Let’s Talk Witch – Celebrating Earth Day
The celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd began in the United States in 1970. Here are some ways to mark the occasion.
1. Plant trees. As the date also roughly coincides with U.S. Arbor Day, over time Earth Day has taken on the role of tree-planting. Planting trees helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cleans pollution, secures soil in place to prevent erosion, and provides homes for a lot of biodiversity.
Pick a tree that you know can survive in your climate. If you’re unsure about what that might be, ask an employee at your local garden shop, or inside the garden department of a big-box store.
2. Plant wildflowers. Choose flowers that are native to your area and plant them in your garden or on nature strips where plants are usually grown. Restoring the local plant life will help attract native bird life, pollinators and local mammals.
3. Make nature crafts at school or home. Get together with your family and or make a bird feeder to encourage the local bird population, which plays an important role in every ecosystem. For an extra-special Earth Day craft, use objects that would’ve otherwise been thrown away to create beautiful works of art. The possibilities are endless:
Turn used guitar strings into a centerpiece.
Make a basket from an old orange juice carton.
Convert an old floppy disk into a Starship Enterprise.
Wear a skirt made out of old umbrellas..
4. Learn more about the environment. Earth Day is a good time to make a commitment to learning more about the environment and how you can help to protect it. Borrow some library books and read up on an issue such as pollution, endangered species, water shortages, recycling, and climate change. Or, learn about a region you’ve never considered before, like the Arctic, the deserts, or the rain forests. Think about the issues that concern you the most and if you haven’t done so already, join a local group that undertakes activities to help protect the environment in your area.
5. Hold educational sessions about the environment. Teachers, professionals, students, anyone who cares about the environment and is willing to teach others, can all provide environmental lessons for others. Most schools already celebrate Earth Day in the classrooms with activities but there are many other ways you can teach about the environment. For example, give a speech at your local library on ; take a group of children down to the recycling center to show them how things are recycled; recite nature poems in the park; offer to teach your office colleagues how to make environmentally-friendly choices at work during one lunch hour. Everyone has environmental knowledge they can share with others.
6. Teach children and others that every day is Earth Day. Anything to help our environment is a perfect thing to do on Earth Day and every day. Don’t restrict yourself to just one day a year; learn about how you can make a difference to environmental protection all the time. And put it into practice – every day!
7. Reduce, reuse and all day long. and avoid items that come in lots of packaging. and producers of food and products – these don’t have to travel as far and so reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Take your drink container with you, and don’t use any disposable plates or cutlery. Recycle all the things you do use for the day or find other uses for things that you no longer use. Carry a cloth bag for carrying things in and recycle your plastic bags.
8. Hold a garage sale,, donate, or reuse household items. Many of us take up a lot of natural resources with stuff we don’t really need, want or use. Ironically, there’s a still lot of people who don’t have basic necessities. Plus, a lot of your unwanted clutter can be used by local charities to resell for much-needed cash.
Hold a clothing swap . This can be a fun, free way for friends, relatives, co-workers, neighbors, and the like to find new wardrobe finds. (You can combine with an Earth Day lunch or dinner, too!)
9. Get your children involved. By giving their old toys and games to other children who could make use of them, older children learn two lessons: One is about giving to others, and the second is about reusing and recycling instead of throwing things away.
Learn about product exchange communities like Freecycle and other alternatives.
10. Clean up litter. Rid litter from our roadways. Many groups use the weekend of Earth Day to clear roadways, highways and neighborhood streets of litter that has accumulated since the last clean-up day. Many companies donate gloves and bags for clean-up groups and villages organize bag pick ups. Once the group has collected the trash and placed the recycled bags along the road, get the village public works department to pick the bags up. It’s a wonderful community project. Great for scout troops, rotary clubs and the like.
11. Buy or make Earth-friendly cleaning products Try making up a simple vinegar-and-water counter cleaner, or swapping out your bleach cleaner for a less-toxic orange-based one. Just try it. You don’t necessarily have to give up your heavy-duty cleaners–just try using them when you really need to disinfect, rather than simply clean.
12. Sing or listen to “Earth” songs. There are many Earth Day song lyrics available on the Internet. Many follow well-known tunes. These make a fantastic classroom activity and help younger children to become interested in environmental topics. For listening, iTunes has many songs about the Earth for downloading: try searching for words such as “planet”, “Earth”, “endangered”, “pollution” etc. One example being “Earth Day” by Devin Townsend.
13. Hold an Earth Day fair. Maybe your school, your street, or your local neighborhood is interested in getting together to have an environmental fair. Things to have at the fair include demonstrations of environmentally-friendly products, children’s artwork, healthy/locally grown foods to eat, animal care demonstrations (including wildlife rescue), games for the children made of recycled products, musicians and actors performing environmental music and skits, stalls which are recycling unwanted treasures and books, local environmental organisations presenting their issues and wares. Money raised can go towards a local environmental restoration project or to an environmental group agreed upon by all the participants running the fair.
14. Engage others in about your environmental concerns. Don’t be preachy, just appropriately present some facts and then explain your feelings about them. Encourage them to respond and if they have no opinions or they seem to not know much, help them learn some more by imparting your environmental knowledge in a friendly and helpful manner.
15. Wear green and/or brown. Dress in environmental colors for the day; think “tree”! Wear badges if you have them that carry pithy summaries of your environmental views.
16. Cook a special Earth Day meal. Plan a menu that uses locally produced foods, is healthy and has minimal impact on the environment. Favour vegetable and bean products, as these use less resources to grow than mass-farmed meat. If you still would like meat, look for locally produced, organic meat. Try and completely. Decorate the table with recycled decorations made by you and your friends.
17. Consider to make up for the greenhouse gas emissions you create on the other 364 days of the year. Carbon offsets fund reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through projects such as wind farms, that displaces energy from fossil fuels.
Simple things, such as asking young children to use less paper to dry their hands or asking work colleagues to turn the lights off when they leave the office at night are great “small starters” to encourage bigger changes. You don’t need to feel that you haven’t time to contribute; every little changed habit that benefits the environment adds up and you are setting a good example to others.
Search the Internet for many more ideas. Earth Day is celebrated in many different ways. A really good way to find more information is to surf the internet and look at what other people have done. There is so much there that it cannot be replicated here!
The other Earth Day is celebrated usually on March 21, which is the equinox for spring in the Northern Hemisphere and for autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. This Earth Day is supported by the United Nations and the Japanese Peace Bell is rung at the New York United Nations to remind everyone of our place in the human family on our precious planet Earth.