Today marks the 51st Earth Day. The very first Earth Day was introduced in the USA in 1970 and it went global in 1990. Earth Day 1970 gave a voice to a growing environmental consciousness and put environmental matters on front pages, at least for a day.
When I was at school, we used to celebrate the Earth Day by learning about environment and climate, but also by going out to our local woods and collect litter. The whole school would join in and it was the best lesson in activism. The amount of plastic packaging, bottles and cans we have collected during those couple of hours was staggering. We used to feel a bit silly about it and treated it more like a fun day out, but after some time we could really see what a huge difference to the local area it made.
If you don't have a whole school to command, that's ok. This day doesn't require grand gestures. All the little ones count as much. So here's some ideas on what you can do:
- have a meat-free meal
- carry a reusable shopping bag
- swap a household item or a favourite skincare product to a plastic-free alternative
- use a bike or public transport instead of driving
- plant a bee-friendly plant on your balcony or a tree in your garden, or any other combination
- grow your own herbs, you can freeze the leftovers
- try a packaging-free shop
- look after your clothes, if washed properly they will last a lot longer
- shop local and sustainable
- eat more seasonal local produce
- save water by having shorter showers
- educate others!
Some of them are really obvious and that's also fine. It's fine to start small, so don't be too hard on yourself. Eventually all the little steps add up. If you would like to read more on the history and the movement, check out: https://www.earthday.org/.