The first Earth Day took place in 1970, and prompted about 20 million Americans to launch what is widely considered the modern environmental movement. As a result, landmark laws to promote clean air and water and to preserve endangered species were enacted.
Today, more than one billion people worldwide participate in Earth Day activities, making the day one of the largest global civic observances. The below is a roundup of activities you can do to mark Earth Day on your own, or mobilize people in your community to take action this year:
Plant a tree, a bed of wild flowers, or a vegetable garden – whatever you can to make your community greener. Planting trees and other vegetation reduces greenhouse gasses, cleans the air we breathe, and promotes biodiversity.
Choose local produce over fruits and vegetables that travel a distance to your table. Not only does sourcing local ingredients reduce your carbon footprint, but it also encourages sustainable farming practices, and supports the farmers who feed us.
Tidy your community
Rid your roadways of garbage while sending litterbugs a strong message that trash belongs in bins. Organize a group of citizens to pick up litter in neighbourhood streets, parks and schools in your community.
Do some spring cleaning
Find a new home for household items you no longer want, need or use by holding a garage sale or donating the goods. Selling or giving away gently-used items can go a long way in supporting local charities, and curbing landfill.
Teach children, friends, family and colleagues that Earth Day can be celebrated year-round. Introduce them to actions they can take daily to make an environmental impact, including recycling, investing in energy-saving technology, or simply walking, biking or taking public transportation, rather than driving to a destination.