Here are some things you can do on Earth Day in your free time, even while staying at home.
Because of the worldwide pandemic, we can’t celebrate Earth Day in person together, but we can still do so virtually. The Earth Day website (https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2020/) features all sorts of resources. You can participate in virtual events, help to advocate for change, and even find creative ways to participate in citizen science.
You can also take a look at the Earth Day Ecochallenge (https://earthday.ecochallenge.org/). There you can find activities that you can do on Earth Day or continue doing afterward. They have resources that allow you to discover what’s feasible for you and to help you do those activities.
Both of these websites allow you to do things on your own or with other people, and they provide great information. I’m excited for any chance to participate in citizen science, which basically allows people to help gather information and data for scientists to use—it’s a great way to work together!
If you can’t do either of those things, for whatever reason, don’t sweat it! Here’s a list of other things you can do if you’re comfortable.
- Keep the lights off.
Try keeping all the lights off in your home during the day. If you need to use them because, for example, a room has no natural light source, then make sure you turn off the light every time you leave the room.
- Spend time away from your phone.
Pick a set amount of time—it can be half an hour, hour, whole day, etc.—and turn off your phone. If your phone is turned off, then the battery isn’t draining, and you don’t need to expend energy to charge it.
- Spend some time away from electronics.
For whatever amount of time, you choose, turn off your TV, video game systems, computers, etc. Unplug them if you wish. And then do something that doesn’t require electricity for that duration, such as taking a walk, reading a physical book, or writing a letter.
If you have the ability to do it safely, go outside. Pull some weeds. Organize the tool shed or the garage. Take a walk around the yard. Do some bird watching. The app iNaturalist (https://www.inaturalist.org/) allows you to identify and track birds and other living things, and it makes the information you collect available to scientists. I have been using the app since the New Year. The website even has a page for ways to explore nature from the safety of your home (http://www.inaturalist.org/blog/31664-exploring-nature-when-you-re-stuck-at-home)!
- Make your meals in the house; don’t get anything delivered.
This one might be difficult, especially for people who want to help their local restaurants stay in business, but if you can abstain from obtaining food from outside your home this will help limit the carbon emissions put into the air today. Try making your own meals, and save the eating-out money for another day. If you don’t already possess the necessary ingredients, then please don’t feel obligated to try this idea.
These are just a few examples of the many things you can do to help our planet. If they are beyond your means or comfort zone, please don’t feel bad! This is a guilt free space, remember? If you come up with something else, do that instead, and share your ideas with your family, friends, and in the comment section below. Whatever level of Earth Day participation you’re comfortable with will earn a big thumbs-up from me! If you decide that these practices weren’t so bad, remember that you can do these anytime throughout the year.