Happy Earth Day! I’m glad you’re here. Inevitably, if you’re reading this, you care a lot about our planet. Perhaps you have worked on reducing your impact by practicing zero-waste and low-waste living, reducing and reusing before recycling, or purchasing less stuff. We’ve seen in the past few months what can happen when massive amounts of people do one thing. In this example, staying home. Cleaner air around the world!
When looking at the climate crisis, it can be a little overwhelming. The problem is so big and our impact individually feels so small. Sometimes, it feels like you’re screaming into the void. I’ve heard many people say “why does it matter, we’re all doomed anyway.” We have to keep our optimism, people! We can make a difference, and we will. This is a day of celebration, let’s celebrate our beautiful planet together! Here’s what you can do.
Plant a tree (or donate a tree)
I know, it’s a cliché way to start a “things you can do to celebrate Earth Day” post, but it’s such a good one. Just look at all the facts of what a single tree can do. They are awesome! Coming from the west coast originally, I’ve seen many forests burn. This past year, we saw forests burn in the Amazon and Australia. It was painful, devastating, and sad. Let’s not forget that this happened and use that to continue caring for and building the forests we have. Many local garden stores are offering delivery right now, so you can stay safe while purchasing your tree. Alternatively, you can donate to One Tree Planted, a 501(c)3 non-profit focused on global reforestation.
Buy from a local farm
We all know the bad things that come with big factory farms. They are horrible for the environment – not only in carbon emissions but in what they do to the landscape as well. There are hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of feedlots in America where natural pastureland and prairie land used to be. If you buy from a local farm and you eat meat, it’s likely that you will get food from a happy animal that lived in well-maintained pastureland. Even without meat involved, buying from local farms reduces mileage and shipping impact, as well as unnecessary packaging. Furthermore, your local farm could use the help right now!
Get rid of your lawn
Have you ever wondered why we have lawns? I did, too. They’ve always seemed a little unnecessary to me. I’m not going to write the whole history, but they’re pretty useless. Not only are the grasses used for lawns not native to America, but they cause a lot of waste and other environmental issues. Just think of all the gas or energy used to power lawn mowers throughout the country. Or all the pesticides poured into them just to keep them in pristine shape.
Consider this: an alternative of native plants and landscaping where you don’t have to do much but mow once a year. These native plants would attract bees, which we desperately need. The native plants will also help your soil since they are supposed to be there. If done right, your lawn maintenance just went down exponentially. There are a few things you can do: plant a wildflower meadow, plant tall grasses to border strategic landscaping, or remove your lawn and replace it with rock & large drought-resistant plants. You can read more here.
Plant a garden
Okay, this one might be a little tricky this year. I just waited over 3 weeks for my seeds to come in and I ordered fairly early this year. That said, many local seed and feed or garden stores are offering pick-up or delivery, so if it’s safe for you, consider these options. If not, perhaps donate money to a local community garden.
Planting a garden is wonderful. Not only will the plants help the environment and pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, but you’ll get delicious food right from your backyard. What better way is there to feel connected to this great planet and celebrate Earth Day?
Sit or walk outside (if it is safe to do so)
I say this as someone who lives on a small farm, but if you are able to go outside safely with no contact with people, go for a walk or just sit outside. For many, tomorrow should be a beautiful day! Earth Day isn’t all about action, sometimes it’s about taking the time to appreciate what we already have. Spending just a little bit of time outside with fresh air and sunshine is really good for you.
Join Earth Day Live
We are living in some weird times. Because of that, Earth Day Live is happening. These folks are the OGs of the Earth Day movement! Can you believe that 10% of America’s population gathered together for the first Earth Day? Let’s do that again – remotely! On this site, you can join localized events remotely and let your voice be heard and connect with like-minded people. Let’s mobilize. Even though we are very much alone right now, we can still be together when it comes to our planet. Happy Earth Day!