I’m so excited it’s Earth Day today and I want to celebrate in so many ways! One of my favorite Earth Days ever was spent meandering around Balboa Park, San Diego, exploring museums and the Japanese Gardens with the hubbie before settling down for a picnic on the large expanse of green grass. That was 23 years ago, before kids.
Earth Day 2020 is going to be one we will never forget. This will be the Earth Day we all spent inside wishing we could go out and appreciate the earth more. I promise I will be better, earth, if you don’t send anymore plagues our way.
There is another big reason that this is a monumental Earth Day. This April 22, 2020 Earth Day marks 50 years of celebrating the earth. The Earth Day movement began in 1970 and today it is celebrated by a billion people in more than 190 nations around the world. We may have our political and religious differences, but we can all love this beautiful earth that sustains life. Learn more about the 50th anniversary Earth Day goals here.
Since doing a beach or neighborhood cleanup, or taking a trip to Balboa Park is not possible this year, we are going to have to get creative about how we celebrate this beautiful planet.
Ocean Junkies came up with eight ideas to celebrate Earth Day from home.
Color A Map of the world
My mom (Gigi) bought her grandkids this awesome World Map Coloring Tablecloth that comes with washable fabric pens and let me tell you, it is addictive! One day I sat down just to color one little animal on the map and before you know it, the Colosseum, a turtle, and a tiger were also colored in.
We haven’t made much progress on it yet, but Earth Day will be our day to celebrate this beautiful planet by coloring it in. Since you probably don’t have a large fabric world map on hand today, print out some great coloring pages from the internet and host a coloring contest.
Take Inventory of Plastic in Your Home
Plastic has infiltrated our lives in so many ways that it is difficult to even know what is plastic and what isn’t. Take an inventory of all the plastic household items inside and outside your home and then offer a replacement idea. For example, reusable bags and water bottles are pretty much a no-brainer these days. Now is the time to invest in our earth – every little bit helps. Perhaps this Earth Day you make a commitment to switch from buying a new shampoo bottle every time you run out to using a plastic free shampoo bar or visiting refillable stations that are popping up everywhere. I recently visited Earthwell Refill in San Diego and was so impressed with the options available.
read an earth friendly book
Earth Day offers a fun opportunity to read a book to the kids that celebrates our earth. My mom’s favorite book to celebrate our great planet is The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry. Need more book inspo for Earth Day? Check out this awesome list of the best earth day books for kids.
But enough about the kids! I’m really enjoying the book How To Save The World For Free. It’s a nice little book that very clearly talks about the seven things we need to save, from oceans and forests to plants and animals. The author has a lot of great ideas about the changes we can make in our daily lives to become better stewards of the earth. I really recommend this as a nightstand book that you pick up and read at leisure.
plant a garden
What better way to celebrate the earth than digging your hands into its soil and contributing a new plant to its landscape? This Earth Day my family will be planting Kangaroo Paws and Hibiscus in our small garden.
Around the world, countries are planting gardens and forests to combat climate change. In Africa there is a wall of trees nearly 5,000 miles long that will spread the width of Africa. Pakistan planted a billion trees to combat the effects of climate change. In India, 1.5 million volunteers planted more than 66 million trees in 12 hours in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
If you want to get some cool gardening ideas, check out @thehappygardeninglife. Interested in starting to compost around th house? Follow @the_worm_monger and she will teach you how to compost and she also has some killer composting puns. For awesome photography eye candy with home interior and garden ideas that will make you swoon, follow @laurenliess on Instagram.
watch an inspiring movie
The world premiere of The Story of Plastic airs today 2pm EST/PST on Discovery Channel. The Story of Plastic explores the man-made plastic pollution crisis and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it.
For a real treat, watch Fishpeople put out by the ultimate eco-conscious company, Patagonia. The movie explores five people whose lives are changed and challenged by their association to the open sea. You will not be able to take your eyes off the amazing cinematography and listening to the stories will leave you amazed and inspired. We may watch Unstoppable, the Bethany Hamilton story, AGAIN, because it was that good. These are great movies for the whole family to watch together on Earth Day.
make a veggie dinner
I have not made this recipe so I cannot vouch for it, but how good do these vegetarian coconut crusted cauliflower tacos look? I will admit that these tacos look like a fair amount of work, but I’m sure they are worth it. And why is it important not to eat those cute little cows, pigs, lambs, and chickens on Earth Day? Because the global livestock industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions that planes, trains, and ships combined. Emissions from livestock, mainly cows and sheep and their manure, currently make up almost 15% of global emissions. Beef and dairy alone make up 65% of all livestock emissions. Making this Earth Day a meat-free day is one less day of emissions contributing to climate change.
virtually visit a national park
Get a glimpse of underwater life with the Channel Islands Live Webcam or take a video tour of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park’s Nathan and Polly Johnson House, normally not open to the public. When I watchd The Crater Lake National Park 360 Video Tour, I learned that it is the deepest lake in the U.S. There are so many virtual tours and live web cams available for viewing right now since we aren’t able to visit them in person. This country has a whopping 61 National Parks and since we may not be able to get to them all, take advantage of this time where we can see them virtually.
buy a bidet
Toilet paper problems be gone! No more fighting for the last pack of toilet paper at the grocery store or feeling the need to hoard it when you happen to show up at the store at the right time.
Sorry to subject you all to a photo of my toilet, but this is one of our bidets we recently purchased for $25. We installed two bidets in our home so we can use less toilet paper. Americans use 36.5 billion rolls of toilet paper every year, the equivalent to pulping 15 million trees. In addition to being eco-friendly, bidets are more sanitary and less expensive in the long run.
It would be very easy and understandable to be depressed this Earth Day. There is a lot to be sad about lately. This pandemic has certainly changed our world forever. But there is so much good that can come from this situation, if we let it. There is a lot of talk about not going back to our old ways as a society; conspicuous consumerism, unconcious waste, and not caring for anything outside out small bubble.
Now that the humans had to stay indoors for a month plus, we have been able to witness the rest of the animals who live on our planet re-emerge from their hiding places into parts of the planet they are never seen. The dolphins are swimming in the Venice canals, lions are sunbathing on roads, and coyotes have been seen roaming the empty streets of San Francisco. We are seeing blue sky in cities that usually sit in a layer of smog. The earth is coming alive with our forced hibernation.
On this Earth Day, maybe the earth is happier than it has been in a long time.
As the mother of four children, including a set of triplets, it is important to me that my family all honor the earth, giving back and preserving the health of our oceans by making small changes in everyday life. Since beginning Ocean Junkies, my entire family has a new conscious awareness of using plastic straws and utensils in restaurants and how it’s related to the trash we see on the beach. It is my hope that through Ocean Junkies and other wonderful activist websites, we can raise awareness about plastic pollution and increase sustainable living by re-using what we have already created and creating from biodegradable and compostable materials.
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