By Mandatory Editors
April 22, 2020
With 50 years of Earth Day under our belts, you’d think the world would be in tip-top shape, but that’s not quite the case. In a self-isolated world where our leaders don’t believe in science nor care about the environment, there is something you can do to make a difference. While staying home to allow the coronavirus to pass has given Mother Nature a much-needed vacation from our destructive ways, you can give back this year by planting a seedling, metaphorical or not, for growth in the years to come. Whether that’s a succulent resilient enough to withstand your inability to keep things alive or a low-water indoor Aerogarden that provides herb gardens at an accelerated rate close to where you cook, our Earth Day sustainable hack of the year is as easy as using all those quarantine tears to water your little green friends. Because if Mother Nature hitting you with an earthquake at the stroke of midnight isn’t a sign we’re not sure what is.
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.