Land Trust Offers Ideas on How to Celebrate Earth Day
This Earth Day, the 50th year we officially dedicate a day to celebrating the beauty and bounty of our planet, will be decidedly different. As we watch the COVID-19 pandemic encompass the globe, we are poignantly aware of our interconnected existence: what happens in one part of the world can quickly reach all of us. We see this epidemic affecting human health and economies, but impacts to natural ecosystems can also have widespread effects, chain reactions, and unintended consequences.
This global shutdown has yielded a boon for nature as pollution maps indicate global carbon and nitrogen dioxide levels have temporarily dropped by an average of 40%. Human health benefits from this pollution decrease enable better potential resistance to disease. Wild animals walk urban streets as the presence of humans recedes. In this moment, we can very clearly see what the world looks like with a dramatic reduction in human activity and fossil fuel emissions. We have a glimpse to a possible future if we can reconcile environmental quality with economic activity.
Here at Greenwich Land Trust, we will miss our annual Earth Day Celebration – a tradition since 2013. We so enjoy these days of community, camaraderie, and work. Earth Day has been a day of coming together and celebration and this year will be much quieter, but hopefully no less impactful. Please consider what you can do to celebrate and care for our earth this April 22 and beyond.
Five Ideas to Celebrate Earth Day Today and Everyday
Zero Waste Challenge
How can you drastically reduce the waste your family produces? Investigate the Zero Waste movement. From re-purposing items to decreasing unnecessary consumption to recycling to composting, this approach to minimizing waste will open your eyes to a more sustainable and less wasteful lifestyle.
Try a Meatless Meal or Buy Grass-fed Meat
Factory farmed meat has a significant environmental impact in the form of solid waste and gaseous waste, or methane. Concentrated animal feeding operations also must treat animals with preventative antibiotics. By eating more vegetable-based meals (beans, legumes, etc.) and buying grass-fed and finished meat, you can use the power of your dollar to support non-polluting food sources. Better yet, find a farm or a farmer’s market and keep that dollar local!
Conduct a Home Energy Audit
Heating, cooling, lighting, and powering all the other activities that occur in homes requires a lot of energy. Energy is often lost due to old systems, poor design, sub-standard materials and other inefficiencies. Conducting a professional energy audit or doing an audit yourself can save energy and save you money. Very often a few minor upgrades or adjustments can yield big improvements.
Learn About Upcycling
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is an oft-used expression in the world of upcycling. We have increasingly become a throw-away society where items are thrown away when they lose their original utility. However, the upcycling movement is leading the way with ideas about how to re-purpose old items so you don’t have to toss them into the landfill. There are many online resources where you can find great project ideas. All it takes is an idea and a little craftiness!
Throwing vegetable and fruit waste into the trash fills up landfills unnecessarily and can take 25 years to decompose versus a handful of weeks in an outdoor composting bin. In addition, you can create a high-quality soil amendment and a terrific earthworm habitat.