Earth Day 2021
Earth Day 2021 is on April 22 and will mark the 51st anniversary of this holiday. This year’s theme is “Restore Our Earth.” Earth Day is a day meant to increase awareness of environmental problems, but it is also becoming a popular time for many communities to gather together to clean up litter, plant trees, or simply reflect on the beauty of nature. Here are some ways to celebrate this year.
CLEAN UP PLASTIC IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD OR LOCAL PARK:
One of the best ways to connect with the Earth is through cleanups! Go on a walk with a trash bag and help to clean up any plastic that you find. Perhaps you know of a nearby ditch that is polluted with trash that needs a spring cleaning! You’ll start to realize that plastic permeates every aspect of our lives. But as the world wakes up to its addiction, just how easy is it to ditch plastic while growing and storing more of our own food? Don’t forget to recycle what plastic you can.
USE WILDFLOWERS AND NATIVE PLANTS:
Wildflowers and indigenous species are not only beautiful but also attract native and beneficial insects that improve both pest control and pollination—meaning bigger flowers and bigger harvests. Try to simply add a couple of native plants to your garden each year, and you’ll be amazed at the difference—they’ll bring in pollinators as well as birds!
We waste a lot of water. Avoid overwatering your plants and improve their health by knowing how much your garden really needs. Avoid watering your garden vegetables and plants from overhead, which invites fungal disease. Water at the soil level. For gardens, flower beds, trees, and other non-lawn areas, consider installing a drip irrigation system or hose with irrigation holes that puts the water right into the soil, where you want it. If you must use sprinklers, put them on timers. Harvest your rainwater from a roof, gutters, and sky with a rain barrel. If you have a low-lying area, consider planting a rain garden, which captures runoff, filters out pollutants, and provides food and shelter for butterflies, songbirds, and other wildlife.
GET KIDS INVOLVED:
Pass down a love of nature and plants to kids. There are lots of opportunities for hands-on learning experiences outside. Children who grow vegetables, eat vegetables!