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Earth Day is our annual reminder to slow down and appreciate the bounty from the only planet in the solar system known to harbor life – Earth! It’s easy to get caught up in our everyday routines and we can sometimes forget to value the small things, like stopping to enjoy the fresh air or feeling the sunshine on a warm summer day.
So, on April 22nd let us all say thank you to our precious planet and celebrate Earth Day by participating in one (or all) of these activities. Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to make every day Earth Day!
1. Learn More About the Environment
What better time to start learning more about the environment than on Earth Day? Head to your neighborhood or school library and pick up some books on issues like pollution, recycling or endangered species. Think about some environmental issues that you care most about and research ways to help make a difference. Perhaps there’s a region of the world you’ve always been interested in, but haven’t had the time to explore - now is the time! While you’re at it, encourage your family and friends to do the same.
2. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
A little repurposing and recycling goes a long way. Not only is this an important practice to remember on Earth Day, but reducing, reusing, and recycling should be applied 365 days a year. This doesn’t just mean throwing your empty water bottles into the recycling bin, let’s take it a step further! Support local farmers who don’t have to travel as far, in turn, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Buy a reusable water bottle and help cut down plastic pollution. Invest in fabric bags for carrying things rather than opting for the plastic ones when you’re shopping. The possibilities are endless!
3. Make Nature Crafts
Organize a get-together with your friends after school and spend the afternoon making crafts from nature or inspired by nature. Build a birdhouse or make a bird feeder to encourage your local bird population. Not only does this play an important role in the ecosystem, but it’s fun to watch the birds eat and play around something you made! If you don’t have the supplies for a bird feeder, use objects around your house that would normally be thrown away and create a beautiful piece of artwork!
4. Plant a Tree or Three
With Arbor Day falling only 5 days after Earth Day (April 27th), this is your chance to perfect your tree planting!Trees help remove greenhouse gas emissions, clean air pollution, produce oxygen for us to breath, as well as providing a home for a bunch of biodiversity. Stop by your local nursery and pick out a tree you know will survive in your climate. If you’re not sure which tree will be the perfect fit, ask an employee and get to planting!
5. Clean Up Litter
The weekend before or after Earth Day is one of the best times to organize an event to clean litter from your streets, roadways, and sidewalks. This activity is great for scout troops, rotary clubs, or sport teams. However, if you’re not a part of a group or organization, ask your family to walk around your neighborhood and collect any trash that has accumulated over time. Once you’ve cleaned up the litter, place the trash and recycling bags on the road and contact your local public works department to pick up the bags.
6. Wear Green and/or Brown
Raise awareness about Earth Day by wearing your favorite green or brown article of clothing! If you’re really feeling supportive, wear both! If your friends or classmates ask, you can share with them the importance of Earth Day and how they can participate!
7. Cook a Special Earth Day Meal
Celebrate Earth Day by preparing a special meal! Incorporate anything healthy, like your favorite vegetable or any locally produced food into the menu. Try to keep the entire meal organic, it may be a bit more expensive but will be completely worth it in the end. If you really want to get into the spirit, pack up a picnic basket and enjoy your meal outside!
8. Play Outside
Last but not least, try to spend as many of your Earth Day activities outside as you can. If you normally exercise in the gym, think about taking your workout outside and do cardio around your neighborhood. You can also do exercises in the comfort of your driveway or backyard. If you’re skipping exercise for the day, take your homework outside or read a book at your local park. It’s all about getting creative.
Earth Day is celebrated in many different ways, use this list as a guide and inspiration to mark the occasion. But don’t stop there! Incorporating just a few of these Earth Day activities into your daily schedule will help benefit the environment and set a good example to others.