Image by Epic Images from Pixabay
Earth Day is celebrated every year on 22nd April and commemorates events in 1970 that many see as the birth of modern environmental action. Around 20 million Americans rallied across the country to protest about the environmental impacts of a century and a half of intense industrial activity.
Not only did this unite groups from across the political spectrum, but it also led to the introduction of a raft of laws aimed at protecting the environment. In 1990, it became a truly global event, with people from 141 countries taking part.
This year, Earth Day’s theme is ‘Invest in Our Planet’, a recognition that everyone has a stake in, and a responsibility for, the planet’s future, whether they are individuals, businesses or governments.
So, what can you do to mark Earth Day? Have a look at some ideas below.
1. Find an Earth Day Event Near You
This year physical events are combining with online ones as many places are still tentatively easing Covid restrictions. Use the official website map to find events near you; these range from litter picks to demonstrations, talks to information days. If you can’t find a physical event, why not check out some of the online events including sustainable travel ideas, talks and film screenings?
2. Do Your Own Litter Pick
Even if there are no events near you, you can still make a difference by carrying out your own litter pick, whether you organise a group or go solo.
Do you have a favourite walk or run? Combine it with picking up any litter on your route, making sure you use gloves, and you will be helping both your health and the planet’s. Running while litter picking even has its own name, ‘plogging’, and you can find groups around the UK who regularly take part by searching on Twitter.
3. Leave the Car at Home
Ditch the car and travel by foot, bike or public transport. It could be for a day, a week, a month or something that you do for good whenever possible. Maybe your workplace has a cycle to work scheme you can take advantage of? Are there opportunities to carpool in your area?
We all know that fossil fuel use is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to climate change so substituting some of your car journeys for other methods of transport will have a positive impact.
4. Switch to Reusable Packaging
Single-use plastics are a huge threat to the health of not only our planet but ourselves. Recent research has found microplastics in human blood for the first time and we already know that they are now present in places as remote as Antarctica.
Switching to reusable water bottles, shopping bags, lunch boxes, coffee cups, beauty wipes and period products can help reduce plastic pollution and has the added bonus of saving money too.
5. Create a Wildlife Garden
If you are lucky enough to have a garden or outdoor space, consider letting part if grow wild. Even if you just let one small area do its thing, you will be benefitting all sorts of wildlife by providing shelter and feeding opportunities.
Plant bee-friendly plants to encourage pollinators, as well as leaving winter food sources, such as ivy. Making sure there are gaps for hedgehogs, frogs, toads and newts to travel between your garden and others nearby is also a great way to help.
6. Get Active on Social Media
Use your social media platforms to promote Earth Day and tell everyone how you will be marking April 22nd. Use the hashtags #InvestInOurPlanet and #EarthDayChallenge to encourage others to join in.
Challenge your followers to make changes to their own habits. Share articles about the environmental issues important to you. Find like-minded groups and individuals to give you ideas and inspiration. Most importantly, spread the word.
7. Get the Kids Involved
If you are a parent or guardian, there are lots of ideas for getting the kids involved in Earth Day. If you can get outside, turn a walk into a scavenger hunt by challenging them to find a selection of local plants and animals. Or give them a section of your garden to plant and look after.
There are lots of indoor activities too, with a raft of educational resources online, including word searches, quizzes, craft ideas, games and information sheets. By engaging young people in nature, you will not only be investing in the planet, but in their future.
Earth Day, Every Day
However you mark Earth Day, whether you do something small or large, for just one day or for good, every change you make will have a positive impact on the planet, at a time when it needs our help more than ever.