4 Sustainable Actions You Can Take to Celebrate Earth Day Year Round
Earth Day represents an increasingly important date on everyone’s calendar. It’s a time when we all come together to advocate for climate action, pick up a few sustainability tips, and contribute to a cause that will affect us all.
However, Earth Day should be more than an awareness-raising event. You can celebrate Earth Day year-round by making a few sustainable changes that reduce your carbon footprint and improve the resilience of your local ecosystem.
Reduce Your Home’s Carbon Footprint
Residential homes account for 20% of all greenhouse gasses in the United States. This means that American homes produce more carbon than entire countries like Germany and the United Kingdom. However, it is possible to reduce your home’s carbon emissions by remodeling, replacing your appliances, and opting for green energy when possible — all of which you can start to initiate on Earth Day and throughout the rest of the year.
Lower your home’s carbon footprint by purchasing energy-efficient goods when your current items need replacing. Look for goods with “energy-star” certification before purchasing and consider opting for less-powerful white goods. Energy-efficient appliances can also lower your energy bill and free up some funds to reinvest in other causes related to sustainability.
If you have a yard, make your own compost from food scraps and grass clippings. Home-made compost can be a wonderful natural fertilizer for your garden and will help you grow more of your own produce. Try to add a variety of eggshells, newspaper clippings, fruits, vegetables, and pine needles. Keep the compost dry and turn it every so often for the best results.
Invest in solar if you live in an area with a decent amount of sunlight. Solar panels are becoming increasingly efficient and cost-effective. They already use 20 times less carbon than coal-powered electricity sources and will become even more carbon-efficient as the national grid transitions to a renewable model.
Enjoy and Explore the Outdoors
Much of the rhetoric around combating climate involves “cutting back” and “sacrificing” the luxuries that come with modern life. However, you should still take time to find joy in nature and explore all that the great outdoors has to offer.
Rather than flying internationally, take a domestic vacation and drive to a national park to celebrate Earth Day. Take your kids with you to reaffirm the importance of preserving nature and respecting the wilderness. If you’re looking for a longer vacation, consider touring the best national parks like:
- Arches National Park, Utah
- Sequoia National Park, California
- Crater Lake, Oregon
- Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Visiting these parks with your family will leave a lasting impression on your children. You can get involved in volunteer efforts during your visit, too, as many national parks are reliant on the efforts of climate-conscious, highly motivated volunteers.
Earth day is a great time to get involved with your local community. If you live in a town or city, there are likely multiple climate advocacy groups operating in your area. Try to find an organization that aligns with your values, and get involved with their current projects.
If you can’t find an established organization in your community, consider starting your own climate-advocacy group to celebrate Earth Day. You’ll find that there are plenty of folks in your neighborhood who want to combat climate change and are willing to get their hands dirty. Consider running projects like:
- Community clean-ups;
- Open shared green spaces or allotments;
- Fundraising for renewable energy in the area;
- Educational events to improve climate awareness.
Getting your community involved in sustainable actions is a great way to amplify your impact. Shared green spaces can do wonders for the local ecosystem and community fundraisers can help larger organizations advocate for sustainability and environmental protection on the biggest political stages.
The first Earth Day was held in 1970. Although public awareness of climate change has improved in the past 50 years, much must be done to turn the tide of global warming and avoid catastrophe.
You can help combat climate change by raising awareness and advocating for more robust environmental protection laws in your area. Follow your local sustainability groups on social media and add your voice to the chorus. Offer to volunteer at sustainability-oriented rallies, and share accurate, reliable climate information online.
Help those around you live more sustainable lives by choosing carbon-neutral gifts this Earth Day. Your friends and family may be surprised to learn that they can still shop from brands like Patagonia, Toms, and Lush. Even a small gift can leave a meaningful impression and help folks reconsider their current buying habits.
Earth Day is a great time to renew your commitment to combating climate change by getting involved with volunteer organizations. Sign up to partake in community clean-ups and advocate for more green spaces in your area. Amplify your impact by fundraising for causes you care about and raise awareness by sharing accurate climate data year-round on your socials.