While I am a firm believer that EVERY DAY is Earth Day, April 22nd marks the official day each year, which means it is just around the corner. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and it is more prudent than ever that we all get involved. With the global pandemic still happening around all of us it can be all too easy to let the best day of the year slip through the cracks.
But why should you even care about Earth Day?
The climate crisis is going to bring more disasters in the coming years and decades; droughts, flooding, forest fires, and global pandemics. That isn’t a guess or an estimation. This is a factual prediction made by thousands of highly educated climate scientists. The climate crisis already is and will continue to affect every single individual on this planet, especially populations that are already vulnerable.
While some may want to push back the climate crisis or start taking action “when it is convenient”, we as a human race can NOT afford to do that. Action must be taken now, with a sense of urgency motivating all of us.
But we are all in this together. Earth Day is a chance to get involved, to start making changes, inspiring others, and saving ourselves from the climate crisis at hand. Below are four ways that you can get involved this Earth Day and start making an impact.
1. Take action with Earth Day: Earth Day is actually a non-profit organization that aims to “build the world’s largest environmental movement to drive transformative change for people and planet”. Not only does their website contain everything you need to know about the day itself, but it is also a great place to find a virtual event taking place near you. Just because social distancing is still happening, doesn’t mean you can’t make an impact.
Find an event in your area or discover what your local community plans to do once the social distancing has been lifted.
2. Trash Walk: Grab a bag and go for a walk near your home to pick up trash. Tell your friends and family to do the same and you can organize a virtual trash clean up. Remember that small actions can make a big impact and there is power in numbers. After your trash walk, be sure to organize your findings into the appropriate bins.
3. Try to go plastic free all day: According to the EPA the average American citizen produces 5.9 pounds of trash EVERY SINGLE DAY…per day people! This Earth Day see how you can eliminate single use plastic and what swaps you can start making. Buy your produce without plastic bags, make your coffee at home in a reusable cup, etc. Become aware of how much trash you are producing every day and see how you can begin to make some changes.
4. Go meatless for the day: One of the single easiest actions you can take, that will have one of the biggest impacts, is to ditch meat and dairy. Going meat free has truly never been easier and I promise that you will not drop dead from a protein deficiency. Invite your friends and family to also go meatless and try some new recipes in the kitchen. Below are some recipes that are delicious, nutritious, and will please even those new to giving up meat.
Most importantly, remember that every single day is Earth Day. Let this day act as a catalyst for change. Learn how you can get more involved in your local community, make it a habit to pick up trash when you go for a walk, continue to try and minimize your waste, and start by going meatless a few days a week. Earth Day isn’t just for those of you that are reading this article, it is a day for all of us. Talk to your friends, family, coworkers, your neighbors, heck talk to everyone in your life about Earth Day. Invite them to start making changes in their lives and watch the ripple effect begin. It’s time to start saving the planet like our life depends on it, because it does.