Happy Earth Week! Did you know that Earth day all started as a grassroots movement in America? The idea was proposed by Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin. Now celebrated globally, Earth Day is a yearly reminder to respect the Earth and show gratitude to our planet. There are so many ways to show gratitude to our planet and often times the simplicity is forgotten. This year, use Earth Day to remind your kids how easy it is to make a difference for the environment!
Every year the climate crisis worsens, and the time we have to help the Earth is reduced. The time to consider our personal impact and take action to reduce it is now. So for Earth Week, take a moment to reflect on how you can limit your environmental impact.
Not sure what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint? Keep reading to find Earth Day facts, and learn how you can make a difference this Earth Day. We even have some fun Earth Day activities for the whole family.
The theme of Earth Day will be “Invest in Our Planet” a continuation of the 2022 theme, designed to persuade businesses, governments, and citizens around the world of the need to invest in our planet to improve our environment and give our descendants a better and safer future.
When is Earth Day?
Earth week starts on April 16 and ends on Earth Day April 22.
Earth Day facts
1. The first Earth Day was on April 22, 1970. Earth Week starts on April 16 and ends on Earth Day to give everyone time to take care of the planet.
2. US Senator Gaylord Nelson witnessed a massive oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1969, prompting him to found Earth Day the following year.
3. While Earth Day originated in the United States in 1990, it became recognized worldwide.
4. It is estimated Earth Day is the largest secular observance globally, with over a billion people participating each year.
5. 10 to 30 percent of a household’s carbon footprint comes from food production and transportation.
6. Each person emits an average of 19 tons of greenhouse gases per year, that’s the weight of 12 cars each year.
What to do for earth day?
Helping the environment can get a little daunting. After all, one person can’t save the whole world. While you might not be able to reverse climate change all on your own, you can still make a difference. Keep reading to learn what you can do this Earth Day.
1. Work from home
The average American will emit 70 metric tons of CO2 from their commute to work alone. Reduce your environmental impact by working from home for the day. To really make an impact, consider making working from home a habit. If being stuck at home all day sounds like a recipe for disaster, we have a few tips to help you work from home without going crazy.
2. Use green transportation
If your job won’t allow you to work from home, opt for a form of green transportation. Walking or biking is the best way to reduce your carbon emissions. If your commute is longer than a couple of miles, see if your city offers carpool options or electric transportation.
3. Go paperless
Each year, offices in the United States use 12.2 trillion sheets of paper. That equates to 50% of all waste from businesses. Reduce the carbon footprint of your office by going paperless. Follow this guide to create a paperless office.
4. Use the dishwasher
Using a dishwasher saves more water and energy than hand-washing dishes. Even if you only have a few dishes, the dishwasher is the green way to clean.
5. Use less plastic
Nearly 80% of all plastic ever created still exists today. Switch to reusable options to reduce your plastic consumption.
6. Switch to an eco-friendly business card
Five hundred thousand trees are cut down each year to produce business cards. That’s enough trees to reach from Los Angeles to Rome. Switch to a more eco-friendly business card to reduce your impact on deforestation. Blinq offers a free service for digital business cards, but if your job requires a physical one, you can print cards on recyclable materials at Vistaprint.com, Jukebox Print, or Greener Printer. It still helps the environment.
7. Learn how to compost
Composting is an excellent way to reduce how much waste your family is sending to the landfill, and it makes excellent fertilizer! Start composting at your home, or help your children’s school start a composting program.
8. Plant a tree
One tree provides enough air for three people. So planting even a couple of trees can make a difference. If you don’t have anywhere to plant a tree at your house, look for local volunteer opportunities.
Best trees to plant on earth day
Cherry. Just because you are working to reduce your carbon footprint, doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy the tree itself. In an article called How to Grow Cherry Trees Like George Washington, you’ll find what you need to know about growing cherry trees.
Ash. For a more classic option that would look great in any yard, we recommend planting an ash tree. This tree can grow in almost any soil and will offer shade in the hot summer months. For more tips on growing ash trees read this article, How to Plant an Ash Tree.
Birch. These trees can live for up to 20 years and potentially up to 50 if they are taken care of well. In an article, How to Care for Birch Trees, we outline just how to do it.
Maple. You can chose a small variety of maple that will grow to about 20-feet or you can choose a larger tree that grow to 100. There is a maple tree for everyone and Spring is the perfect time to plant a maple tree. For tips on how to do it read the article, 4 Tips to the Perfect Maple Tree.
9. Watch a movie
Watching a movie might not seem like a very good Earth Day activity, but education is an essential part of benefiting our environment. Try an environmental movie this earth day. Visit Earth.org and TedIdeas for a list of documentaries.
10. Donate old toys
As your children get older, many toys are often thrown away or sit in storage, unused. Don’t let those toys go to waste. Instead, donate them to a local charity. Not only will you keep old toys out of landfills, but you’ll also bring joy to a child in need. When donating, make sure the organization you're donating to is helping the planet. At Goodwill, you will not only keep usable goods out of landfills, but provide a hand-up to your community.
11. Help the bees
Bees are endangered, and low bee populations are putting our food supply at risk. You can help save the bees by planting bee-friendly plants, building bee houses, reducing pesticide use, and more. Plus, following people like Erika Thompson on TikTok /Instagram and showing your support for their efforts help awareness all year.
12. Support bird populations