Restore our Earth!
That is the theme that Earth Day Network, the organizing body for Earth Day worldwide has proposed for 2021.
Given the current pandemic, scientists are focusing on the importance for all citizens of understanding the direct impact we have on the degradation of Earth, and its connection to our health, air, water, diets, climate change and wildlife. Yet Earth Day activism and celebrations do not need to be limited to one day per year. There are many simple and effective ways to combat environmental damage while focusing on the restoration and wellness of all people and ecosystems. Taking care of our planet, (and our home) is an act that every human on Earth can proudly partake in daily!
Daily Lifestyle Habits That Help
For all those busy bodies, incorporating meaningful methods into your daily routine to help reduce your environmental footprint is totally possible. Start with these tips below:
- Plogging: if going for a neighborhood jog is part of your morning routine, try plogging for a change. Plogging is the act of jogging and picking up litter, and the more people you inspire to try this activity, the better. While jogging, keep your eyes out for any litter lying on the ground. Attach a small reusable bag to your exercise outfit before you get outside, and challenge your family and friends to see how much litter each of you can collect while plogging. For extra reps, add a well-formed squat every time you pick-up a piece of litter and get moving for the movement!
- Lights-Out: with those living in your bubble, whether they be a roommate, husband or the kids, have fun competing with your bubble pals on turning off the most electronics when possible! Did you know that leaving an appliance plugged into a power outlet still uses energy, even if the appliance is not on? Together, work on becoming a more energy-efficient home by unplugging unneeded appliances, such as the coffee machine or laptop. Bonus: By saving electricity, and the Earth, you can also save on your monthly usage bill!
- Take Up Gardening: with the summer months approaching, it is a great idea to spend more time outdoors. If possible, try planting new trees in your backyard or common green space. This will not only help purify the air, but will also attract more local wildlife to your neighborhood. Make sure to check on the trees every day to monitor their growth, and hang a bird feeder on a branch to add some daily bird sightseeing too!
Reduce Household Plastic Pollution
Did you know one water bottle takes at least 450 years to break down? Good thing it does not take 450 years to properly recycle plastics! Here are five ways to reduce your use:
- Start a pledge to abandon the use of plastic bags. Instead, get into the habit of carrying a reusable bag to the grocery store, farmers market, or while out and about.
- Do not recycle items smaller than a credit card. Tiny plastics can clog recycling equipment and obstruct their effectiveness. Remember, if the plastic is smaller than a credit card, it belongs in the garbage instead.
- Make sure to always clean, empty and dry your recycling items first before putting them in the recycling bin. Sadly, food leftovers on plastics can send recyclables to the landfill instead of to the recycling center.
- Opt for reusable water bottles instead of plastic bottles to quench your thirst. For fun, try adding tasty electrolyte powders or a squirt of lemon to keep your body hydrated.
- Pack your lunch and snacks in reusable food containers instead of individual plastic bags or plastic wrap. By doing so, you will keep your food safe while directly reducing your daily plastic use.
Enhance Your Earth Education
Whether you have been out of school for some time, or are a science major, you never have to stop learning about our environment! Below are entertaining and insightful film ideas about Earth for every type of spectator.
- I Am Greta (2020) - For both the young activists and the older, this film follows 15-year-old environmental activist, Greta Thunberg as she rallies against powerful global politicians to spread her message on protecting our planet before it's too late.
- 2040 (2019) - This film is for the optimistic. This documentary talks about the climate crisis by highlighting all the positive work currently being done, and the potential of saving our planet by 2040 if we work together.
- An Inconvenient Truth (2006) - This research-heavy documentary recounts former US Vice President, Al Gore’s campaign from 2002 to educate audiences about the growing risks associated with global warming.
- Tomorrow (2015) - This film is suitable for all ages. It speaks to the importance of educating youth, while adopting realistic approaches every human on Earth can do to aid in restoring the planet we call home.
- The Day After Tomorrow (2004) - This one is for the action-thriller seekers! Set in a dystopian future, this film is loosely based on a true story to showcase what the impact of a real ice-age could be on our society.
Support Local and Global Environmental Organizations
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that the existence of our global village is real and grand. With everyone in mind, both near and far, there are many ways to help those living in at-risk communities around the world.
- Attend Earth Day Live: as more events adapt to online formats, EARTHDAY.ORG will host activists, musicians, artists and influencers from around the globe for its second annual Earth Day Live event! PS: You are invited! All from the safety and comfort of your own home. The events take place from April 20th to April 22nd and will include international summits and panels. Join these global Earth activists as they converse about difficult, yet needed topics, such as Earth preservation, creating green jobs, climate literacy, biodiversity protection, civic skill training and sustainable agriculture.
- Join Canopy: since 2010, the Canopy Project and EARTHDAY.ORG have planted tens of millions of trees worldwide. Gratefully, we can contribute to this number too. How does ten million more trees sound? For every $1 donated, Canopy will plant 1 tree under your name! You can also plant and gift trees on behalf of someone else. Tree gifting is a great idea year round and a positive way to promote sustainability. Find out more on how to contribute here: (https://www.earthday.org/campaign/the-canopy-project/).
- Research Local Initiatives: remember, there are always ways to improve your local areas too! Try inviting friends or neighbors to a weekend litter pick-up in your local park to get active, outdoors, and make a difference. Another option is to volunteer for your city or town’s parks and wildlife organizations. This is a fun way to give back to your community while assisting in tasks like gardening or nursing wildlife back to health.
Remember, you never have to stop educating yourself and being curious. Knowledge is powerful. Hit that Google search bar when you need, and be sure to share your new environmental facts with all those you can.
We are all in this together. We hope you have a safe and inspiring Earth Day.
Happy Earth Day!
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- Arbor Day Foundation. “9 Reasons to Plant a Tree.” Arbor Day Blog, 1 June 2018, arbordayblog.org/treeplanting/9-reasons-to-plant-a-tree/.
- “The Canopy Project.” Earth Day, 19 Nov. 2020, www.earthday.org/campaign/the-canopy-project/.
- “Climate .” WWF, World Wildlife Fund, 2021, www.worldwildlife.org/initiatives/climate.
- “Earth Day 2021: Restore Our Earth™.” Earth Day, 25 Mar. 2021, www.earthday.org/earth-day-2021/.
- “Earth Day Every Day.” Earth Day, 24 Mar. 2021, www.earthday.org/. Kong, Charmaine.
- “Top 16 of Best Environmental Films of 2020: Earth.Org - Past: Present: Future.” Earth.Org - Past | Present | Future, 24 Dec. 2020, earth.org/best-environmental-films/.
- Lemelin, Madison. “6 Ways to Help the Environment from Home.” Rainforest Trust Saves Rainforest, Madison Lemelin Https://Www.rainforesttrust.org/Wp-Content/Uploads/RT-Horizontal-340pxW.Png, 15 Apr. 2020, www.rainforesttrust.org/6-ways-to-help-the-environment-from-home/.
- “Tips to Use Less Plastic.” Tips to Use Less Plastic - Green Education Foundation | GEF | Sustainability Education, 2021, www.greeneducationfoundation.org/nationalgreenweeksub/waste-reduction-tips/tips-to-use-less-plastic.html.