Fifty years ago today, 20 million Americans took to the streets to demand better for our planet. It was April 22nd, 1970, and Earth Day was born. Fast forward five decades and the coronavirus pandemic means there will be no mass gatherings, but we can still celebrate all the same!
This year’s theme is climate action. Here are five ways you can help protect and restore the world, not just today, but every day.
It all starts with the soil, and one of the single most important things we can do is start a compost bin.
Whether you live in the countryside with a yard or a smaller city apartment makes no difference; composting is essential to the health of our planet.
- Composting is the most effective way of recycling food scraps. It keeps them and other green and brown materials out of landfills, where they decompose and create harmful greenhouse gases.
- The result is packed with beneficial nutrients and helps rebuild the soil. If you don’t need the compost yourself, donate it to a community garden or a neighbor who does.
Many of us are spending our days in isolation by enjoying the simple things in life, like the great outdoors! But while enjoying nature, we can conserve it too.
- Are you going out for a walk or a run? Consider plogging, an eco-friendly mix of jogging and picking up trash.
I’ve done it, and I can assure you a few extra squats and lunges while collecting garbage adds to the calorie-burn.
Grow Your Own
It’s amazing how something so simple can make such a difference. Deciding to grow your own food has so many benefits, it’s hard to know where to begin.
- You’ll end up with more nutritious food. The average American plate of food travels 2,400 kilometers before being eaten. Imagine enjoying meals that moved just a few steps? Not to mention all of the food miles saved in fuel consumption.
- You’ll also know what’s going into your food and soil. Growing organically helps heal the planet and our bodies too.
Start with something small like microgreens!
Starting my seeds during the coronavirus pandemic has helped me become a little more creative. With local nurseries closed and online stocks of pots and containers either far too expensive or unavailable, I’ve resorted to upcycling a lot of materials around the house:
- Egg cartons.
- Empty salad containers.
- Toilet paper rolls.
- Yogurt cups.
- Popsicle sticks for labels.
All you need is a few drainage holes. The empty plastic salad containers serve as a greenhouse during the germination stage.
Bonus: cardboard egg cartons can be planted directly into the ground.
Native plants are plants that grew in North America without human intervention before European settlement.
Selecting plants native to your climate offers so many rewards:
- They’re low maintenance, reducing the need for fuel-operated equipment.
- They attract essential wildlife to the garden, such as birds and native insects.
- They attract pollinators to your space, including bees and butterflies.
- You’ll gain a better understanding of the natural world around you and the relationships native plants have with the environment.
Try one or all of these ideas and celebrate Earth day every day!