Celebrating Earth Day Amid COVID-19

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of Earth Day – a holiday meant to call people to action to demonstrate their concern for the planet and promote conservation. As most of the nation practices social distancing, many may be wondering how to celebrate this important holiday.

At Home Conservation offers multiple resources to help the nation celebrate Earth Day at home or digitally. Earth Day Live is a digital civic event with the goal to “demand that leaders take science seriously, listen to their people and push for action at every level of society to stop the rising tide of climate change.”

You can also find a digital Earth Day event in your area using the interactive map provided on the site. The site also provides relevant news articles, ways to get involved, and information about Earth Challenge 2020.

There are also many ways to practice conservation and appreciate the earth from home. The theme for this year’s Earth Day is climate action. Here are some ways you can be a part of this year’s festivities:

  1. Opt for plant based foods to lower your carbon footprint. Greenpeace reports that “the livestock sector — raising cows, pigs and chickens — generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined.” Switching to one vegetarian meal a day can help save the environment.
  2. Spend some time outside appreciating the beauty of nature. Maybe work from home on your patio or deck, go for a walk in a low-traffic area, or read a book at the base of your favorite tree.
  3. Avoid food waste by planning your meals ahead and not overstocking on perishable items. COVID-19 has changed a lot of people’s grocery shopping habits, but it’s still important to buy only what you know you can finish before the expiration date.
  4. Reuse water bottles and plastic bags. If you’re home, try to drink out of reusable cups or water bottles instead of plastic water bottles. As grocery stores switch back to plastic and paper bags, try to reuse them to prevent waste.
  5. Conserve water by only running the dishwasher when it’s full, turning off the water when brushing your teeth, and being conscious of how long you’re showering.
  6. Start a compost pile to reduce the amount of trash in landfills and to cultivate some fertile soil for your garden. 
  7. Opt for reusable utensils and dishware instead of plastic or disposable plates, cups, and silverware.
  8. Avoid unnecessary driving. It may be tempting to go for a drive when there’s nothing else to do during this pandemic, but cars have a carbon footprint. Try to limit your driving to essential trips only.
  9. Look up your local guidelines and recycle accordingly. Every town has its own regulations for what it can and cannot collect. Read up on your local guidelines and sort trash and recycling accordingly.
  10. Limit your paper mail by registering for online bill pay and opting out of junk mail.
  11. Unplug power cords when not in use to avoid unnecessary power drain.

Getting Everyone Involved

As kids are home from school, looking for things to keep them occupied, it’s a great opportunity to get them involved in global conservation efforts as well. Here are some ways to engage children on Earth Day:

  1. Make crafts from recycled materials. Pinterest has a ton of ideas on how you can upcycle materials in your home and make something fun with your kids!
  2. Plant some seeds or a plant in the garden and teach your children how to care for them.
  3. Go for a walk together in a low population area and appreciate the nature around you. Bring your dog along to make it a family event.
  4. Create some Earth Day related chalk drawings. Chalk drawings have really risen in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Share the importance of Earth Day with your neighbors.
  5. Wake up early to catch the sunrise or watch the sunset. Appreciating the beauty of nature and what our planet has to offer us is what Earth Day is all about.
  6. Talk to your kids about the importance of recycling and teach them how to participate.
  7. Encourage children to turn off lights when leaving a room to conserve energy. Make sure you’re modelling good behavior.
  8. Watch a nature documentary. Naturally, screen time has increased since the social distancing mandates hit. Try to encourage children to watch some educational programs about the earth to increase their awareness.

Protecting our Planet

Earth Day is a holiday that everyone can participate in. During these uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic it is more important than ever to take care of our planet. Choose an activity (or more!) that you and your family would enjoy, and have a very happy Earth Day!

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