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The 50th anniversary of Earth Day comes when most of the world is much quieter than usual. Depending on where you live, you may be wondering the most appropriate ways to celebrate Earth Day—or perhaps it wasn’t even on your radar this year.

However, it’s still possible to celebrate Earth Day—even if you’re reading these several days (or months) after April 22nd. Some of the suggestions for celebrating Earth Day are quick, one-off options while others might eventually lead to lifestyle changes. Choose the things that are right for you and your situation (which could include whether or not you rent or own property and other aspects of your living situation; access to resources; location in the world; and more)—and know that there are many more ways than those we list here.

Lawn, Garden, & Natural Areas

  • Create nesting habitat for native bees
  • Plant native plants
  • Rethink your pest control—instead of using something that ends in -icide, use biological or mechanical controls (such as traps, weeding, use of ruminants, etc.)
  • Replace your lawn—with a food forest, a garden, or native plants
  • Compost instead of using commercial fertilizers or paying to have biomass hauled off
  • Provide water sources for birds and pollinators
  • Mulch your gardens—and leave chopped grass where it lands

Lifestyle Changes

  • Choose alternate forms of transportation to get to work or run errands, when possible—including walking and biking
  • Keep your house a little warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter
  • Reduce your consumption of foods that are highly processed or which have traveled a long way to get to you
  • Combine errands, especially if you’re driving
  • Eat lower on the food chain for more of your meals
  • Reduce your reliance on single-use plastics
  • Upcycle old materials that would otherwise go into the trash

Your Window

Especially during quarantine, it can be difficult to find ways to celebrate the Earth or to encourage that in young people, especially if you’re truly stuck indoors.

  • Try a scavenger hunt (how many birds can we see in the next five minutes? What kinds?)
  • Attract wildlife to you through seasonally appropriate feeders
  • Play I Spy (natural world addition)
  • Plant a windowsill garden

In addition to these suggestions, you might also watch some nature documentaries, listen to some science podcasts, or make a point of exploring the area around your neighborhood on a walk—while paying special attention to elements of the natural world that you can see on your walk. You might also have citizen-science projects you could participate in, including Penguin Watch or opportunities more local to you!

Pollinator on Milkweed