This Wednesday, April 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, which was first celebrated in 1970 to raise awareness about environmental issues. Since its founding, people around the globe have honored the Earth and supported environmental initiatives on this day. Even though we may be stuck inside and unable to participate in group activities this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can find other ways to celebrate with these Earth Day activities that you can do at home
Plant a garden or add some green to your space.
If you have access to a backyard (or even a window box), now is the perfect time to plant a garden. A small herb garden is easy to grow and maintain, and it provides fresh flavors for your future dishes. Plant flowers, vegetables, a tree — the possibilities are endless. Garden seeds and plants can be purchased on line.
Take a walk (while social distancing) and discover native plants.
If you’re able to do so, take a walk around your neighborhood (while observing social distancing rules) and learn about the plants and animals that live in your area. You can use the Native Plant Finder website to search for plants in our zone or do a little research about the animal’s native to this area.
Learn about recyclables.
Sure, you recycle plastic bottles and aluminum cans, but there are probably a lot more things that you could be recycling. Take this time to refresh your knowledge of local recycling rules, and find out where you can recycle materials like textiles and electronic waste.
Shop sustainable brands online.
We all love shopping online, so make your next purchase easier on the environment by buying from a sustainable brand. Clothes made from recycled materials, package-free toiletries and household essentials, and more are available online.
Watch a documentary about the Earth.
Cure your cabin fever with a documentary that reminds you of the Earth’s expansive beauty. On Netflix, check out Our Planet, a stunning docuseries hosted by David Attenborough that features beautiful footage and explores how climate change has impacted our world. Disney+ recently released Disneynature’s “Elephant” and “Dolphin Reef.”
Rethink food scraps.
Approximately 30 to 40 percent of the Canadian food supply becomes waste. There are a few simple things to reduce the amount of food going to waste. Here is just a few to try like using leftovers to make soup. The Zero Waste Chef has more ideas like this. See the link below. You can save those eggshells and put them in the garden. Crushed egg shells are great for keeping slugs away from your lettuce and they also put much needed nutrients into the soil. Composting or using your green bin are both ways to use those food scraps in an environmentally friendly way. Let’s keep those food scraps out of the landfills!!! https://zerowastechef.com/2018/05/02/15-creative-uses-food-scraps/
Look for stars.
Earth Day just happens to correspond with the peak of the Lyrid meteor shower, so there’s never been a better time to learn how to stargaze. If clear skies permit, get outside and look up — you might be rewarded with a shooting star or two. https://www.space.com/lyrid-meteor-shower-2020-peaks-tonight.html
Donate to charity.
While you might not be able to participate in group Earth Day activities like a park cleanup or assembly, you can still make a difference from home. Whether you want to protect endangered species or promote clean energy, there’s a charity for you.
Take a virtual field trip.
If you can’t get outside, bring the outdoors in with a virtual field trip: You can take a tour of a national park,explore the Great Barrier Reef, or even stroll through a botanic garden.