Earth Day and how you can make a difference this year
Earth Day 2022 presents another opportunity to honor and protect our precious planet. From picking up trash to getting involved politically, there are a million ways to take action against pollution and animal endangerment, increase knowledge and understanding, and protect the resources that surround us. As stewards of the land, it’s our burden to share, and Earth Day is a catalyst to ignite action. Make a plan to get involved this week. Then, make a plan to diversify your efforts once the organized celebrations subside.
According to EarthDay.org, the primary organizer of Earth Day events worldwide, this year’s theme is “Invest in Our Planet.” While many of the environmental protection goals repeat over the years, this year’s theme “is focused on accelerating solutions to combat our greatest threat, climate change, and to activate everyone – governments, citizens, and businesses – to do their part. Everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable.”
The hope is that every level of citizen and organization will find unity in efforts towards effective action. EarthDay.org states, “The goal of EDO’s campaign is to push aside the barriers erected by the ancient, dirty fossil fuel economy and their co-conspirators – old technologies of centuries past – and redirect attention to creating a 21st century economy that brings back the health of our planet, protects our species, and provides opportunities for all. EARTHDAY.ORG’s campaign is focused on reframing the conversation, accelerating action, and bringing us together to understand that this is within our reach if we work together.”
So what can you do? The possibilities are limitless!
Join a local event
Organizers in communities across the country and around the globe make it easy to join forces with action in progress. You can find an existing event or register your own event on the EarthDay.org database. Participate in a community cleanup, plant trees, initiate a recycling program, change your purchasing habits, install rainwater barrels, walk to work or incorporate pollinator-attracting plants into your yard. These are just a few ideas!
Take action towards a green economy
In alignment with Earth Day 2022’s specific theme, consider the financial aspect of climate change, land management, agriculture, food and products. How does your dollar affect what businesses do?
Today’s businesses are quick to understand the balance between profits and processes. Consumers hold the power to keep these businesses focused on clean manufacturing, fair treatment of workers, quality material selection and energy efficiency. We need to hold all businesses to a higher standard or take our money elsewhere.
Hold government accountable
From city councils to federal decision-makers, getting involved in government decisions is not only a way to make your voice heard and perhaps shift the focus if needed. It’s also part of your civil responsibility. Start or sign a petition, attend a meeting about land or resource management in your area, or write to your congressperson.
On an individual level, there is much you can do to honor Mother Earth in your everyday life. Consider where you can make cuts in your energy consumption. Turn off lights when not in use, lower the heat a degree or two, install a programmable thermostat and turn down the water heater or move to an on-demand system. Look for Energy-star certified appliances and replace all light bulbs with energy-efficient LED options. Insulate the windows, walls, water heater, outlets, cracks — everything!
In addition to conserving energy, create renewable energy through solar panels, wind, hydro or geothermal. You can also reduce your waste through conscientious shopping choices, recycling and reuse. Consider joining a Buy Nothing movement in your area, too.
To preserve air and water quality, select cleaning and self-care products void of harsh chemicals and made from natural ingredients.
Earth Day 2022 events
As mentioned above, there are countless events scheduled to bring attention to the needs of the environment. For example, several areas of New York City are participating in Car-Free Earth Day, where streets will be closed to cars.
On the opposite coast, the 11th Annual Green Generation Project Showcase brings together the Long Beach community. Organizers say, “The purpose of the Green Generation Project Showcase is to highlight and recognize student projects representing a wide variety of disciplines that explore sustainability concepts and/or solutions.”
Show your love of nature by joining the Hug-a-Tree Challenge between 12-1 p.m. PST to “help establish a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the most photos of people hugging trees uploaded to Instagram in one hour.”
You can even virtually participate in EarthyUniversity’s online geoscience presentation and discussion regarding living in harmony with nature.
If climate anxiety has taken hold, join in the Earth Day Meditation, where the goal is to, “Meditate & send healing to our planet & all of its inhabitants, experience individual healing benefits, and connect with like-minded communities in an optional guided share.”