The Mandatory Guide to Celebrating Earth Day Under Quarantine
It’s a big day for Mother Nature. Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the holiday that began in 1970 and is dedicated to raising awareness about the environment. While April 22 usually involves outdoor group activities, we’re each going to have to commemorate nature’s awesomeness alone, in our own way, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Tap into your tree hugger sensibilities and honor the planet with this Mandatory guide to celebrating Earth Day under quarantine.
Cover Photo: gidl (Getty Images)
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Start an AeroGarden.
Bring the outdoors inside and experience gardening without all that digging around in the dirt. AeroGardens are like the Keurigs of produce. Choose from one of several models (they’re 20 percent off right now for Earth Day!), drop in the pods, add water and plant food, and wait for your fresh herbs, leafy greens, veggies, or flowers to grow.
Make a compost pile.
Don’t throw away food scraps; compost them. To start an outdoor compost pile, all you need is an outdoor patch of 3 square feet and a bin. Add an equal amount of “green” waste like fruit and veggies and “brown” waste like leaves and newspapers. (Other things you can compost: eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags, hair, toothpicks, and matches.) Expose the bin to both oxygen and water, and rake it every week or two.
Want to compost indoors? All you need is a lidded compost bin and biodegradable bags, which you can buy on Amazon. Freeze your bags weekly, and find a drop-off site or collection service for when freezer space gets tight.
...while abiding by social distancing guidelines, of course! Appreciating nature is a gift in and of itself. Explore a new trail, identify a new plant, or forage for mushrooms (just don’t eat them until you know for sure they’re safe). Nature bathe the day away.
Post your best nature pics.
People won’t care about the wellbeing of the planet until you make it personal. So find your favorite glamour shots of nature and show them off on social media.
Pick up litter.
You probably don’t have to go far to find the refuse of some asshole who couldn’t be bothered to use a trash can. Put on a pair of latex gloves, grab a garbage bag, and beautify your little corner of the world by picking up garbage.
Buy a book about protecting the environment or stream a nature documentary. There are plenty of both genres to choose from, but to get you started, check out Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard by New York Times bestselling author Douglas W. Tallamy or the Our Planet docuseries on Netflix.
Donate to an environmental organization.
Throw some money at Mother Earth via any number of environmental charities. It’s the least you can do. Even if you don't have deep pockets, you can make a difference. At One Tree Planted, all it takes is $1 to plant one tree.
On April 22 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. CDT, join Will Steger’s Climate Generation for Eyewitness: Earth Day Storytelling Slam. You’ll hear stories, poems and musical performances by people passionate about climate change activism. Register here.