You may have heard about Earth Day and just thought it was for activists, or the super environmentally conscious, or for whatever reason you just didn’t get involved much.
Well, no worries, you have come to the right place, because below I have provided 6 simple ideas on how to celebrate Earth Day for beginners. You will see that you can have fun and make a difference!
I say “beginners” because I feel that we are all in different places in our habits and overall lifestyles. There are individuals that use disposable products everyday, for everything they can.
Then there are individuals on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, who completely refuse to buy anything with packaging and live completely self sustaining lifestyles. And then everyone else is pretty much kind of just sprinkled anywhere in between the two.
We human beings are happy when we make progress, and I think that is a great goal to strive for – progress. So what would progress look like for individuals that dispose of styrofoam everyday? And what would progress look like for individuals that are already extremely conscious of their impact on the Earth?
We don’t have to be extreme to make a difference. And making a difference can be fun. Having said that…what would progress look like for you?
To help you get some ideas, I have compiled a list below of some fun ways you could celebrate or participate in Earth Day and make a difference.
But before we jump to the list, lets quickly just look at what Earth Day is and why should we celebrate or participate in it in the first place.
Why Do We Celebrate Earth Day?
Earth Day first started on April 22nd, 1970 in the United States, where millions of people protested the impact that industrial development had on the environment. The American government responded to this concern by creating the Environmental Protection Agency that same year.
Since then, Earth Day has gained quite a bit of global awareness. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly designated April 22nd as International Mother Earth Day (source: wikipedia).
Why not just keep it as Earth Day? It is said that the term Mother Earth was chosen to reflect the fact that humans, other living species and the planet are all mutually reliant on each other.
The global awareness of Earth day has grown so much that now it is estimated that every year over 1 billion people from 192 different countries participate in Earth Day (source: www.earthday.org).
How Is Earth Day Celebrated?
Probably because of how it started, Earth Day has had somewhat of a reputation of being a day of political action, with people marching streets, protesting, signing petitions and demanding change.
Though there still is some of that, (and I am not discounting the value of it), Earth Day is also being celebrated around the world in the form of learning about the Earth, discussing environmental issues and how we could be good stewards of the Earth, so future generations can enjoy it as well.
It’s also a great time to evaluate any progress made and changes that need to still be made as a world, in our communities and individually.
Some participate by focusing on creating more awareness. While some take the day to consider any possible changes they could make that would contribute to saving the planet for future generations. And then some choose to take the day to show gratitude and appreciation for the Earth by enjoying nature with their loved ones.
Can It Be Fun Though?
These ideas may not all sound like “fun” ways to celebrate, considering how we celebrate most holidays. However, it can be as fun as we choose to make it.
And let’s remember, we all have a different view of what “fun” is. One person may find gardening to be extremely fun while another may view it as laborious work.
The great thing is that we have options and we can pick something that works for us, our comfort levels, energy levels and what is fun to us.
So depending on where you are at on that spectrum mentioned above, some of the things mentioned on the list may be things you are already doing, some may be appealing to you and some you may not be ready for. That is ok. Please pick what is fun to you from the list below and consider giving it a try!
#1. Get Involved Locally
Check out your local events for Earth Day. A lot of communities have a variety of Earth Day Events. A few that I have seen in my community include:
Crafts for kids
Service projects (cleaning up public parks etc)
Tree planting ceremonies
Guided nature walks
Free electronics waste recycling
Electric vehicle expo
Free document shredding
Recycle your bicycle events
Sustainable gardening classes
Earth Day storytime (at the library & bookstores)
#2. Enjoy and Appreciate Nature:
Go to a Nature Museum
Go on a hike & try to look for wildlife
Visit your local botanical gardens
Go on a nature walk and enjoy the scenery
Explore a new part of your state
Go Kayaking or canoeing if you are near water
Go to the local aquarium
Go to the local zoo
Go to a local animal sanctuary
Visit one of the National Parks. April 21st is a free entrance day for all US National Parks.
#3. Learn More About the Current Topics Surrounding Earth Day:
PBS has a lot of great free and interesting videos
Watch a recent Earth Day Documentary. Below is a list of some from 2017 & up.
*Please note that I have not watched all of these documentaries (yet). My recommendation is strictly based off of the trailers I have seen, which you can view for free as well if you click on the title of the documentary. Some of these full documentaries are free to watch if you have Amazon Prime! (Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial)
Use a sweeper instead of a vacuum
Ride your bike
Use public transportation
#6. Help Reduce Plastic Trash:
Plant a garden, even if its just a small one.
Start recycling, or increase your recycling if you already do it.
When making purchases, try to pick the options that have less packaging.
this is an area where you could make a HUGE difference just by making a small change. And it’s easy, because now there are so many amazing types of reusable water bottles on the market, that you could easily find one that fits your needs.
Not only are reusable bottles better for the earth, but they are also better for your health. Please check out this recent video by Dr. Axe:
As you may see, there are many answers as to how to celebrate Earth Day, whether a beginner or not. My hope is that after reading this post, you will be encouraged to participate at least on some level, whether it’s something as simple as wearing a cute Earth Day t-shirt that sparks up conversation and helps bring about awareness, or something as dedicated as activism.
I’m hoping that whatever you choose makes you feel good about making a difference and that it does not overwhelm you in the least bit. Everyone is different, but many seem to be better off sticking with a change long term if they make small steps in the direction they want to go. So start where ever you feel comfortable and whatever you choose to do, do it well and have fun!
This year, I’m going to get me a really cute water bottle, and try to not buy a single plastic water bottle all year. Oh and I really want to go hiking and explore more of my state, maybe some national parks too!
What about you? Please share what change you’d like to focus on this year in the comments below!
To a better planet,
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons