remember: Every day is Earth Day. Anything to help
our environment is a perfect thing to do on Earth Day and every
day. Don't restrict yourself to just one day a year; learn about
how you can make a difference to environmental protection all
the time. And put it into practice - every day!
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