Earth Day is steadily approaching. It’s a holiday with over 40 years of history, and many credit it with helping spawn the modern environmental movement. With localities across the nation passing proclamations in support of Earth Day, it’s clearly becoming a crystallized national holiday (even if we don’t get the day off).
So, what are you doing this Earth Day?
Number 1. Plant a Tree
Sound cliché? It shouldn’t. With rapid deforestation across the world, planting more trees is essential. Trees help beautify the environment, create habitats for animals and insects, an, perhaps most importantly, they facilitate the process of carbon sequestration. In other words, they breath in carbon dioxide from the environment!
Plant a tree!
Number 2. Start an Organic Garden
If you do (or even if you don’t) get the chance to plant a tree, you might as well keep up the momentum and start an organic garden. Not only will these include the above benefits, but this will also provide you with a source of healthy, delicious food. It’s easy to start an organic garden, and you can work with any size of space (even if you’re indoors!)
Number 3. Volunteer at an Earth Day Event
Get engaged! Support your community and their pursuit toward a greener world. A great way to do this is to offer up some of your own time and energy to raising awareness about the issues that are important. Call up your mayor’s office or check newspapers for information about events.
But what if there isn’t one in your neighborhood…?
Number 4. Organize and Earth Day Event
Organize it! You may consider getting a team together to help with phone banking and scheduling, but even with a bone-thin staff, you can still organize a great event. Newspapers and other media outlets love to cover grassroots organizing, and getting an elected official to your event is a sure fire way of bringing additional attention.
You’ll want to choose a focus for your event – maybe a symbolic planting of a tree or a recycling drive? – but that’s up to you. Maybe take a stroll around town and find an issue that seems to be overlooked or poorly addressed. An organic food drive for the homeless is a great way of raising support for sustainable agriculture as well as support for an interconnected community.
Raise that social capital!
Number 5. Make your Home More Sustainable
Here at Organic Soul, we’ve been working through a multi-part guide on Home Sustainability. This Earth Day, make the most of your own resources and increase your efficiency. The steps are simple, straightforward, and usually fit with anyone with a focus on frugality.
You can also look at this like spring cleaning – recycle (or upcycle) all your old things and get yourself back to the basics!
Number 6. Educate Yourself
Take some time this Earth Day to find out the latest in environmental news. You can learn about the history of Earth Day, new advances with renewable energy, and why eating organic, local, and sustainably grown foods is so beneficial for you and the environment.
Number 7. Start a Green Scholarship
This one may be better for those who have a bit of extra money to spare, but starting a scholarship fund is a great way to raise awareness on green issues. Visit a local community college or university (or even a high school) and get in touch with the financial aid office to find out how to step up a fund. You can give away two $250 scholarships to students who write the best/most passionate paper about changing our environment for the better.
Not only will this get people thinking about the topic, but the $250 can be used to put their plan into action!
Number 8. Make an Earth Day Dinner
For those of us without the time to organize an event, consider having a potluck style event at your home. Invite your friends and family and have them bring food that fits the holiday. Try to buy all organic or locally grown foods, both of which help curb pollution.
Number 9. Don’t Drive
Simple enough. Commit yourself to ride your bike, take public transit, or even walk (crazy, I know). If you’re really passionate about the idea, make this a regular thing – that means walking today.
Number 10. Donate to a Charity or Start a Carbon Offset Fund
Finding any of these choices difficult? Not to worry, there are also ‘checkbook’ style efforts you can take.
First, consider donating to a charity like Earth Day Network or Trees for the Future, who plants thousands of trees a year all over the globe. Just like option number one, this helps with carbon sequestration and provides resources for the people of underprivileged parts of the world.
Secondly, you can also set up or contribute to a carbon offset fund. This may include planting trees, but it may also include investment in wind, solar, or other forms of alternative energy. Do a little research to find out what you think looks best and start donating today!
Number 11. Pat yourself on the Back
While this isn’t really an Earth Day activity (which is why it isn’t listed in the title), it’s always good to sit back and appreciate what you’re doing for the world. Self-righteousness is something we want to avoid, of course, but you can be modest and still aware of your action. Maybe set a goal – do at least 7 things on this list – then you can pat yourself on the back.
From everyone at Organic Soul, Happy Earth Day!