What is Earth Day?
Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22 that raises awareness of the importance of long-term ecological sustainability and demonstrates support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, it is now the largest civic event in the world, with more than 1 billion people from 193 countries participating each year. With social distancing still in place for many of us this April, Earth Day has gone digital. Of course, that does not mean you cannot go outside and appreciate nature, as long as you do so responsibly!
Typically, Earth Day is assigned a different theme each year; this year’s theme is Restore Our Earth. This theme reminds us to take care of our planet – whether it is cleaning up litter, planting more trees, recycling and repurposing, or shopping for sustainable brands. By implementing small changes into our everyday lives, we can honor our planet by making Earth Day a year-round effort. Together, we will restore our Earth!
Did You Know?
- In the last 170 years, we added 2.4 trillion tons of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. Half of this was added in the last 50 years. More people on the planet, more industry, We can see why the increases have occurred, correct?
- Increased carbon dioxide emissions have raised Earth’s surface temperature 2.12 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century, with most of the warming occurring in the last 40 years.
- Only 1% of the Earth’s water supply is usable.
- If the entire world’s ice melted, our sea levels would rise by 66 meters.
- Every day the average person walks or drives by 12,000 items of litter.
- The decomposition time of some commonly littered items:
- Cigarette butts: 1-5 years
- Plastic bags: 10-20 years
- Plastic straws: 200 years
- Plastic bottles: 450 years
- Glass bottles: 1 million years
- Aluminum cans: 80-200 years
- Aluminum foil: never
- Up to 13 million metric tons of plastic ends up in the ocean each year, killing 100,000 turtles and marine mammals.
- The world uses 160,000 plastic bags every second.
- One-third of an average landfill is made up of packaging material.
- 80 billion pounds of food is thrown away each year in the U.S., which equates to:
- 40% of the U.S. food supply
- 219 pounds of food waste per person
- $1,600 worth of produce thrown away per family
I recently took a survey at work and I was surprised and not-so surprised at my answers once calculated. Crazy to see how bad things have become and knowing how much I have retained by being involved over the last 20 years with recycling, environmental concerns, etc. Caring for our planet, shouldn’t be just 1 or 2 days a year, it should be every day of the year. All of us can do our part and continue to reduce our carbon footprint the best we can. Below are some suggestions:
- Plant a garden, add some fresh greenery to your home. If you have limited space, use pots for veggies & herbs. Check Pinterest for many ways to upcycle/reuse household items, that can be used to hold plants and more green to your life!
- Take a walk in your neighborhood, nearby park or other. Check out the plants along your path, look up Native Plant Finder for the area you live in and maybe even introduce some in your yard.
- Conduct your own clean-up. Contact your community leaders of your idea, put together a plan and invite friends.
- Watch a documentary on Earth. I have been viewing David Attenborough’s videos on Netflix over the winter. Trying to watch at least 1 per day. Disney+, Youtube, Curiosity Stream are just a few and I’m sure there are many more.
- Shown are some small ways that I continue to upcycle, reuse and put items back into the earth. Look around your house and see how you can help as well.
In the Photos)
- (Old Kids Toys) – Succulent Dino Planters.
- (Coffee/Tea Grounds/Eggshells) – Weeks’ worth/Added to garden.
- (Pickle Jar) – Old book pages, twine = Paint brush jar.
- (Soup Cans) – painted/decoupaged = fill with small stones, soil and flower/herb.