Did you know that Earth Day began in 1970 as a way to direct our attention to the effect of our lifestyles on the environment? Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, saw an opening to get environmental protection on our national agenda and took the leap to get the public involved on creating a healthier place to live. Every April 22nd, we celebrate our earth and many of those celebrations include some form of activity focused on our environments.
So what can you do to celebrate this earth day?
1. Plant something! It doesn't have to be a tree, you could plant a flower to help out the bees, or try your hand at starting your own garden for vegetables and fruits. I've found tomatoes are an easy one to start with if you're looking for ideas - just make sure you only put 1-2 seeds in a starter pod. *wink*
2. Walk or bike instead of driving. A big part of the original Earth Day celebration was to bring awareness to the fact that the vehicles of the time were creating a lot of bad air pollution. Lessen your imprint today by taking a nice walk around one of our beautiful state parks and forests, like Coopers Rock or Valley Falls. If you're in West Virginia, check for your closest location here.
3. Join a local environmental or eco-conscious group. There are several groups that make it a point to make our Earth healthy again, whether it be by picking up trash to better protect our wild animals, or advocating to our politicians to keep water clean. Here is a list of West Virginia environmental groups and organizations from Eco-USA. Also, there's a March for Science happening locally in Morgantown (and many other places) for this Earth Day, as well!
4. Have an Earth Day party! Break out your bio-degradable eatery, cook a locally sourced meal (little or no meat, read why here), and enjoy being environmentally conscious with good food and good people. If you have children, bring them into the party with some nice Earth Day themed coloring activities and lessons, like making a butterfly feeder or discovering together how to recycle things you usually throw away, like toilet paper rolls. PBS has some great ideas!
5. Make an Earth Day Pledge. Is there something you've been meaning to do to help out your environment or lessen your carbon foot print? Maybe it's switching from plastic bags to reusable grocery bags, planting a garden, using less plastic, or making your home more energy efficient. There's no better day than Earth Day to make an awesome eco-conscious change!
How will you celebrate Earth Day? Let us know in the comments!