How do you plan to celebrate Earth Day on April 22, 2016? Will you join the more than one billion people who participate in Earth Day activities each year to highlight environmental issues? The first Earth Day, held on April 22, 1970, launched an awareness of protecting and preserving our planet that continues today.
If you wish to celebrate publicly, check your local community calendar for Earth Day fairs and events. Or, you can always celebrate privately, in your home, with one or more of these worthwhile Earth Day projects:
Landscaping Projects for Earth Day• Make a compost pile. Composting can help you use kitchen scraps (saving landfill space) and add nutrients to your soil.
• Plant some shade trees to help cool your house naturally in the summer (and to help facilitate clean air), or a wind break to help save heating energy and costs in the winter.
• Plant an organic vegetable or herb garden.
• Create a rain barrel to collect water for your lawn (check local ordinances first).
• Plant a perennial flower bed.
What to do on Earth Day• If your home doesn’t already have one, create a recycling center. If you already have a recycling center, take another look at how your household is using it and how you could improve your efforts.
• On average, Americans recycle less than a third of our waste, so there is plenty of room for improvement in most homes across the country. Get your entire household involved and brainstorm ways that you can recycle more items.
• Don't drive. Save gas and spare the atmosphere a little pollution by walking, biking, or taking public transportation to school or work on Earth Day. You may enjoy it so much that you’ll decide to take alternative transportation several days of the week or month. You can also use Earth Day to start a carpool with co-workers, friends, or neighbors. In addition to saving energy, you’ll save money on gas.
• Fix leaky faucets in your home to reduce water consumption. While you’re at it, do a full-home energy assessment to check for air leaks or other ways that your home may be squandering energy.
• Make a bird feeder using a milk carton or pine cones.
• Create art from recycled materials. Gather extra buttons, used jars and cans, fabric scraps, pieces of yarn, and let your imagination go. Make a necklace or a bulletin board out of wine corks, or make magnets from bottle caps. Even young ones can get in on the fun with these recyclable projects for kids.
• Mix up some earth-friendly cleaning solutions to replace the commercial products that you have in your cabinet.
• Visit a local farmers' market. Not only will you be supporting growers in your area, but buying local helps save transportation energy and fossil fuels.
• Start a community garden. Earth Day is the perfect time to hold the first meeting with interested people in your neighborhood or community.
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• Commit to carrying reusable bags when you shop. Store bags in your car so that you’ll have them with you when you stop to shop. Designate separate bags for meat and dairy items, and remember to clean the bags on a regular basis to prevent harmful germs from accumulating and spreading. Reusable shopping bags make great Earth Day gift ideas, too.
• Organize a litter pickup with your family and friends. Walk around your neighborhood or community and pick up any litter that you see. Recycle what you gather.
• Take the time to look into alternative energy technology for your home. Solar, geothermal, and wind energy innovations are becoming increasingly affordable and effective energy sources for homeowners. Find out if your local utility company or government has an incentive program for renewable energy.
Earth Day Crafts for Kids• Throw an Earth Day party. Better yet, make it for a good cause. Ask guests to donate items, money, or time to a local environmental organization.
• Serve a special dessert in celebration of Earth Day, like this delicious dirt pudding. Or, serve an all vegetarian meal, such as macaroni and cheese and salad, or a vegetable pizza.
• Make an Earth Day jar. On scraps of paper, write down simple, easily executable ideas and reminders that you and your family can do to be good stewards of our earth. Put the jar in a central location, and periodically draw a piece of paper and follow the instructions.
Perhaps the best way to celebrate Earth Day is to commit to appreciating our planet every day of the year. Get outdoors often, and take in the natural beauty that surrounds us. An awareness of how special our environment is will motivate us to protect and preserve it always.
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