Earth Day–April 22– is almost here. It is a day intended to rekindle public commitment and build community activism towards the environment.
Have you thought about how you can participate in this year’s events? Whether you observe the day privately or publicly, here are five ways you can make a difference this Earth Day:
1) Find and participate in a local Earth Day event. Join your neighbors in expressing concern about and commitment to the environment. Events are scheduled all over the world to mark the occasion. There are a couple of places you can check. One is the Earth Day Network, an extensive resource for all things related to Earth Day. You can also check this Americantowns.com list of events by US state. Your local newspapers and TV news stations should also provide information about events in your area.
2) Join an environmental organization. There may well be a local environmental organization in your area, and it probably needs your help! Many places have local non-profits dedicated to environmental education, advocacy, or clean up. Look them up and then show up to one of their volunteer events, whether it be cleaning up a local river or participating in a composting workshop. You can also take it a step further and volunteer more extensively, such as by joining a committee or even applying for the organization’s Board of Directors or other volunteer leadership position. There’s also the possibility of supporting the organization with your pocketbook if you’re able to do so, since it costs money to do whatever it is the group does. Donations are often tax-deductible.
3) Resolve to change something in your life to help the Earth. There is probably something you can start doing to help the Earth that you haven’t done until now. Maybe it’s to change some of your light bulbs to CFL’s or LED’s. Maybe it’s to walk more and use your car less. Maybe it’s to opt for a low flow showerhead. Whatever it is, there are steps big and small everyone can take that can make a difference. Find an area where you may have been wasteful or inefficient in using the planet’s resources or energy, and change it.
4) Plant something and care for it. Maybe there’s a space in the corner of your lot for a little tree sapling. Or maybe your fence would look lovely with a spreading clematis or rambling rose plant. Whatever your living situation may be, whether you have a garden or balcony or just a bit of extra sunlight on a window sill, you can brighten up that spot with a new plant or tree. It will absorb carbon dioxide, and every little bit of that helps. Once you plant it, resolve to care for it as long as possible. Add compost to it, use a good natural fertilizer if needed (such as Gardener’s All-Purpose Fertilizer), weed it, and make it grow. You’ll be glad you did!
5) Spread the word. Maybe you can have a chat with your less Earth-aware friends and let them know why Earth Day and helping the environment are important. Maybe you can write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper or to the office of your local Congressman. Maybe it’s your next door neighbor who doesn’t recycle. Whoever it is, find people who are not “on the wagon” as far as helping the environment is concerned, and help them get there. Setting an example and using word of mouth to make other people aware of environmental issues is one of the most powerful things you can do. The more people who know and take up the idea of environmental protection, the more powerful the movement becomes.
Happy Earth Day!