“The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.” – Gaylord Nelson
On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day we can all make a difference, no matter where we are. Earth Day is something that is typically celebrated worldwide each year involving millions of people coming together for a variety of events geared towards helping our environment.
If you aren’t sure how Earth Day started, we are fortunate enough to have the founder of Earth Day from our very own state of Wisconsin. Gaylord Nelson served as a Senator and Governor for Wisconsin and was passionate about conservation and our environment. In 1970 he founded Earth Day which started as a teach-in about environmental issues and to encourage more laws for environmental protection. This evolved to become a yearly worldwide celebration on the importance of environmental activism and protection.
With the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and the importance of social distancing, the celebration of Earth Day may leave us feeling a little out of sync on how we can do our part to celebrate and honor Mother Earth without large gathering events to participate in.
Travel and Leisure wrote an article on things we can do to help the environment from home with ideas such as watching an Earth Day documentary to taking a virtual field trip to a national park or the Great Barrier Reef. Check out this great article for some suggestions on how you can celebrate at home. https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/responsible-travel/earth-day-activities-at-home
Thankfully in this day and age of technology there are many causes that we could support virtually who are working hard to help the environment. You can donate to one of your favorite causes that is working to help the environment from the comforts of your own home. Here is a link to many great organizations you could consider donating to in honor of Earth Day if you need some suggestions. https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=6234
Looking for other ways you can help the environment while social distancing? There are easy things you can do to help Mother Earth while staying safer at home. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- Take a walk and bring a trash bag to collect trash you see while on your walk.
- Use reusable grocery bags and refillable water bottles.
- Walk or ride your bike instead of driving if you need to go out.
- Plant something.
- Unsubscribe to junk mail and catalogs.
- Stop using plastic straws.
- Educate yourself on proper recycling methods you can practice at home.
- Listen to an environmental or Earth Day podcast.
- Get involved in an environmental cause that is important to you and help educate others.
- Unplug things such as your chargers when not using them.
- Support your local Farmer’s Markets and buy local. You can start ordering from the Dane County Farmers’ Market using the WhatsGood app for weekly drive-up orders on Wednesdays and Saturdays. https://dcfm.org/markets/local-food-pick-up
- Use energy efficient lightbulbs and set your thermostat a few degrees lower in winter and higher in summer.
- Use Eco-friendly products throughout your home.
- Look for new ways to lower your carbon footprint.
Want a local Madison area Earth Day celebration to get involved with? Sustain Dane is inviting everyone to participate in a 100% virtual way to celebrate Earth Day by joining them for the Earth Day EcoChallenge. Get together with your family, friends and co-workers to participate in this great cause. Use this link to sign up: https://earthday.ecochallenge.org/users/login
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” —Jane Goodall
Whatever positive things you decide to do to celebrate Earth Day this year, thank you! We hope that these suggestions help inspire you to keep doing the environmentally friendly things you already are each day and encourage you to add a few more to your list. Mother Earth and future generations will thank you.
Happy Earth Day!