5 Ways to Observe Earth Day

Jessica CoferBlog

More than 50 years ago, 20 million Americans — about 10% of the total U.S. population at the time — came together for the first-ever Earth Day on April 22, 1970, in an effort to increase awareness of environmental issues impacting the Earth. Decades later, the movement has gone global with more than 190 countries engaged in the efforts, with 1 billion people involved… known collectively as a billion acts of green.

The theme of Earth Day 2022 is “Invest In Our Planet,” and that’s more than monetary investments. EarthDay.org encourages everyone to take action, either on their own or by joining group events like local cleanups.

To help inspire involvement, EarthDay.org has pulled together 52 actions and tips to make a difference every day of the year. Essentially, they’ve identified one way to take action each week. We won’t go into all 52 of them here; rather, we’ve pulled a handful of small ways to consider implementing in your everyday life.

Go Plogging

Just what is plogging? It’s the combination of jogging, walking, or running and picking up trash. This small and easy effort can prevent trash from ending up in rivers and lakes, polluting water supplies, and eventually winding up in the oceans. Plogging is easy to do — the next time you’re out and about, either at work or in your neighborhood, bring along a bag and some gloves and pick up whatever trash you see.

Carry a Reusable Bag

Reusable bags are not new by any means, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not still important. It’s estimated that we use 4 TRILLION plastic bags each year worldwide. The bags, mostly from grocery stores, are used for about 20 minutes to carry purchases from stores to homes, but they live on much longer in landfills… as much as 1,000 years. According to Waste Management, only 1% of grocery bags are returned to stores for recycling. So, the next time you’re running errands, remember to take your reusable bags with you!

Make the Most of Your Food – Compost!

Rather than throwing away coffee grounds, banana peels and other organic food waste, consider composting it instead. Composting doesn’t necessarily mean keeping a waste can on your kitchen counters. Take coffee grounds, for instance — your plants will love them! Rich in nitrogen, sprinkle old grounds around outdoor plants, working the grounds into the mulch. Inside, add some water to leftover coffee (enough to give it a tea tint), and water your plants with this mixture about once or twice a month. Halved eggshells can be used for seedlings as you prepare to plant your summer garden.

Take Photos of the Horizon

Since we’re all walking around with phones on our cameras, this one is an easy way to be involved in EarthDay.org initiatives throughout the year. Global Earth Challenge is the world’s largest ever coordinated citizen science campaign, and it’s easy as 1-2-3-click! According to the organization, “The campaign uses a mobile app to collect billions of observations in air quality, water quality, insect populations, climate change, plastic pollution and food sustainability, providing valuable environmental insight and a platform for policy change in these areas.”

Lights Out

Perhaps the easiest way to engage in EarthDay.org efforts is as simple as turning off the lights. Leaving a room? Turn off the lights. A bright sunny day? No lights needed. This is an activity the entire family can be involved in, too.

These are just a few ideas of ways to be involved in Earth Day 2022, not only on April 22, but throughout the year. Some of the steps that we have taken as an organization to reduce our impact on the environment include increasing our virtual learning opportunities, scheduling our instructors for regional trainings (whenever possible) to reduce emissions from travel, replacing printed paperwork with digital paperwork, increasing our usage of battery powered tools for trainings in place of gas-powered tools, and utilizing non-chemically treated wood for trainings and demonstrations. What will you do to do your part for Earth Day, and everyday?

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