This year’s Earth Day happens to be extra special and not just because it’s during a world pandemic. It happens to be the 50th Anniversary!
Fifty years ago, Earth Day began with 20 million Americans taking to the streets to protest environmental ignorance and demand change. It mobilized a movement that has led to monumental laws such as Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. The Paris Climate Agreement was signed on Earth Day in 2016 as well.
“To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.” -Wendell Berry
Earth Day is an important reminder to utilize our natural resources, give back to our planet and make better choices that will serve our environment and future generations. Mother Earth is currently throwing herself a ’50th’ celebration as most human activity (and everyday pollution) has come to a pause over the last few months. We have seen the pictures and read the stories of positive impact this pandemic has had on our environment. Air pollution is down, the waters in Venice are clear again and sea turtles in Thailand have the highest numbers of nests seen in over two decades. Though this pandemic has been incredibly difficult on us all for various reasons, I think we could agree that it is giving Earth a chance to thrive once again.
There are so many ways to contribute to the environment with a positive impact and sometimes even little effort. I have done some research and found some ways that speak most to me. I hope to share them with you and inspire you to pick one or find your own way to celebrate Earth Day this year.
- Your dollar is your vote– It’s true, wherever you put your money, you put your voice and your vote. When you buy from sustainable, small businesses that support fair trade and fair wages, you are saying that you also support those practices. Businesses that support ‘green’ practices support local communities and a healthier planet.
- Pick it up– I recently found an awesome small business, Keep Nature Wild, that has a mission to remove one pound of trash for every product sold. They host and sponsor clean-ups all over the world. In celebration of Earth day this year, they are hosting a ’50 for 50 Challenge; 50,000 pounds of trash picked up for Earth Day’s 50th’. They even sent out free ‘clean-up kits’ along with every purchase.
- Plant a Tree– You could start your own garden or plant a tree in the forest. Earth Day happens to be my wedding anniversary. The traditional gift for the first year anniversary is paper. Trees produce paper, so I planted a tree with Remember Trees in honor of our first year celebration. It was a sweet sentiment, though he’d prefer no gifts at all.
- Buy a Reusable Water bottle– I can only support anyone buying water bottles if they are in case of an emergency, like a ‘real-life, water breaks in a natural disaster’ kind of emergency. Otherwise, it’s 2020, you should be using a reusable water bottle everyday.
- Vote– Our elected officials decide every move that is made in our environment. It’s our right and privilege to vote people into office that will support green initiatives and help make change happen in big ways. The people in charge of big environmental decisions should believe in the science that backs climate change and are willing to fight for it.
While researching fun ways to celebrate Earth Day this year, I came across the Earth Day Network. They have three main objectives to help create a movement this year.
- Join a digital surge
- Watch Earth Day Live
- Take 24 hours of action
The Earth Day Network has already organized several ways to help you celebrate the big day.
- Commit to a Clean-up
- Register as an artist
- Ask a leader of faith to take a pledge
- Create a climate class
- Eat a plant based meal
- Contact your representative
- Take a pesticide pledge
- Bring the Campus Climate Project to your school
- Call of action
- Act on Plastic Pollution
We have been forced to a break from our busy-moving lives and literally take time to stop and smell the roses, while we still have roses to smell. If there was ever a time to do something great for our planet, that time is now.
FAST FACTS ABOUT GLOBAL WASTE
premature deaths annually caused by the uncontrolled burning of household waste.
people live without any waste collection services.
of all plastics ever produced have accumulated in landfills and the natural environment.
I am pledging to make a difference. I pledge to create art that represents the importance of our environment, pick up trash and call out out for action on #Earthday2020. I challenge you to pick something to do for Earth Day as well. When you do, tag me or comment below because I want to know. I believe we all can be a part of great change in our world and it starts with just one action. That one action has the power to inspire others and spread like wild fire. Let’s do it now while we still can.