If you are like a lot of us, Earth Day this year might have passed you by. So much has been going on, it can feel overwhelming as to how to celebrate our yearly milestones. But did you know that 2020 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day? With the current health crisis we are in, this is an opportune time to work on greening your community! Whether you have young children at home, kids home from college, or it’s just you, giving back to our earth when we have a little more time to spare than usual is a great way to make use of your time and make the world more beautiful. Here is our list of 10 ways to make your home, neighborhood and town a better place to live, for people and animals. Read on!
- Grow healthy food.
If you haven’t before, start a vegetable garden! You can get seeds at your local seed store (order in advance for curbside pickup). Starting seeds is a joyful spring activity and can help fill your pantry—a helpful thing during this time, or any time. For tips on growing a vegetable garden, go to https://www.americanmeadows.com/start-seeds-indoors.
- Make your community more walkable and bikeable.
Writing letters to your state and local officials is a safe, social distanced activity to do as a family to make changes. Where could your neighborhood/town/city use more bike or walking paths or green spaces? Make your voice heard!
- Shop local.
Many businesses are starting to reopen and could use the support. Order groceries from your local market, buy gift cards from your favorite restaurants, see how your favorite businesses are doing and see if they need help!
- Reduce waste.
Since you are growing a garden, even a container one, start composting! Almost all your food waste can go into a compost bin, which then turns into delicious fertilizer for your plants. Or, if you live in a city, most cities have composting programs where they pick up household compost weekly and return beautiful rich soil to you. Learn more about composting at https://www.npr.org/2020/04/07/828918397/how-to-compost-at-home.
- Plant trees.
Trees- they make the world beautiful, keep the air clean, keep temperatures cooler, provide homes for birds and other creatures—they really are perfect. So why not plant some more? An orchard, some shade trees—the choices are endless!
- Opt for natural, organic lawn care.
Instead of using chemicals on your yard, use a natural approach. That will protect wildlife and make your yard a safe haven for butterflies and birds. Learn about natural lawn care at https://richsoil.com/lawn-care.jsp
- Make your recycling space more beautiful.
Sometimes, the areas we have reserved for garbage and recycling can be unsightly. Make your area more inviting! Whether you draw a curtain to hide bins, choose more beautiful bins (painting bins could be a fun project) or simply clean it up, having a beautiful space to recycle can encourage you to do it more.
- Have less lawn, more garden.
Lawns use a lot of resources, time and energy—why not turn most of your lawn into a wildflower garden! Try butterfly loving plants and hummingbird loving bushes—you will use less resources and have more time to do what you love—watch the wildlife! To learn more about turning your lawn into a wildflower garden, go to https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2019/apr/24/why-you-should-turn-lawn-into-wildflower-meadow
- Volunteer in your community.
Food pantries and homeless shelters are in desperate need of help. If you have the time and inclination, helping them by donating money or food, time, help with raising money, etc. could be so helpful in these time. Contact your local agencies to find out how you can help.
- Clean up your energy use.
It is getting lighter out—are you making sure you turn off lights when you leave a room? Have a full freezer? Low-flow shower head? There are so many ways to reduce our energy use. Go to https://www.energysage.com/energy-efficiency/101/ways-to-save-energy/ to learn more ways!
Those were a lot of ideas to make the world cleaner, more beautiful, and better. Celebrate Earth Day all year by making these habits a daily part of your life! Comment below as to ways you are making the world better!