How to Celebrate Earth Day 2022
In the eco-friendly and sustainable world, April is a big month for making changes. The days leading up to April 22nd, known around the world as Earth Day, are crucial for many organizations working to shed light on the issues we face on our planet and moving towards a more sustainable world. If you’re looking for ways to contribute to this incredible movement, we’ve laid out a few easy things you can do.
What is the history of Earth Day?
Earth Day’s beginnings can be found in the United States. For centuries, companies were able to rid themselves of toxic air, water, and land pollution with no repercussions. There was no Environmental Protection Agency, no Clean Water Act, no Clean Air Act. But the 1960s brought with them a time of tumultuous change in the United States and the public was becoming astutely aware of the issues at hand, especially after the publication of Rachel Carson’s famous book, Silent Spring. Politically charged-student protests around issues like the war in Vietnam, feminism, and racism were abound and Senator Gaylord Nelson saw an opportunity. He had been worried about the environmental impact of companies in the United States for years, and decided to team up with congressman Pete McCloskey and student activist Denis Hayes to create campus teach-ins on April 22, 1970 to bring awareness to the issue of environmental pollution and gain student and public support.
The response was vast and swift. The teach-ins quickly gained nationwide attention, and Earth Day was born. It was a rare moment in American history when people from all different economic, political, ethnic, and ideological backgrounds came together in support and protest of something much larger than themselves. Within the same year as the first Earth Day in America, the Environmental Protection Agency was created and passed numerous environmental acts. Twenty years later, Earth Day went global with the help of its original founders and over 200 million people worldwide took part. Today, over 1 billion people and 193 countries participate and recognize Earth Day.
How to Celebrate Earth Day this Year
The best way to celebrate Earth Day is, of course, celebrating it every day. Keeping the earth and your impact on it in mind in the choices you make. But here at Organics we realise no one is perfect, (we certainly aren’t), and everyone can be doing a little something extra to strengthen their relationship to the planet. Here a few ways you can do so this year.
1. Make a permanent eco-friendly swap
Change takes time, but we’re guessing you’ve been trying to make loads of eco-friendly swaps over the years. Maybe some of them have taken, maybe some of them haven’t. This month, make the promise to yourself that you will finally take the leap. Here are a few easy ones to consider.
Trade your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo one
Make the change to a reusable coffee or tea cup
Swap out plastic wrap for natural beeswax wraps
Give up plastic supermarket bags for good with reusable organic cotton bags
2. Go meatless for a month
We all know about “Veganuary” but what about going plant based for Earth month? Agriculture and transportation (two huge industries involved in meat production and distribution), make up almost 50% of carbon emissions. A recent report even linked global eating habits to roughly 30% of human-made emissions. What’s more–to get a kilogram of beef to your fridge, it takes about 60 kgs of CO2, whereas a kilogram of lentils and other pulses takes just 0.9kg. Oxford University identified diet change as the single biggest way that humans can reduce their carbon footprint. When all the facts are on the table, it certainly is enough motivation to change at least one meal a week to a vegan or plant based alternative.
3. Take time to educate yourself
Nowadays we run at a million miles a minute and rarely take a minute to dedicate the time to understand the issues that really, truly matter. Take this month to make a promise to yourself to read up on the topics surrounding our planet and the publications that truly matter. Here are a few of our recommendations:
Best Books for Earth Day
All book links go to Bookshop.org which allows you to support your local bookshops while also ordering online.
- Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
- The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells
- A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold
- The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
- Our House is on Fire; Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet by Jeanette Winter
- The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (a classic if you’re trying to educate small children on the importance of protecting the earth)
Accounts to follow on Climate Change
Also be sure to check out some inspiring eco-friendly influencers you should be following who are doing great work on their social media platforms.
Podcasts on Climate Change
These podcasts cover a full range of topics on climate change and sustainability. Realistic takes on the world as it is without losing hope or sight of how small changes in our individual lives can make a big impact.
How often do you really, truly immerse yourself in nature and appreciate our intrinsic bonds with the Earth and all of its gifts? Even if you find yourself in an urban environment, there are always opportunities to take note of small pieces of nature that you may take for granted on a daily basis. Consider taking the time to participate or visit an eco-friendly event happening in your area–here are a few eco-friendly events happening in London this April to give you a start! Whatever you do, try to push yourself to connect with nature somehow. Perhaps by visiting some beautiful gardens, going on a nature retreat, taking the long way to work through the park, or simply noticing the changes of the trees outside your office window.
5. Donate what you can
This doesn’t have to mean money. Do you have gently used clothes lying around? Consider a local clothes swap or revamping them into something new you or a friend would like to wear. Are you free for a couple of hours? Consider donating time to clean up a local park or volunteer to go plastic fishing in a local pond or lake. And of course, if you can donate money take a look at one of these incredible organizations and consider making a donation to support efforts to curb climate change:
When we really think about how to celebrate Earth Day, we must first re-evaluate the relationship we have with the Earth. Do we take enough time to appreciate what it offers us on a daily, weekly, monthly, even yearly basis? If we are honest with ourselves, in the middle of our fast-paced and hectic lives, many of us would probably have to answer, "no". Take this month to focus on changing that. Think about the eco-friendly and sustainable swaps you can make a permanent commitment to, carve out time for the book on climate change you've been meaning to read, or just switch out your morning radio with an enlightening podcast on sustainability. Take this month to focus on small ways to celebrate the Earth all year round.
Love yourself, love your planet.