Not once during all my years of promoting Earth Day, did I have to start with…”during this unprecedented time”. But times are indeed troubling and confusing and most of us are left wondering if there will ever be a “light at the end of the tunnel.” Thinking positively is all we can do because if we don’t, then the struggles are even harder.
With the annual Earth Day coming up, how do we continue to help the environment if we’re ordered to “stay at home”? The answer is, that we must find safe and achievable steps we can still take to help Mother Earth. As countries are ordered to stay at home to help slow the spread of the virus, it seems that oceans and lakes are clearing up, public streets are devoid of trash, and people are banding together to clean up their communities. It’s as if nature itself has hit the “reset” button and trying to clean up as much as possible.
But sadly, there are news of people leaving their discarded gloves and masks everywhere. People are throwing them onto the streets or leaving them in store shelves or shopping carts instead of disposing them properly. These kind of actions are unacceptable and leaving very dangerous traces of germs everywhere. We can’t ignore the fact that now more than ever, we need to take drastic steps to be clean and safe.
This Earth Day, there are some very easy and convenient steps you can take to help our planet. I truly hope you can share some of your advice and wisdom on social media as I will be doing so on April 22.
EARTH DAY ACTIONS:
– Continue to use things digitally but responsibly. While we practically live in the digital world, we still have to be mindful of the electricity that we use. While many utility companies are offsetting their electricity usages, we still need to remember to turn off electrical equipment when not in use, and rest our minds throughout the day. However, buying media digitally does save trees, electricity, ink, and so forth.
– Donate. Donation companies might be closed temporarily during the “Safer at Home”mandate, but you can still save items for when they reopen. Better yet, donate them to neighbors or friends who might need them.
– Participate in virtual Earth Day events. Some great events include:
EarthDay.org – a virtual day of celebrating and promoting the wellness of our planet and the people that live on it.
https://www.teamsierra.org/ – a virtual day of activities and inspiration for our planet.
https://www.greenkidcrafts.com/category/earth-day/ – Learn how our planet Earth works.
https://www.arborday.org/partnerships/news/march-2020.cfm – celebrate Arbor Day on April 24.
– Plant a garden. Planting a garden, whether it’s for food or joy, is always a great thing to do. If you plant for food, try out easier to grow plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, beans, and herbs. All of these type of plants have a fast growing cycle and will yield an abundance of food for you and your family. Each year I try to grow cucumbers and beans and since I live in California, it’s easy to grow tomatoes and herbs year-round.
– Upcycle. This is perhaps one of my favorite things to do for the environment. We are at a point where recycling is no longer the first option as it might have been decades ago. Instead, let’s try upcycling. Upcycling is simply taking something that you already have and finding a new purpose or use for it. It could be anything as simple as an old t-shirt that you can turn into a reusable shopping bag or cut up into large squares to use as cleaning rags. I bet if you look around your house you’ll find lots of things you can upcycle and give them a new “life”. Some fun and easy ways of upcycling includes:
clothing – take any old and outgrown clothes and turn them into reusable bags, cleaning rags, aprons, add-ons to existing clothing, wrapping paper, and etc. Check out some ideas here.
glass jars – take any clean and sanitized glass jars (think jams and pickle jars) and use them to plant succulents and herbs. Glass jars make excellent reusable products due to the ability to stay sanitized and varying sizes and colors. Check out some ideas here.
plastic bottles – this is possibly the easiest and best ways of reducing your plastic usage. Since recycling should be the last resort, you can extend the life of your plastic bottles for many years by upcycling them into soap dispensers, garden planters, and even pencil holders. Check out some ideas here.
– Display Earth. Make Earth-shaped cutouts, color them in, and tape them on your windows. Encourage your friends and relatives to do the same so that people will know you “stand with Mother Earth”. See below for a printout.
– Make Seed Bombs. Seed bombs are incredibly fun to do. You simply take some scratch paper or colored scrap paper and blend them with wildflower seeds. Then roll them into balls or small shapes and let dry. When you’re out walking the neighborhood, throw some into the fields and when it rains again, the seeds will disperse and grow. Just be sure to buy wildflowers that are specific to your region and non-GMO so chemicals don’t interfere with the natural plants around it. Check out the instructions here.
– Clean up your community. Depending on where you live and how safe your community is right now, try going around your neighborhood or around schools and clean up the sidewalks and parks. Once the “shelter in place” has been lifted, join an environmental cleanup crew such as www.unitedbyblue.com.
*** There are lots of creative and fun ways of supporting our planet this year, even when we’re supposed to stay at home. You can probably think up some really great ideas on your own! Be sure to share your ideas and thoughts with others so everyone can support our planet.
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