Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22nd, and it is a great time to reflect on our impact on the environment. Before we get into what steps YOU can take to celebrate Earth Day at home to make our planet a little bit better, I just wanted to share a brief history of how it all began.
How Earth Day Began: The Surprising Story Behind the World’s Largest Environmental Movement
Do you know how Earth Day came to be? It’s a fascinating story that involves a Wisconsin senator, a massive oil spill, and a group of passionate activists.
The Year Was 1969…
Senator Gaylord Nelson, a champion of environmental causes, was deeply concerned about the lack of attention given to environmental issues in politics. He wanted to find a way to raise public awareness and put the issue of environmental protection front and center.
The Turning Point
Then, in January of 1969, a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, brought the issue of environmental protection to the forefront of national attention. Millions of gallons of oil poured into the ocean, killing thousands of animals and devastating the local ecosystem.
Senator Nelson saw this as a turning point. He realized that the American people were ready to take action on environmental issues, and he wanted to give them a platform to do so.
The Birth of Earth Day
On April 22, 1970, Senator Nelson spearheaded the first-ever Earth Day. It was a massive success, with over 20 million Americans participating in rallies, protests, and educational events across the country.
The impact of Earth Day was immediate and far-reaching. It led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. It also sparked a global movement, with over 190 countries now celebrating Earth Day every year.
The Power of People
Earth Day is a testament to the power of people coming together to enact change. It’s a reminder that we all have a role to play in protecting our planet and by honoring Earth Day at home, small actions can have a big impact.
So this Earth Day at home, take a moment to appreciate the incredible history behind this movement, and to think about what you can do to make a difference in your own community.
There are many things we can do to reduce our carbon footprint and help protect the planet, and many of these actions can be taken right in and around our own homes and neighborhoods. Whether you are a homeowner, renter, or live in a van down by the river, there are Earth Day ideas that you can implement where you live.
Earth Day – Actions You Can Take Right Away
In this article, we will share eight Earth Day at Home ideas that you can try out. These Earth Day at Home ideas are simple, practical, and can make a big difference in reducing your household’s impact on the environment. Let’s get started!
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Start a Composting System
Celebrating Earth Day at home can be as simple as starting a composting system. It’s an excellent way to reduce the amount of waste that goes to the landfill while also creating nutrient-rich soil for your garden. You can purchase a compost bin or make one yourself using materials such as wood pallets or wire mesh. Place your bin in a sunny spot and start adding your food scraps, yard waste, and other compostable materials. Turn your compost regularly, and in a few months, you will have rich, dark soil that you can use to fertilize your garden.
Not sure what can be composted? Check out this helpful list:
- Fruit and vegetable scraps
- Coffee grounds and filters
- Tea bags
- Grass clippings
- Shredded paper
Avoid adding meat, dairy, or oily foods to your compost bin, as these can attract pests and create unpleasant odors.
For those that don’t have an outdoor space available to start a compost bin, they have one that can sit right on your kitchen counter! The Lomi is a magical little device that can sit on your countertop and can turn any waste into amazing soil in HOURS versus MONTHS and without the stink. Crazy, right!? Check it out Here and let us know what you think.
Install Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
Another way to incorporate Earth Day at home is by switching to energy-efficient light bulbs. This is a simple way to reduce your home’s energy consumption (and lower your electricity bill at the same time). LED bulbs are a great option as they use up to 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times longer. While LED bulbs may be more expensive upfront, they will save you money in the long run.
You can also install motion sensor switches or timers to automatically turn off lights when they are not in use. This is an especially useful feature for outdoor lighting or rooms that are frequently left unoccupied with serial light-leaver-onners (you know who you are).
Use Non-Toxic Cleaning Products
Many conventional cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that can be detrimental to both our health and the environment. By switching to non-toxic cleaning products you can make every day Earth Day at home. It is an easy way to reduce your exposure to these chemicals while also reducing your impact on the environment. You can find eco-friendly cleaning products at your local grocery store or make your own using natural ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils.
Here’s a recipe for simple (and cheap) natural all-purpose cleaner to honor Earth Day at home:
- 1/2 cup distilled Water
- 1 cup White Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Baking Soda
- 10-15 drops of your favorite Essential Oil (lemon and orange oil are my favorites for this purpose!)
