Happy Earth day! The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action. On the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets to protest environmental ignorance. It is credited with launching the modern environmental movement and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event. This year, due to Shelter in Place, taking to the streets or attending an event, has been replaced with other forms of action. Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.
Here are a few ideas to help you make a difference in the world in celebration of Earth Day 2020:
- Skip the To Go utensils. When ordering in, as many of us are doing more frequently than ever during shelter in place, skip the plastic utensils and napkins.
- Turn off the faucet. You can save up to eight gallons of water a dayjust by shutting off the faucet when brushing your teeth? Similarly, you can conserve a lot of water while washing your hands — just turn off the tap for those 20 seconds you're scrubbing with soap.
- Unplug appliances when not in use. Your household appliances are wasting energy even when they're not turned on. Instead of leaving things like your coffee makers, toasters, and even your lamps plugged in indefinitely, make the small effort to unplug when you're not using them.
- Stop drinking out of plastic water bottles. Replace your regular single use plastic bottles with some of plastic, glass, and stainless steel reusable water bottles that are all the rage right now.
- Bring a reusable cup to your coffee spot. Many coffeehouses discount the price if you bring your own cup. Including places like Starbucks and Dunkin
- Go meatless for one meal a day. Not only will giving up meat for a meal open you up to other food options, it's better for the planet. The U.N. reports that the meat industry is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. It's also estimated that over 1,800 gallons of water are used to produce just a single pound of beef.
- Plant a Tree. Perhaps the most obvious of the bunch, but what better way to care for the Earth than to replenish it. Billions of trees are cut down every year to create the things that we use every day. Why not give one back?
- Go for a Hike. The simplest way to celebrate the Earth is to explore it. Find your nearest park or hiking trail and just walk. Keep your phone away for a bit and just enjoy your surroundings.
While the worldwide devastation caused by COVID 19 has been the worst possible way to experience environmental improvement in the world, ‘shelter in place’ has led to reduced pollution, re-emerging wildlife and shown us the size of the task facing humanity. “A key question will be do we have a green recovery” Michael Gerrard, an environmental law expert at Columbia University told the Guardian. “How people react to the return of normalcy after the pandemic will help define the crises racking the environment”
Little things make a big difference.
Happy Earth Day