By: Jane Marsh, Communications Volunteer
Governments and citizens are becoming more conscious of environmental issues due to the spotlight on climate change. However, spreading awareness to as many people as possible is still necessary, and one of the best ways to do this is by celebrating Earth Day.
How Did Earth Day Get Started?
Earth Day has a long and storied history dating back to the 1970s. Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” is often credited with introducing environmentalism and awareness into mainstream American society.
“Silent Spring” sold over 500,000 copies in 24 countries, spreading awareness worldwide. The book inspired former U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson to launch a campaign to make the U.S. government take environmental issues like climate change and greenhouse gas emissions seriously.
After the Santa Barbara oil spill, Nelson made plans to organize a national event on April 22 that would teach American citizens about environmental issues. Around 20 million people were in attendance across auditoriums and parks nationwide. Thus, April 22, 1970, became the first official Earth Day.
How Can You Celebrate Earth Day?
Earth Day is a time to adopt environmentally friendly practices into your daily life and spread awareness of climate change. There are plenty of activities to participate in, both in groups and independently.
Volunteer at an Earth Day Event
One of the best ways to celebrate Earth Day is to find a local event to volunteer in. Joining a festival or gathering is a great way to spread awareness of environmental issues.
Check your area to see what organizations are planning an Earth Day gathering and see if you can participate. If your friends and family are interested, try to get them to join the fun, too.
Join or Donate to an Environmental Nonprofit
Find an environmentally focused nonprofit to volunteer for. Plenty of organizations are willing to accept help from like-minded people. Find one that’s right for you.
If you can’t volunteer your time, you can still do your part by donating.
Plant a Garden
There are more straightforward ways to celebrate Earth Day and do your part to help the planet. Planting a garden is a great way to show your support for sustainable food and energy resources. You can plan a community event or make it your own.
Start a Nature Art Project
Show your dedication to the Earth and environmental awareness by making art. Using plants and natural resources to create art is a great way to express your creativity and call attention to Earth Day’s message. You can start one on your own or make it a small event.
Organize a Nature Scavenger Hunt
Nature scavenger hunts are a fun way to explore the outdoors on Earth Day. Make a list of items for kids and adults to locate. People can write down what they find and enjoy some friendly competition in the great outdoors.
Start a Recycling Tour
You don’t have to be part of the U.S. government to fight pollution. Simply walking around your community and cleaning up any trash you see can help. Organize a group of friends and family to clean up your community, ensuring recyclable materials are recycled.
Make a Water Conservation Plan
Water scarcity affects one in 10 people worldwide. Spread awareness of this problem and become part of the solution by reducing water usage in your daily life.
Avoid Fossil Fuel Transportation
There have been great strides in reducing the amount of fossil fuel vehicles used, but the transportation sector remains one of the greatest sources of harmful emissions. Earth Day is a great time to avoid driving. Walking or riding a bike over short distances can get you where you need to be while reducing your carbon footprint.
Replace Disposable Items With Reusable Ones
Switch to reusable cloth bags and containers on Earth Day instead of using plastic bags and bottles to hold your groceries and drinks. This decreases the amount of plastic and other harmful waste in landfills and on the street.
Go on a Picnic
Going out on picnics with friends and family is an excellent way to spend time together while enjoying the outdoors. Earth Day is also the perfect time to visit a local farmers market to get some healthy meals to enjoy outside.
Make the Most of Earth Day
Earth Day is the perfect time to spread awareness of environmental issues and do your part. Working alongside friends and family makes it even more enjoyable and encourages others to take up the cause for a healthier planet.