Have you decided what you are going to do this Earth Day? Given the Coronavirus pandemic that has changed our lives in ways we could not even dream of, 2020 Earth Day becomes all the more significant. The timing of the Earth Day could not have been more ironical; the last few weeks have made humans realize that we are all connected to one another on Earth and that we share one planet, drink the same water and breathe the same fresh air. So, whether we are by ourselves in self-isolation in hospitals or huddled together with our loved ones in our homes, we are all fighting the same enemy. After the COVID-19 battle has been won, we should not give up the fight to save our Earth and work relentlessly to stop climate change.
Top Things You Can Do This Earth Day, the 22nd of April:
It is time to find ways to celebrate the earth as this Earth Day draws near. Here are some Earth Day 2020 activities that you could take up to do your bit for Mother Earth:
Planting trees: Even a child knows the value of planting a tree. Without trees and plants, our oxygen supply will get severely depleted. Deforestation leads to emission of greenhouse gases; so, to make your neighborhood a little greener, you can always plant a few trees. You may buy saplings from nurseries or order these online.
Beach cleaning: Perhaps the best thing you could do this Earth Day is if you stay close to a beach is drive down to it and clean it to the best of your ability. This will help to dispose much of the plastic waste that can wreak havoc for the environment. Beach cleaning is one of the popular Earth Day activities for adults and you can join one easily online as you will find it happening in many coastal areas. You can get information about the activities on social networking sites like Facebook and websites like Marine Conservation Society and Surfers Against Sewage.
Turn vegetarian: You can try and give up on meat products this Earth Day to contribute to the cause. The high demand for meat cause a lot of environmental damage; beef, for instance, uses up excess water and land, and emits greenhouse gases. While giving up meat overnight is hard to do, you can start by skipping meat on at least a couple of days of the week.
Buying reusable bags: This Earth Day you can take a pledge not to use plastic bags for carrying groceries home. Plastic bags clog up landfill sites and can be a huge threat to marine life. Most supermarkets now charge you for plastic bags to deter shoppers to a certain extent. You can support this movement further by buying reusable bags that are durable and can be bought either in supermarkets or online.
Start walking or biking: The best way to do your bit for the environment is to walk to work or ride a bike to cut down on the emission from your car. You could even try car-pooling to work to reduce carbon footprint. Cars contribute heavily to environmental pollution besides adversely affecting human health. Production of gases such as nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide can pollute and damage our lungs and those of our future generations.
Quit chewing gum: This might sound absurd but the fact is that chewing gum is made from synthetic rubber that is plastic. Thousands of tons of such plastic get accumulated every year and most of it is found on the streets, polluting the air that we breathe.
Start shopping at the local farmer’s market: This is the best place to buy organic and fresh produce. This way you can not only help the local producers in your neighborhood but also prevent use of plastic packaging. As the produce is locally grown these do not have to be transported across long distances, and this means that carbon emissions are also cut down.
Give up plastic bottles: Buy yourself a reusable bottle for drinking water. If everyone does this, each of us can contribute in our own way to cutting down on use of plastic bottles. When you decide to avoid drinking from plastic bottles, you also end up avoiding fizzy drinks and sodas that are in any case not good for your health.
Avoid plastic straws: You can always say “no” to straws when you walk into a café or bar the next time. It is a good idea to try and encourage them to stop offering their customers plastic straws. Instead, you can always ask them to buy environment-friendly straws made from bamboo or metal and glass ones that are washable.
Save paper: You can request for your bills to be sent to you through emails so that you can cut down paper wastage. You can opt to read documents online rather than printing these out. If you must use paper, you should choose to use only 100% recycled paper. You can also set your printers to print both-sided copies to save paper. If each one of us makes these tiny efforts, we can hope to cut down the rate of deforestation someday.
These are some of the things that you can easily do this Earth Day to make a small change. Each of these activities can be done independently and easily. You do not have to prepare in advance for these and neither do you need to spend money to get them done. All you need to have is a positive intention to do your bit for the Earth and ensure that you continue with the practice even after the Earth Day is over. Inculcating these practices can go a long way in bringing about positive changes for the climate and environment around us.