How to Celebrate Earth Day 2021
Earth Day may not be until April 22nd, but we like to recognize the whole month of April as Earth Month! With many events still keeping it virtual this year, you may be wanting to participate but aren’t sure how. While it’s a given that every day should be earth day and every month should be earth month, we like that April provides a month long opportunity to reach new audiences and increase lasting awareness. It’s a time to reflect on your own footprint and it may inspire you to finally make a change you’ve been meaning to make. If you want to show mother earth some extra love this month, we’ve put together a list of a few great places to start. Pick one, two, or however many you think you can take on. Small, individual actions add up!
Celebrate Earth Month outside!
- Clean up your local outdoor spaces. Whether it’s hiking a local trail, taking a walk on the beach, or strolling around the neighborhood, pick up trash along the way. Not only are you taking care of your community and ensuring the trash doesn’t make its way into waterways, you’re also becoming increasingly aware of what products end up as trash in the environment. Are they products commonly found in your household?
- Create a biodiverse, pollinator-friendly garden! Consider rewilding your lawn! The typical, manicured lawn is water intensive, uses large amounts of pesticides, and lacks biodiversity. Consider how you can restore your yard and support more life. You may only start with a small area of your lawn and that's fine! With a little research, learn how to rewild your yard, introduce native plants, start a climate victory garden, and how to make your yard more pollinator-friendly. Don’t have outdoor space? Consider an indoor herb garden, a windowsill planter box, space in a community garden, or look into community projects that support rewilding of public spaces! You don’t need a massive backyard in order to make a difference.
- Start Composting! If you have outdoor space, this is a great earth day activity if you want to spend some time outside and start a project that has some serious environmental pros. You can either build or obtain a compost bin or just designate an area of your yard for your compost pile. Don’t have outdoor space? Check out our urban composting guide.
Participate in Earth Month by making sustainable changes at home.
- Conduct a trash audit! It can be hard to reduce the amount of trash your household produces if you don’t know where to start. Conduct a trash audit for a set period of time (ex. a month) and keep track of what’s tossed in the bin. Keep a notebook or spreadsheet and tally your findings. We think it’s helpful to separate your list into categories like landfill, recycling, and green matter (ex. food waste). You can either record the trash as you toss it or sort through it before taking it to the curb. Whichever works for you! At the end of your trash audit look to see what your trash comprises of the most and decide how you can reduce it. What swaps could you make? Could you compost your food scraps?
- Start meal prepping! Some people are great at this weekly ritual. We, unfortunately, struggle to stay on our game with it. But when we successfully plan out a week of meals and commit to sticking to it, we really notice a difference in our food waste. So if you’re like us and struggle with planning out meals, try to be really strict for a month. Plan out your meals for each week and only buy what you need for those meals. Notice how much less food goes to waste!
- Make a sustainable swap! **Note that the most sustainable thing to do is to use what you already have** But when something breaks beyond repair or you run out of a basic household product, use that as an opportunity to make a sustainable swap! This month, pay attention to what you’ll need to replenish and source a sustainable brand to replace it with. For example, are you finally running out of that pack of toothpaste tubes from Costco? Great! Use it up then consider switching to toothpaste tablets! Here are other swaps to consider:
Plastic toothbrush→ Bamboo toothbrush (try Brush with Bamboo)
Toothpaste tubes→ Toothpaste tablets (try Bite)
Plastic Floss→ Silk floss (try Dental Lace. They also have vegan options)
Tampons→ Menstrual cup (try Diva Cup)
Pads→ Period underwear (try Thinx)
Plastic shampoo/conditioner bottles→ Shampoo/conditioner bars or your local refill shop (try Meow Meow Tweet)
Deodorant→ try Little Seed Farm. You can repurpose or recycle the glass jar it comes in
Q-tips→ Reusable q-tip (try The Last Swab)
Paper towels→ Reusable cloths (try Marley's Monsters or make your own!)
Tea bags→ loose leaf tea and a tea strainer (try Apace Living Infuser)
Bottle dish soap→ Dish soap bar or your local refill shop (try No Tox Life's Dish Block)
Sponges→ Wood dish brush (try Redecker's Dish Brush)
Parchment paper→ Reusable silicone baking mat (try Silpat)
Dishwasher Detergent → try Dropps
Single-use dryer sheets/fabric softener→ Dryer balls (try Friendsheep)
Invest in a Guppyfriend Washing Bag to catch micro plastics in the wash!
This Earth Month, buy less (a lot less).
- Resist the impulse buys! Whenever you’re tempted to buy something new, check yourself. Do you really need it or does something you already own serve its purpose? How long will it last and how much use will it get? How will it eventually be disposed of? This month, challenge yourself and try to buy nothing new! Over consumption is at the core of the environmental crisis we’re facing.
- Shop secondhand! Before buying anything new, try to buy secondhand first. Furnish a new home secondhand using craigslist or facebook marketplace. Find clothes at your local thrift store or online on sites like Poshmark or ThredUp.
- If you must buy new, buy from ethical, sustainably-minded brands. No brand is perfect. But research before you buy new to ensure you’re supporting a brand that is doing their very best to minimize their environmental impact and protect the people that make their products. Look for certifications that back up their claims and reach out to customer service if they are unclear in regard to their sustainability measures. Unsure how to evaluate a brand? Start with websites like Good On You and Remake and search their brand directories.
Use Earth Month as motivation to learn something new.
- Read! Use Earth Month to inspire you to do your research and stay up to date on the latest news regarding climate and the environment. Challenge yourself to read one article every day this month from credible news sources. You can find us reading Grist, the Guardian, Vox, Intersectional Environmentalist, or daily newspapers like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, or the Washington Post. Or choose a book about an environmental topic you’ve been wanting to learn more about!
- Listen. Checkout a new podcast! Stream a podcast while you go for a neighborhood walk or while in the car on your way to work. Our favorites are How to Save a Planet and Green Dreamer. You could also choose an audio book!
- Research what is recyclable in your city. Did you know that when it comes to recycling programs, every municipality is different in regard to what they can and cannot recycle? Look up your city’s recycling guidelines. They often have a list of what is and is not recyclable in your area. Knowing what goes in the blue bin reduces contamination of recyclable materials.
There are so many ways you can celebrate Earth Month! How are you celebrating? Let us know in the comments below.