Earth Day is Every Day
The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. It was the idea of Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin to organize a nationwide grassroots demonstration to bring recognition to environmental issues across the United States. That day, 20 million Americans took to the parks and streets to stress the importance of living in a healthy and sustainable environment.
Earth Day is still observed each year on April 22 by more than 500 million people in 175 countries. In fact, Earth Day has now evolved into a worldwide, yearlong campaign to protect our global environment.
What You Can Do
This April 22, make a commitment to yourself and your community to celebrate the earth for more than just one day. Instead, do your part throughout the year by adopting a “greener” way of life. Below are 12 things you can do alone or with others to help protect the environment every day:
1. Reduce & Reuse
Clean out your basement and attic. Instead of throwing away items such as toys, books and clothes (and adding to overflowing land fills), give them away to charity or have a yard sale.
Place a recycling container next to your garbage can or close to it. Toss in all paper, glass and plastic you use throughout the day.
3. Use Cloth Bags
Instead of accumulating more plastic bags every time you go shopping, take a cloth or canvas bag with you to carry home all your purchases.
4. Clean Up Litter
Discarded waste can destroy an area’s natural beauty, harm wildlife and diminish water quality. Organize a group to clean up litter from your neighborhood – and pledge to pick up a piece a day.
5. Drive Less
Plan errands so you can get most of them done in one trip. Organize a carpool with neighbors who work near where you do, or take public transportation to the office.
6. Drink Tap Water
Bottled water produces up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year. That’s because over 80% of plastic bottles are thrown away, instead of recycled. Eliminate the problem by taking tap water with you in a reusable thermos.
7. Change Light Bulbs
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) reduce the energy used for lighting by one-third and can be used wherever you would use a regular bulb.
8. Launder Smarter
When doing laundry, save energy by washing in cold water and line drying.
9. Plant Trees
Planting trees helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, clean pollution, secure soil in place to prevent erosion and provide homes for all kinds of animals.
10. Conserve Water
Save water in your home by installing low-flow showerheads and toilets, and consider buying a front-loading washing machine.
11. Buy & Prepare Organic Foods
Organic farmers conserve water, soil and energy in their agricultural practices to help preserve the environment for future generations.
12. Learn More About Nature
Visit a local botanical garden or nature preserve to learn about nature from experts and scientists. Or join a local nature club and attend organized conservation events.