Earth Day might seem like one of those throwaway holidays that you see on the calendar, even though you don’t get the day off. For those without experience of Earth Day programming, April 22 might seem like a festival of good intentions above all else. But what does Earth Day actually accomplish?
Turns out, quite a lot, but your experience of Earth Day depends on where you live and how you choose to participate. Founded in 1970 and first recognized in the United States, Earth Day is now recognized in 193 countries. Earth Day was the occasion upon which the Paris Climate Agreement was agreed in 2016. It was also the day chosen for the March for Science in 2017, as well as countless other national, international, and regional events.
Viewed from 20,000 feet, Earth Day is a banner beneath which to gather awareness and activity pursuant to a healthier environment. Like most of the conservation movement, Earth Day may be nominally about the world around us, but it’s at its heart motivated for the good of humanity. After all, most people who work for the good of the planet do so (if not in whole, at least in part) that humans will always have a nice place to live.
If you are a human (which, you probably are) and you enjoy being alive and wish to keep it this way (which we certainly hope you do), you can get behind the ethic of Earth Day. It’s a well-meaning global initiative that actually helps get big stuff accomplished. But is there any way you can actively participate in it? Yes, there totally is.
If you want to join with other Earthlings on Earth Day, you’ve got to do some research about events and initiatives in your area. If you live in a city, this will be easy, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a community that doesn’t have at least something going on for Earth Day. Here are some of our favorite examples of things to look for.
- Plant Trees. If you own land, plant trees on it. If you live near someone else’s land, plant trees on it if you are able. Trees are valuable in multiple ways. They purify the air, they provide habitats for all kinds of wildlife, and they even add to your property value if well-chosen and well-placed. It’s a good idea to work with your natural ecosystems by planting native species…but you could also choose to buy a baby redwood online, so long as you have a well-watered temperate area for it to grow. The choice is yours. Just plant some trees.
- Create Bee Habitats. Bees are one of the most important foundations of various ecosystems, and even the human food chain. We all know that bee populations are suffering from various environmental, chemical, and predator causes. You can help by becoming a beekeeper, or creating natural bee-friendly environments that won’t even require any care after they’re constructed. There are many local efforts, educational opportunities, and free materials at your disposal if you look.
- Free Education. Earth Day is used for education at many schools and universities across the world. There are likely workshops and lectures that you can attend on a variety of subjects of interest. Google around to see what’s going on in your area. You may just find yourself enriched.
There are tons of ways to get the most out of Earth Day. You’ll have to do a little digging (metaphorically, and perhaps literally), but you’re sure to find something of value to you and your planet.