24 hours a day, 365 days a year, we live our whole lives on planet Earth.The Earth supports us by providing us with resources and shelter. In return, we build up our lives upon it and often donâ€™t bother to clean up the waste such as pollution, trash, and sewage. Our Mother Earth puts up with a lot of abuse, but it is time we grew up into responsible children. Earth Day is the opportunity for us all to give back the love!
Earth day was created 40 years ago on April 22nd to raise awareness and inspire appreciation and respect for our planet. Founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970, the idea of Earth Day started as an environmental teach-in but expanded to include 20 million demonstrators all across the country with the goal of provoking policy changes, for the sake of a healthy and sustainable environment. Following 1970 Earth Day, important laws were passed, such as the Clean Air Act, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency was created. Since then, Earth Day has become an official holiday and is celebrated in 175 countries, making it the â€œlargest secular civic event in the worldâ€.
What You Can Do For Earth Day
So how should we pay tribute to this special day? You can start out by making some sustainable changes, pledging to be more green, and getting active!
1. Adopt a Green Habit
Make a commitment to go green this Earth Day by switching to more eco-friendly habits. Here are some examples of simple sustainable habits you can adopt:
- Switch off the light when you are leaving a room;
- Turn off the TV if you are not actually watching it; likewise for your computer if you are not using it;
- Do without heat or AC: put on socks and a sweater if you are cold, dress very lightly and drink cold water if you are hot;
- Turn off the water tap when brushing your teeth and washing your hands: that running water is otherwise plainly wasted;
- Take shorter showers: 8 minutes should be your goal, not the usual, wasteful 15;
- Soak your dishes in a washbasin or sink for several minutes before washing them: the grease and dirt will come off more easily, with less water.
- Recycle as much as you can: paper, plastics, wood, etc. If you are unclear about how to sort out your recycling, click here.
- If possible, start composting: itâ€™s really not difficult.
- Before going shopping, grab a few canvas tote bags: plastic bags, as well as paper goods, can wreck havoc on the environment.
- Take a break from the car. Consider whether you can get to your destination on foot, by bike or using the public transportation: not only will it be good for your health and the environment, it will be good for your wallet, too!
2. Make a Green Pledge
After making your pledge, share your goal with thousands of others who are doing similar things by submitting the Sierra Club Earth Day Pledge! Pledging is a great way to spread support and enthusiasm. You can pledge to do any of the green habits above or other, more nature-oriented activities, such as planting a tree, flowers, or vegetables. Pledging to be green isnâ€™t just for Earth Day, however. At Billion Acts of Green, people can input their own environmental pledges and work to build a greener world with millions of others all year round.
3. Show Your Support
This Earth Day, take the time to give back to the Earth as well as your community by joining one of the Earth Day events nearby. Fun things to do on Earth Day include volunteering with friends, family, and social groups to help preserve a healthy Earth. Many major cities have planned big events:
- New York Cityâ€™s Earth Day will be having a giant tree planting event with the goal of planting one million trees;
- in California, the Bay Area Earth Day will focus on cleaning up the oceans while Los Angelesâ€™s Earth Day will be having a giant sustainability fair!
To find the Earth Day event closest to you, check out the Earth Day Campaign by the Earth Day Action Center or the listed events by the EPA. Just make sure to commute green by either taking a bicycle or public transportation.
And if one day just isnâ€™t enough, the entire week of April 16-22 is also Earth Week! The finale will be on Sunday April 25th with the Climate Rally organized by earthday.org in Washington, DC to demand that Congress passes strong legislation. So this April 22nd, celebrate all that this Earth has given you and help keep it a beautiful and sustainable place to live.
Let us know how you plan to celebrate Earth Day by sharing your pledge in the comment box below.