Just like you, the Earth is an unimaginable wonder. And just like you, the Earth can't do it all by herself. Earth Day is a reminder for us to come together and thank our special home.
Today, more than a billion people around the world are celebrating Earth Day to protect our planet from climate change, pollution, deforestation, and other perils.
While you might not be able to pick up litter at a local park or plant a tree ourside this year due to COVID-19, we have some suggestions for other ways that you can promote environmental conservation and sustainability.
It's Grrrrrrrrrrreat to practice the 4 R's
The first R is to Reduce the amount of material things we consume, because the less new stuff that has to be created, the less polution that occurs. The second R is Reuse, like reusing shopping bags or sharing a book you read with someone else so they can read it too.
The third R is Recycle, which I'm sure you already know a lot about! Different places have slightly different recyclying rules, so you can look up the specific recycling rules for your area online.
The fourth R is to Reimagine new ways of living with the natural world and working together to bring those greener, brighter possibilities to life! And guess what? There is a secret fifth R: Repeat this cycle over and over again!
Turning off the lights is a bright idea
When we flip a switch - like MAGIC! - a light turns on! It's easy to forget that all the electricity going into our lights, phones, computers, and other appliances has to be produced from things.
Sometimes electricity is made from renewable sources like sunshine, the wind, flowing water, and even elephant dung! A lot of the time, however, electricity comes from fossil fuels like oil and natural gas that contribute to climate change.
Using only the electricity you need helps the Earth stay energized and healthy. So remember to turn off the lights when you leave a room, and take advantage of natural lighting when you can during the day. It even saves electricity to unplug applicances like toasters when they're not in use.
Make a splash by conserving water
Clean drinking water is essential for everyone, but almost all of the water on Earth is actually too salty, remote, or otherwise unfot for us to drink. That's why every drop of water conversed has a big impact.
Turn off the sink while you are brushing your teeth or sudsing up soap while washing your hands. You can also start a contest in your family to see who can take the shortest showers - while still getting clean!
There are so many creative ways to save water, too! After cooking pasta, instead of pouring the leftover pasta water down the drain, save the pasta water for your plants! In fact, all the minerals in the pasta water will help your plants grow faster!
As long as the drinking water in your area is safe, carry a reusable water bottle around with you instead of drinking bottled water. Producing all that plastic and shipping all those bottles of water creates a Bigfoot-sized carbon footprint (and lots of plastic polution). So this is one of the simplest and earth-friendliest things you can do!
Learn something new and create something too
Learning about different species is a wonderful way to celebrate the Earth and biodiversity. Many zoos and aquariums are offering free lessons and video livestreams right now, so tune in to learn about different plants, animals, and their ecosystems. You can also read books and articles, or watch environmental documentaries to discover how you can help protect endangered species and their habitats.
Making art is another awesome way to have fun indoors. Maybe you can build a sculpture out of recyclables, draw a picture on a reusable shopping bag, or decorare a vase for a plant to live in.
Eating more plants is healthy for you and Mother Earth
A lot of people are using the extra time at home right now to try new recipes. Research a new vegan or vegetarian meal to try out, or recreate one of your favorite dishes with a recipe that includes plant-based substitutes for meat.
This doesn't mean you have to stop eating meat entirely or all at once. Even choosing just one meal a week or one meal a day to be plant-based can have an impact on your and the environment's health. Try it out, and I hope you agree with me that veggies and fruit taste extra delicious on Earth Day.
Today's the Day
Many astronauts have spoken poetically about the Earth's blue beauty when viewed from space. As NASA Astronaut Mike Massimino said of his experience:
“I thought at one point, if you could be up in heaven, this is how you would see the planet. And then I dwelled on that and said, no, it’s more beautiful than that. This is what heaven must look like. I think of our planet as a paradise. We are very lucky to be here.”
Let us give thanks and take action today for how very lucky we are to be here.