Earth Day is much more than just another day on the calendar or a B list holiday. Our planet continues to face major issues like pollution, global warming, and the depletion of our ozone layer, among countless others. In some cases, scientists and other experts feel we may have already passed the tipping point where the damage to our environment is no longer reversible. Concerns continue to escalate with our ever-growing population, and it’s now more important than ever to take a proactive approach to saving our planet and preserving our natural resources.
With all of this in mind, April 22 is a wonderful time to celebrate and do our part to preserve our world. Here are a few fun Earth Day ideas to enjoy with friends and family or even on your own, along with a few tips for living a greener lifestyle.
- 1. Plant something. Earth Day is a great excuse to plant some seeds indoors. Consider starting seeds in packaging you’ve set aside from the trash or recycling, like egg cartons or plastic containers from the produce section or the bakery. You can also plant a tree or start a flower garden in honor of Earth Day.
- 2. Do a few Earth Day crafts. Spend some time with your kids making crafts with an Earth Day theme. Make an Earth on a plain white paper plate with blue paint for the oceans and green handprints to represent the continents. Make an Earth mosaic or suncatcher craft using tiny bits of tissue paper or coffee filters and food coloring.
- 3. Find an Earth Day concert or fair. Search for Earth Day events and enjoy a day celebrating our planet with family and friends.
- 4. Visit a botanical garden. Spend the day gazing at beautiful plant life and learning about the living world around us.
- 5. Volunteer in environmental clean-up efforts. Find a clean-up program or simply visit your local park or other public area and help by picking up any litter that’s been left behind.
- 6. Make energy efficient repairs and swaps in your home. Swap out bottled water for a glass or stainless steel reusable water bottle. Fix leaky faucets and install weather stripping where you feel drafts. Swap out old light bulbs for more energy efficient alternatives like Light Emitting Diode (LED) and Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) bulbs.
- 7. Start a compost pile. Return discarded food items like peels, rinds, and cores to the earth rather than a landfill.
- 8. Buy or build a rain barrel. Collect rainwater to use in watering your gardens and the seeds you’ve planted.
- 9. Make a play garden for your kids. Use a plastic tub or basin with some potting soil and a few fun scoops or plastic gardening tools to let your little ones explore the fun of gardening and playing outside.
- 10. Visit a local farm or farmer’s market. Enjoy some fresh fruit and vegetables—whatever is in season. Buy local when you can and support the culture of produce freshly grown in your area and when possible, in your own backyard.
- 11. Donate unwanted items to those in need. Rather than throwing out things you no longer need, put them into boxes and send them over to Goodwill, Purple Heart, or your preferred charity. You can also save things in a personal storage unit, reducing clutter but still keeping your belongings.
- 12. Paint and hang a birdhouse or bird feeder. Encourage avian friends to flock to your yard, enriching your outdoor environment with new life and birdsongs.
One day a year isn’t going to be enough time to make the kind of impact we need to truly help our world. Good deeds can often be contagious, though, so every little bit really does help. Enjoy celebrating with Earth day activities on April 22, but make a point to continue with a greener lifestyle through the rest of the year and beyond.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi