This April 22nd we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. This holiday was originally started in 1970 to celebrate the Earth and teach about conservation. In the past, many people have celebrated this historical event by cleaning up rivers and highways, planting trees, and holding conferences to help make better environmental decisions. This year has been very different however, and you may be thinking, how can I still celebrate the Earth this month? Here are some ideas for practicing conservation from home:
- Start (Or continue!) to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Reduce the amount of water you use by taking shorter showers, scraping scraps into the trash (instead of down the sink) or combining loads of laundry. Just don't skimp on that hand washing!
- Pick up trash around your neighborhood. When you are walking around your neighborhood, pick up any trash you see and put it in the proper receptacles. It may not feel as big as cleaning a whole river, but every little bit counts. This can help reduce the micro-plastic that is found in many waterways today.
- Plant a garden. Now is an excellent time to learn about and try your hand at growing your own food. Not only is it satisfying to see your hard work go straight onto your dinner table, it also reduces carbon emissions by cutting out shipping.
- Become an ereader! Many people may be missing their local libraries, but many of them still offer books through apps such as Libby or Overdrive. The "e" stands for "electronic", but it could also stand for "environmental", since reading digital copies of books cuts down on the amount of paper produced to create books.
- Practice citizen science. A big part of science is simply observation. Many scientists use citizens in their research to track the habitat and migration of different animals. Look for websites, apps, or Facebook groups that need observations of plants, animals, insects and birds, and submit what you see day to day! Share your observations on the website or app called iNaturalist. You can use lots of apps and internet communities to help you identify species, but here are a few to get you started:
- "Merlin" for birds
- "PlantSnap" for plants
- "Picture Insect" for insects
- "Seek" by iNaturalist
Comment below if you can identify the birds in these photos.
- Look to see what others are doing! There are many people celebrating in their own way, look on social media to see how people are celebrating the Earth. And don't forget to post your own!