Despite its somewhat humble beginnings in the ’70s, much of the globe now celebrates Earth Day, which this year takes place on Saturday, April 22. Earth Day has long drawn attention to issues affecting the planet and its climate. The effects of those issues have grown increasingly noticeable in recent years, which makes this Earth Day an ideal opportunity to celebrate the planet while learning about the many challenges it faces in the years to come.
The following are some fun and educational ways to celebrate the planet this April.
Leave the car at home
Winter weather is a distant memory by late April in many places, making Earth Day an ideal time to travel by foot or by bicycle instead of by car. That’s not only fun, but also a great opportunity to learn about carbon emissions. The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports that a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. Vehicles also emit a substantial amount of methane and nitrous oxide. This is why gas-powered vehicles are so often linked to climate change, much of which is driven by greenhouse gas emissions. A car-free Earth Day can serve as a catalyst for conversation about the effects of gas-powered vehicles on the health of the planet.
Volunteer with a local
Environmental organizations are committed to the ideals behind Earth Day all year long. However, each Earth Day many of these organizations sponsor eco-conscious efforts to help the planet and raise awareness about issues like climate change. Volunteering with a local beach or park cleanup or signing up to walk and raise money for a local environmental charity makes for a fun and educational way to spend your Earth Day. See the list on this page for some local Earth Day cleanup opportunities.
Get your hands dirty
The National Forest Foundation notes that planting trees can have a profound and positive impact on the planet. According to the NFF, planting more trees helps forests to sequester carbon, which can have a significant effect on climate change. The NFF estimates that 100 mature trees can remove 50 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent and 430 pounds of pollution from the atmosphere. Even if you can’t work with a local forestry organization to plant more trees in a nearby forest, planting native trees on your own property can help combat climate change.
Involve children in efforts
to combat climate change
Today’s adults likely won’t be the ones forced to confront the more challenging consequences of climate change. Unfortunately, that cost is likely to be passed on to future generations. That makes this Earth Day a great time to involve kids more directly in efforts to combat climate change. Explain the significance of avoiding the car, volunteering or planting trees in terms that kids can understand, emphasizing that the future of the planet could very well be in their hands.