Earth Day is the day in which the big, beautiful, natural wonder of our life-sustaining planet is celebrated.  Always on April 22, Earth Day began in 1970 as a somewhat official launch of the modern environmental awareness movement. Millions of Americans rallying towards a more healthy and sustainable environment gathered that day in numerous coast-to-coast demonstrations. Today, each Earth Day is centered around a specific “theme” related to the environment. One overall way in celebrating the day is raising awareness towards lifestyle changes and practical steps towards reducing what’s called a “carbon footprint”: a measurement of the total amount of greenhouse gases produced directly and indirectly through human activities.

Here are a few ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and do your part to make your corner of the earth a little more eco-friendly. Bonus: You can participate in these activities year-round!

  • Recycle! Use a recycling service at your office  or business if you don’t already, and contact your local neighborhood trash service to have your home recyclables picked up.
  • Replace appliances in your home with energy-efficient models.
  • Bring your own reusable cloth or canvas bags with you to the grocery store or market.
  • Do your laundry with cold water.
  • Reduce your commuting time by car whenever possible. Carpool with a friend or neighbor, and walk or ride a bike otherwise. If you do drive, park your car a little further from your workplace and enjoy the stroll.
  • Incorporate more meatless recipes into your cooking.
  • Use a water bottle or other container for drinking instead of buying bottled beverages.
  • Plant trees and flowers in your yard.
  • Plant a garden! Not only will you be tending to the earth, but you’ll gain some exercise, time outdoors, and fresh food for your family 🙂
  • Shop locally!
  • Make sure your home is adequately insulated, and keep the thermostats at energy-efficient temperatures.
  • Switch over to paperless for all of your bills.
  • Think before printing that email or flyer, and if you must, print double-sided.

Grow Appalachia Celebrates!

Grow Appalachia partner sites have long taken part in their own Earth Day festivities. Here are a few activities from years passed:

  • LMU’s Organic Garden tabled at the university’s Earth Day festival. One of their participants, a very successful area beekeeper, was also present.
  • Two Earth Days ago, in 2015, St. Vincent’s Grow Appalachia program held a “Garden Party” at the local community college.
  • A few years back, ASD handed out flats of flower and basil seeds to children in the community, as well as taught a workshop on watering and potting plants.
  • Kids in the Williamson community planted 500 marigold seeds and 200 pine tree seeds.
  • Greenhouse 17 hosted a 3-day “Lorax” themed Earth Day celebration, complete with rain barrel painting, tie-dying with natural dyes, and themed snacks.

As pseudo-stewards of the earth as gardeners, or supporters of gardeners, we should think every day as being Earth Day. Remember this as you go out to your garden each time: You are playing a role in the vitality of our wonderful Mother Earth. You are making changes that tend to and nourish the soil, the roots, the plants, and all other living things that we can or cannot see. Yourself included! We are all connected by this big beautiful Earth!

How do you celebrate Earth Day? Share your pictures and/or stories with us on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and enjoy this very special day!


Resources/Further Reading:

The History of Earth Day

14 ways to reduce your carbon footprint

How to reduce your family’s carbon footprint

Feature Image source