April 22, 2021 is the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. While every day is the perfect day to honor our planet, Earth Day is an opportunity to implement a new sustainable practice, create something beautiful or protect limited resources. Here are some activities you can do to celebrate Earth Day at home this year.
Establish rain barrels
Water conservation is especially important, so why not start in your own yard by collecting rainwater? In turn, you can use it to water the lawn and garden or provide a drink for pets and wildlife. Systems are easy to set up with a downspout diverter that you can incorporate directly into your gutter system.
Pick up garbage
Garbage is not only an eyesore, but it can hurt wildlife and pollute waterways too. This Earth Day, head out on your own or with your household to pick up the neighborhood on your daily walk or even clean up your own yard. Just be sure to follow health precautions, including social distancing and wearing masks.
For a fun Earth Day project, build your own planters. You can make them out of spare wood or concrete mix, or you can get creative with household items that make excellent planters, such as a colander or a teapot.
Create flower beds
Because Earth Day lands in spring, it’s a great time to plan for planting. If you’re creating flower beds, use repurposed materials instead of buying new. Grab a pallet, upcycle some metal sheeting, stack rocks from around the property or line the space with upside-down bottles. The options for creating flower beds are only limited by your imagination, so get creative!
Plant a tree
Few things are more ubiquitous than planting a tree on Earth Day, so join the movement by putting some of your favorites in the yard. Trees offer endless benefits, from providing animal habitats and shade to cleaning the air you breathe. Consider planting a fruit tree, so you can even harvest some sweet rewards. We enjoyed planting apple and pear trees this last year….something the whole family could participate in!
Provide bird feeders and baths
Birds are pollinators, plus they are just fun to watch as they fly and sing around the yard. Take care of your feathered friends with clean bird baths and feeders full of fresh seeds for them to enjoy. You can make your own or pick some up from your local hardware or grocery store.
Start an apiary
Bees are essential for pollination and a healthy food and flower supply. With that in mind, why not manage your own apiary? There are some upfront costs and planning required, but if beekeeping is on your bucket list, Earth Day is the perfect time to start. We started our own this last year and it has been a fun and rewarding project for our entire family!
Eliminating plastic from your house can take your Earth Day campaign from one room to the next. Although you don’t have to hit the internet to order all new containers, make a wish list and replace plastic items as you are able. Common examples include shampoo bottles, water bottles, laundry detergent jugs, grocery bags and food storage containers. Vow to make the switch to no packaging or glass and stainless steel reusable containers for every item on the list.
Convert to online billing
In today’s world, paper billing is rarely needed. Save mail delivery fuel emissions and reduce paper consumption by moving your bills online instead of receiving them in paper form. This can include mail relating to utilities, banking, credit cards, mortgages and more.
Plan or plant a garden
Providing fresh, farm-to-table food for your family is a fabulous way to spend Earth Day. The benefits are endless, from bountiful produce to a smaller carbon footprint.
If you don’t have one already, composters are easy to start and maintain. You can buy a commercial composter, put together a basic wood box without a bottom or simply make a pile in the backyard. Position your compost pile in a sunny spot for best results, stir it occasionally and make sure it stays moist during very dry seasons. Layer ingredients with approximately equal amounts of brown materials, green materials and organic food scraps.
Hope you put some of these fun tips to use this year. The smallest things can make a BIG difference! Let’s keep this planet flourishing for future generations!