Simply mix the ingredients in a glass spray bottle and use as you would any other all-purpose cleaner.
Reduce Water Usage
There are many ways to reduce water usage in your home, which can help conserve this precious resource while also lowering your water bill. Some simple steps you can take include:
- Fixing leaks
- Installing low-flow showerheads and faucets
- Turning off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving
- Only running the dishwasher or washing machine when you have a full load
- Watering your lawn and garden in the early morning or late evening to reduce evaporation
These small changes can add up to big water savings over time and help you honor Earth Day at home.
Plant a Garden
Planting a garden is a fun and rewarding way to celebrate Earth Day at home by connecting with nature while also reducing your carbon footprint. By growing your own fruits and vegetables, you can reduce the amount of packaging waste associated with store-bought produce while also enjoying fresh, healthy food.
You can start a garden in your yard or even on a balcony or windowsill. Square foot gardening is a great way to maximize the number of plants you can grow in a small space. This is especially helpful for those of us that don’t have a ton of yard space to spare. Choose plants that are native to your area and require minimal water, fertilizer, and pesticides, and utilize the compost pile we discussed earlier to create nutrient-rich soil for your garden.
If you’ve got the space, planting a tree is also a great action you can take!
Ditch the Disposable Water Bottles
Did you know that there are over 10 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans annually, and plastic bottles make up a huge chunk of that? That’s right, those convenient little bottles we use for our drinks are causing a huge problem in our marine ecosystem.
It’s not just a problem for marine life, either. Plastic bottles can take up to 450 years to decompose, which means they’ll stick around long after we’re gone. And while some plastics eventually break down into tiny particles, they never fully go away, just floating around in the ocean and causing harm to wildlife.
But we’re not here to scare you – we’re here to help you understand the problem and take action. The good news is, there are plenty of ways we can reduce our plastic bottle consumption and help keep our oceans clean and healthy.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Invest in a reusable water bottle – there are so many great options out there these days, from stainless steel to glass to BPA-free plastic.
- Bring your own cup – if you’re a coffee or tea drinker, bring your own reusable cup to your local coffee shop. Some places even offer discounts for doing so!
- Recycle properly – make sure you’re recycling your plastic bottles and other plastics correctly. Check with your local recycling program to find out what they accept.
- Spread the word – talk to your friends and family about the impact of plastic bottles in our oceans. The more people who know, the more we can do to make a difference.
By taking these simple steps, we can all make a big difference in the fight against plastic pollution. So next time you reach for that plastic bottle, think twice and consider the impact it could have on our oceans and the amazing creatures that call them home.
Reduce Food Waste
Food waste is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing food waste is an important step in reducing your household’s carbon footprint. Some simple ways to reduce food waste include:
- Planning meals ahead of time to avoid overbuying
- Freezing leftovers for later use
- Using up food scraps in recipes (such as making stock from vegetable scraps)
- Donating excess food to a local food bank or composting it
Reducing food waste not only helps the environment but also saves you money on your grocery bill.
Volunteer or Donate to Environmental Causes
Finally, consider volunteering your time or donating to organizations that support environmental causes. There are many organizations that work to protect the environment, such as the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, and Greenpeace.
You can also participate in community clean-up events or support local farmers and businesses that prioritize sustainability. Home Arise is hosting a cleanup in our own neighborhood for Earth Day and we are excited to make a small difference! If you want to find an Earth Day Event in your neighborhood, you can find them here.
Volunteering and donating are great ways to give back to the planet and make a positive impact in your community.
Implementing these Earth Day ideas around your home is a great way to reduce your household’s impact on the environment and promote sustainability. These ideas are simple, practical, and can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. By taking small steps to live more sustainably, we can all make a difference in protecting the planet for future generations.
Did you know there’s an official Earth Day Song?
The official Earth Day Song is “Earth Anthem” and was written in 2013 by Abhay Kumar.
How many people celebrate Earth Day every year?
It’s estimated that over a billion people participate in Earth Day every year, making it the largest secular holiday observed in the world.
Why is Earth Day on April 22nd every year?
Senator Nelson specifically chose this date because he needed to mobilize College Students to help his cause and on most college campuses, April 22 lands right in-between spring break and final exams.