On April 22, join millions of people across the globe to do at least one thing that will make our world a better place to live. And just in case you’re wondering what to do this Earth Day, here’s list of our favorite earth friendly activities that will help remind you why you love living on this planet so much.
1. Get Outside
Earth Day is about enjoying and taking care of the planet, so why spend it inside, glued to a screen? This April 22nd, one of the best things you can do for yourself and the Earth is to remember why it’s worth saving in the first place. Despite our best efforts to pollute and destroy it, the Earth is still an amazing, beautiful place to explore. Go for a hike on the Greenbrier River Trail, say a silent prayer with Cari Cohen at the Greenspace from 12-12:15pm, take a nature walk with your kids at Cranberry Glades, plan a picnic in your backyard or nearest park, or play a game of tennis with your buddies. Remember how great it feels to have the wind in your hair and the sun on your face! Reconnecting with nature is the best way to remind yourself why we’re fighting so hard to protect it.
2. Green Your Ride
According to the EPA, the average passenger vehicle produces 5.2 metric tons of CO2 every year, and the transportation sector accounts for 27 percent of America’s greenhouse gas emissions. One way to cut this figure down is to kick car culture to the curb and walk or ride a bicycle whenever possible. You can rent or purchase a bike at Hill & Holler Bike Shop in downtown Lewisburg.
3. Have kids? Get them to Reduce Reuse Recycle!
Dump out your recycling bin and ask your kids to find ways to reuse the contents. Glass jars could be used as vases or frames, milk cartons may be made into birdhouses, egg cartons can be used as organizers for jewelry and other small treasures… their imagination is the limit!
4. Hit the Farmers Market
The Lewisburg Farmer’s Market is held every Wednesday on the corner of Rt 219/Arbuckle Lane. Shop for fresh, organic meats, locally grown fruits, vegetables and flowers. Let’s support our local farmers and always appreciate how food gets from the farm to the dinner table. Start up conversations with the vendors and farmers to learn more about their methods and crops.
5. Make Earth Day Resolutions
Sit down as a family and make a list of things you’re all willing to do to save the earth year round. Go veggie? Switch your light bulbs? Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth? Write down your resolutions and post them where you may all be reminded of your new earth loving habits.
6. Clean Out Your Closet and Donate to a Charity
It may not always be so obvious, but manufacturing new clothing requires both energy and water, and there are many people who don’t have money to buy their own. So this Earth Day, why not clean out your overstuffed closet and then donate those t-shirts and shorts you haven’t worn in years to a local charity.
Your kids can join in on the Spring-cleaning! Ask them to fill a large bag with toys, books and clothing items they no longer use or wear. Then donate these items to local organizations. Note: Most libraries gladly accept children’s book donations.
Not only will this activity make you all feel good about lightening your load, but the people who receive your lightly used clothing, toys, and books will so thankful. You’ll wonder if it’s Christmas and not Earth Day!
7. Enjoy a Family Movie Night with “Earth”
This 2006 documentary follows the migration path of four animal families. This film has breathtaking photography and will take you places from deserts to oceans to rain forests. After the film, have a discussion answering all of your children’s questions, and asking them their thoughts on the movie. Encourage their sense of wonder.
8. Get eco-literary
Hit up the library or visit Lewisburg exclusive children’s store, Love Child downtown to pick up books about animals, plants, nature, trees, and the planet. Reading these stories on a regular basis will foster an ongoing appreciation for the world and all creatures. Read them on Earth Day and every day.
9. Plant Food
In a world dominated by factory farms and fast food, growing your own food is a revolutionary act. Organic and locally-grown food, while vastly better for you and the planet, can be cost prohibitive. The easiest way to opt out of our unhealthy food system without breaking the bank is to grow it yourself. This Earth Day, plant one thing that can be consumed by you and or your family. Maybe it’s just a few basil plants, or maybe it’s an entire garden. Put it on your windowsill, your fire escape, or your kitchen wall. But no matter what, get something growing.
10. Throw a Green Party
We forget sometimes that life is something that is worth celebrating. The very fact that we exist is one of the greatest miracles imaginable, so why not use this day as the perfect opportunity to hang out with your favorite green mates. Pull out the biodegradable silverware, or buck up and use your own, brew some organic beer or pick up local Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company, cook some good wholesome food, and spend time with the ones you love. Being part of a community is one of the most important aspects of eco-conscious living that not only benefits the planet, but you as well.
Need more inspiration? Meet the young man who’s cleaning up the entire Pacific Ocean!
Happy Earth Day everyone!