Happy Earth Day! This is a day to give our planet a little extra love. The first Earth Day was celebrated 50 years ago today. It was a movement that brought to light the need for environmental protection. Several landmark environmental laws - like the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts - were passed and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created as a result of the first Earth Day.
A little history. During the 1960s there was increasing public awareness of the effects of industrialization on our environment. Rachel Carson published Silent Spring in 1962, which further brought to light the need to protect living organisms and the environment, and the link between pollution and public health. Denis Hayes coordinated the first Earth Day. 20 million Americans demonstrated against the impacts of industrial development on the air, water, land, and organisms on April 22, 1970. Within 20 years the movement would go global.
Each year people from around the world come together on April 22nd and do something to help our planet. During this time of social distancing doing so may not be possible. Here are some things that you can do to still celebrate Earth while staying healthy at home.
- Try plant-based foods and compost.
- Read instead of stream to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Skip harsh chemical sprays, and make homemade disinfectants. (You can use hydrogen peroxide and at least 70% alcohol. Lemons can be used to clean non-porous surfaces that don't need to be sterilized.)
- Research green energy, such as solar panels and wind mills. It may cut your electric bill.
- (Safely) share what you have with your neighbors.
- Take stock, and make stock. (Donate items that you don't use or wear anymore. Make stock from bruised veggies or leftover meats.)
- Plan your garden. It will be time to plant soon enough.
- Take a walk or go on a bike ride.
There are some awesome online resources too.
- #EarthDayAtHome with NASA: hear astronauts talk about their unique perspective on Earth, map coral reefs, and neat ideas for building with LEGO bricks.
- National Geographic is hosting neighborhood safaris.
- Home safari with The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. Visit the zoo's Facebook page or YouTube channel.
- Explore sculptures made by professional artists in Minecraft.
- The streaming service, Disney +, has some a number of Earth Day-related documentaries, series, and films.