Earth Day 2020 is a historic one—and not just because we’re currently living in quarantine because of the coronavirus. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a day to raise awareness and promote support of environmental protection.
Ironically enough, this year’s Earth Day theme is on ‘Climate Action’ and what do you know? Nature has subsequently taken a turn for the BETTER since we began confining ourselves at home. That just goes to show what’s, or rather who’s the problem.
No, it’s us. Some of the shining examples of nature thriving without us in the picture include:
- Air pollution in China dropped by nearly 30% in March 2020 after industrial production and vehicle mobility was put on hold (a huge deal considering China contributes to 50% of air pollution in Asia itself!)
- Clearer waters in Venice canals free of tourists and motorboats turn out not many people knew they had fish down there either!
- Animals returning to habitats usually wrought with human traffic – as seen in the black bear population at Yosemite National Park as well as special appearances by wild goats roaming the streets of Llandudno with no humans to chase them away!
- Beaches in Miami and Sarasota never looked better without tourist interference.
While we can’t attend the typical Earth Day celebrations, activities, and more in our communities due to quarantine, there are small, easy ways you can celebrate at home—some of which will have a big impact. Here are 10 ways to celebrate Earth Day during the quarantine.
Plant a garden! Invest time in Gardening
In addition to being a fruitful hobby, gardening has physical and mental health benefits for kids and adults. Gardening outside promotes movement (walking, squatting, and lifting), and you’ll get plenty of vitamin D— just remember to wear sunscreen! It also connects us with nature, which has been shown to work wonders for children having a hard time focusing. It is a perfect activity to combat those quarantine stir-crazies. Gardening can also be therapeutic, and it stimulates all five senses, which is beneficial for many children with special needs.
If you’re in an apartment with rooftop access or you have a balcony, try planting a salsa garden. A patch of constant sun, a few pots, and tomato, cilantro, jalapeño pepper, and bell pepper seeds are all you need to cultivate the main ingredients for some healthy nacho fixings. On the other hand, if you want to try something simpler—all you need is a window that gets some light! —try growing a mini herb garden to add fresh seasoning to some of your favorite home-cooked meals. However, you decide to jump into gardening, just make sure it’s enjoyable and beneficial for all involved!
Adopt a houseplant
Did you know houseplants are good for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being? And with us spending more time than ever in our homes, it’s the perfect time to hop on the houseplants to bring a little greenery indoors! Among the many benefits of houseplants: here are some of them:
- Some plants can improve indoor air quality.
- Being exposed to even a small amount of nature can help kids with school work.
- Plants can boost your microbiome.
- Caring for houseplants can improve your mood and reduce stress.
- Plants teach kids to care for other living things without the commitment of a pet!
Pay all your bills online
During this pandemic season since we’re all trying to take precautions, it’s also recommended to stay home most of the time and billing online. It’s so easy to sign up for paperless billing! When you move your bill payment operations online, you’ll be doing your part to preserve the Earth’s resources — and some cash. One of the biggest advantages of paying your bills online, of course, is getting rid of all that paper. It’s a safe decision, then, that online bill payment is an all-around winner in terms of environmental benefits.
Try reducing family waste
Surely, we all know the ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ to limit the amount of trash that goes into landfills, but have you thought about exploring becoming a zero-waste household? While the switch to such a lifestyle can be overwhelming, there are small, simple things you can do every day that will help you live a low-waste life, including:
- Switching to reusable containers
- Recycling correctly
- Composting food scraps
- Shopping at a farmer’s market
Cook from Home
Avoid food delivery services and attempt cooking at home to stop plastic and cardboard accumulation. It’s important to support businesses currently struggling during this difficult time but ordering in food daily is quite irresponsible if you’re trying to go green. If ordering in isn’t something you can avoid, start small by opting for environmentally-friendly choices you can make like saying ‘no’ to disposable cutleries. And instead, try using ever eco bamboo cutlery for everyday use. And use bamboo cutlery travel set for traveling.
Minimize Electricity Use
Yes, we get it. Being at home gets boring and now, with online classes going, you can expect your browser to be flooded with multiple tabs.
You could start by timing your electricity usage and cut down where possible, be it when overcharging your phones or keeping one too many lights on. Watch those zeroes from the electricity bill just *poof* disappear. Use LED light bulbs instead of normal bulbs. Also, make sure that the tech you have got is as energy-efficient as possible. This way, you’re using much less energy for the time that the product is on, saving money, and reducing your energy output. At least while staying home, we should save energy too.
Try to cut out plastic
100,000 sea creatures and 1 million seabirds die each year from being tangled in plastic. Plastic seems to have found its way into every single aspect of our lives. However, giving it up isn’t as difficult as you might think – bring a reusable string shopping bag with you when you go shopping, and stop buying bottled water. Also, add custom bamboo toothbrushes to your lifestyle. Wood and bamboo, however, have natural antimicrobial properties that kill bacteria, even those that penetrate the surface. Also, they are easy to dispose of and are not harmful to the environment. That’s the best you can do for your health.