Celebrating Earth Day!
April 22 marks a very special day, Earth Day, and this year is the 49th anniversary. In 1970, when Americans were fed up with oil spills and pollution, over 20 million people decided that there should be a day dedicated to showing others how to be environmentally friendly. That very first Earth Day was heard loud and clear and helped establish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act.
What is there to do on Earth Day?
For me, I have the tradition of taking my children on a hike to pick up trash as we walk. It demonstrates that we are being good stewards to the land and taking care of our natural places. We forage for wild edibles and create a meal based on what is local and in season. Although it isn’t unusual to see me stopping to pick some weeds to eat, or picking up trash, this is the tradition I have created with my family. We talk about why taking care of the earth is important and discuss what we can do every day of the year to help take care of it.
There are many simple steps you can do to create a more sustainable world and, to give you even more incentive, to help keep cash in your pocket.
- Walking or biking doesn’t use fossil fuels or electricity and is free. Many bike-share programs are popping up around the country.
- Ditch the disposable plastic and Styrofoam. That coffee-a-day in a disposable cup can really add up, literally. You will save money each week as well as save trash from going to a landfill by using your own refillable mug and pouring your java at home. This is true, too, for bottle water. There are many stylish reusable water bottles available everywhere in price ranges to fit all budgets, plus it’s a one time investment for your future use (starting now).
- Shop local, and bring your own bags. Say no to plastic bags that all too often find their way to the waterways where marine life mistakes them for food. Recent news is littered with reports of whales being found dead with nearly 100 pounds of plastic in their stomachs! Bringing your own reusable bags eliminates unnecessary plastic. By shopping local, you can find produce that is not only fresher and supports your neighbors, but hasn’t traveled across the country releasing emissions and, bonus, it isn’t wrapped in plastic.
- Change your diet. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of carbon emissions. Start by joining in on meatless Mondays, then try a vegan challenge. By choosing to keep animal products off your plate, you are not only showing compassion, but sustainability.
- Speaking of food, it is estimated that almost 40% of food we purchase in America goes to waste. That food should be filling you up, not a landfill! Plan your meals, eat what you have. Also, compost! Instead of sending food scraps to a landfill, make rich compost for free! There are many people and places that would love your food waste, myself included!
All small changes that you can make add up to helping not only the environment and animals, but people too, especially yourself. This Earth Day, remember what being an earthling is all about and take care of the place we call home — the only Earth we have.
Looking for ways to join in on the Earth Day celebration?
Earth Day Network is a nonprofit providing ways to get involved, not just on Earth Day, but every day.
Earth & Arbor Day Celebration, Wilmington, Wednesday, April 17, 11-2
Go Green in the City, York, Saturday, April 20, 10-3
Mechanicsburg Earth Day Festival, Saturday, April 20, 9-3
Earth Day Show at Sahd Metal Recycling, Friday, April 26, 9-1
Lancaster Native Plant and Wildlife Festival, Friday, April 26, 9-4
The Whitaker Center in Harrisburg, Saturday, April 27, 11-2
Earth Day Celebration at Kirchenwald, Sunday, April 28, 2-6