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Earth Day’s Birthday: 50 ways to celebrate this spring!

Celebrating is in the doing and in the being. Earth Day turns 50 this year on April 22nd and we’ve got a lot to celebrate!

Here’s a checklist of ways you can slow down to notice nature, advocate for the planet, clean up while greening up, eat locally, explore interconnected systems, and play for Earth Day 2020. The list will help you move knowledge to action… while also slowing down to notice the environment around you and just be in nature. Can you hit all 50 this spring? Let’s get started!

  1. Take a big breathe of fresh air.
  2. Go on a walk outside with a friend. Point out the beauty you see.
  3. Look up trail maps of your area and take the one you’ve travelled the least.
  4. Watch a sunset.
  5. After a spring rain, smell the atmosphere right where you live, work or play.
  6. Pick up litter.
  7. Search a reliable media app or news website for the most 3 recent articles about climate change.
  8. Sign up to adopt a storm drain in your neighborhood.
  9. Commit to unplugging chargers when not in use. Look up more ways to reduce “phantom energy” at home.
  10. Donate books from your home to a little free library, school, child care center, or friend.
  11. Visit a local rain garden and explore putting one in at your home, work, or school.
  12. Sign up for organics recycling at home.
  13. Learn how to recycle plastic bags, chip bags, plastic packaging and films.
  14. Focus on advocacy: write an email or letter to your local mayor or representatives inquiring and advocating for waste reduction through recycling efforts in your area.
  15. Focus on local foods: try wild rice 5 different ways this month.
  16. Switch your cleaning products to green products; then take the hazardous materials to the appropriate facility for recycling or disposal.
  17. Get up early to stare at the sunrise for 3 minutes.
  18. Vow to wear what you own for 3 months, rather than buying new clothes.
  19. Focus on advocacy: write an email or letter to your local mayor or representatives inquiring and advocating for improving water quality through smart salting practices and/or increasing pervious surfaces your area.
  20. Find a map that shows historical indigenous tribes where you live. Learn more about decolonization where you live.
  21. Read about environmental hero Wangari Maatthai and the GreenBelt Movement she started.
  22. Focus on local foods: incorporate maple syrup into a breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  23. Use chalk to create an art piece showing connectedness between air, water, land, and living things.
  24. Plant some seeds outside in April. Peas, lettuce, kale, and beans work well for colder regions.
  25. Take a carbon footprint quiz online. Read about youth leading in carbon reduction around the globe.
  26. Focus on local foods: read a book or watch a video on forest food foraging. Go walk in the woods.
  27. Vow to use dishes, silverware, reusable cups and cloth napkins at your summer picnics this year.
  28. Host a “New to You” party where friends or siblings gather to share clothing, books, magazines, or household items.
  29. Start some food crops insidenow then plant outside in mid-May. Most tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, beans, herbs can be started inside in pots, egg cartons, or starter trays.
  30. Identify tree species in your yard. Look for nests.
  31. Focus on local foods: try morel mushroom hunting (with a guidebook or expert).
  32. Identify trees in your local park. Look for tree seeds on the ground or a variety of lichens on the bark.
  33. Journal about the common ground shared between your religious traditions and environmental science.
  34. Investigate the advocacy work of author,scientist, environmental hero Rachel Carson. Read a book she wrote.
  35. Learn the meaning of indigenous place names where you live. (Ex Mississippi, Minnesota, Nokomis).
  36. Look up recent news articles on “climate refugees” from a reliable news agency.
  37. Focus on advocacy: write an email or letter to your local mayor or representatives inquiring and advocating for green energy in your area.
  38. Focus on local foods: locate berry patch locations and harvest dates for your area.
  39. Just for fun, give a tree a hug!
  40. Journey along your local waterway by boat or walking path. Notice plants holding the shore and increased erosion in areas without plants.
  41. Sit on the shore of a local lake and listen to the waves for awhile.
  42. Prepare a broom, bucket, smart salting instructions and bag of grit for next winter.
  43. Design a pocket prairie for pollinators where you live, work, learn, worship or play.
  44. Connect with your county or city about the 5 best trees or shrubs to plant for climate and pollinators. Plant a tree…or help a friend plant one!
  45. Focus on advocacy: write an email or letter to your local mayor or representatives inquiring and advocating for water conservation in your area.
  46. Switch to reusable bags for your groceries, reusable containers for bulk items, and reusable towels for kitchen use.
  47. Ask a community elder about their experiences with nature and wilderness. Take time to listen and ask questions.
  48. Rent or borrow the kitchen gadget, garage tool, book or toy rather than buying it.
  49. Start a compost pile, or turn the one you have!
  50. Visit a wetland nearby to observe nature: listen, feel, smell, see.

Play. learn. Love.

April 2020