Thursday, April 22, marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. Don’t let the COVID-19 pandemic hold you back from positively impacting this annual environmental event. Celebrate the occasion responsibly, and learn how you can care for our planet with some simple Earth Day activities and adjustments that can go a long way.
To help you with this, we’ve rounded up seven Earth Day activities in which you can reduce your ecological footprint, combat climate change, and foster greater awareness and appreciation for the planet ― both on Earth Day and throughout the year.
1. Volunteer or Donate
Most neighborhoods’ parks have a non-profit organization or conservancy group in place to keep your park safe, functional, and free of trash and waste. Look up your local organization and join as a member or volunteer, or help out by donating. If you live in Chicago, New York City, or Philadelphia, here are a few:
- Prospect Park Alliance - Brooklyn, NY
- Chicago Parks Foundation - Chicago, IL
Fairmount Park Conservancy - Philadelphia, PA
2. Pick Up Some Trash!
Today most neighborhoods, parks, and trails have a Facebook Group, Newsletter, or Instagram account. Look them up and follow them for volunteer opportunities coming up! However, you don’t need to be an official volunteer to keep your neighborhood or local trail clean, and when thinking of Earth Day activities, this is a no-brainer. If it is safe to do so, take a bag with you on your walks, runs, and hikes, and pick up any trash you find along the way. Any bit helps.
3. Reduce Household Waste - Make a List!
It is always good to re-evaluate habits, purchases, and activities contributing to your household’s waste. While recycling is a great place to start, consider buying products that use less packaging, reusing certain packages and containers, taking shorter showers to save water, turning off lights when not in the room, and more. While this is If you live near a lake or a river, consider the amount of salt you use on your driveway and sidewalks in the winter months. This salt can make its way into nearby rivers and lakes, affecting their ecosystems.
We can reduce waste at home in so many ways; check out this excellent categorized list by Zero Waste Home, which can be of great help. Give it a go with your family as one of your Earth Day activities – take what works for you and leave what doesn’t!
4. Start Composting or Find a Compost Drop-Off Location
It is easier than you think, and even if you live in a small apartment, you too can start a compost and reduce your household’s waste. Here are some tips:
- Keep a small compost bin or can on the kitchen counter for easy disposal
- If you lack the counter space, keep your compost bag in the freezer (this also helps with smells if you don’t contribute to the compost often enough)
- Look for compost drop-off sites in your neighborhood. These are becoming more and more popular in cities across the country.
And here are more ideas for composting in small spaces: Break It Down: 4 Composters for Small Spaces
5. Grow Your Own Herbs
How great would it be if you had all your favorite herbs ready and available at home? Some fresh mint leaves for a nice afternoon cocktail, sage to cook in melted butter for a pork chop dinner, or fragrant basil leaves for a Caprese salad. You can find seeds and grown plants at any hardware store or nursery, and if you need a little more guidance, this Herb Garden Kit from Etsy makes gardening super convenient and easy for beginners. This kit works great indoors and outdoors. Yes, responsible shopping can indeed be one of your Earth Day activities, which brings us to #6...
6. Install a Bird Feeder
Bird feeders are underrated. The simple act of installing a bird feeder and putting seeds in it pays itself off by providing unlimited entertainment and enhancing your surroundings with beautiful bird sounds and sightings. No yard or porch? Not a problem, there are so many kinds of feeders out there, and you can undoubtedly find one that suits your location. Plus, your cats and dogs will love it! (from a distance).
While you can buy bird feeders at any hardware store, check out Etsy for some unique and handmade options. And if you end up captivated by these avian creatures, get started on bird watching with this guide by Audubon.
7. Ride a Bike
You know we couldn’t finish this off without telling you to go out and ride your bike as our absolute favorite of all Earth Day activities. And not just for fun or fitness. If you find yourself about to head out to run an errand, ask yourself: Can it be done on a bike? It is a simple activity that is healthy for you and the Earth. And if you need a new bike bag to pick up those aforementioned supplies … well, you came to the right place. Shop Po Campo bike bags now.
Get outside, connect with the outdoors, and strengthen your relationship with the Earth, as it is a rapport that is certain to return the love. Happy Earth Day!