6 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day at Home
Commitment to promoting environmental agenda marks its 50th Anniversary.
Earth Day marks its 50th Anniversary on April 22.
PHOTOGRAPH BY GETTY IMAGES
Earth Day marks its 50th anniversary on April 22 by focusing on climate change. However, anyone can start celebrating today right in their very own backyard even as we are confined to our homes by the coronavirus.
Fifty years ago, Earth Day went national after Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson teamed with Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey to take the spirit of the anti-Viet Nam war movement and mesh it with the growing awareness of air and water pollution. More than 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums in coast-to-coast rallies. By 1990, Earth Day had gone global in 141 countries and mobilizing 200 million people.
By the end of 1970, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was created and the Clean Air Act was passed. Two years later, Congress passed the Clean Water Act followed by the Endangered Species Act the following year.
Here are six tips to help you celebrate Earth Day without ever leaving home, according to the TurfMutt Foundation.
1. Get outside. Your backyard is an outdoor living room and safe place for pets and kids to play. Science proves spending time outdoors is good for your health and well-being, and so important today as everyone looks for creative ways to stay well while being confined to the home. Researchers have found that people living in neighborhoods with more birds, shrubs and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, and stress.
2. Make the outdoors a family project if you can. Take your loved ones outside to assess your space. What’s working well? What could be improved? What can you plan to do together in your backyard? Anything needing to be cleaned up? Make a plan to expand or spruce up your yard.
3. Connect the family to nature. Free, online, do-at-home lesson plans are available. The environmental education program resources and activities, based on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) principles, give kids the prompts they need to have fun learning about and exploring the nature and science in their own backyards. Visit: scholastic.com
4. Know your climate zone. Learn about climate-zone-appropriate plants, the importance of pollinators, and how backyards can support local wildlife. Conduct a plant inventory to determine what’s currently thriving in your backyard. Match that up against the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to determine the best types of turf, trees, shrubs, and plants for the climate zone.
5. Keep pollinators in mind. Your yard is an important part of the connected ecosystem providing much- needed food and shelter for pollinators, such as birds, bees, butterflies, bats, and other creatures. Select a variety of plants that will bloom all year long. The Audubon Society’s database can help determine which birds will be attracted to which plants for unique regions so you can make good choices about what to plant. Visit: audubon.org
6. Plant, prune or mow. Staying confined to home base doesn’t mean gardening and yard work have to stop. Order garden supplies online or have them delivered from a nearby nursery. Mow the lawn and trim bushes. Research shows people who gardened for at least 30 minutes a week had lower body mass indexes — a measure of body fat — as well as higher levels of self-esteem and better moods overall. They also reported lower levels of tension and stress.
The Earth Day website is posting a Daily Challenge, a 22-day series that spotlights a way to take action. For more information, visit earthday.org.
Because of the significant change in our lives as a result of COVID-19, many of us are working from home as we ‘social distance’ and quarantine ourselves. The USPS is doing the Best that they can, but mail is being delayed because of this disruption they are experiencing as well. This means, as we have heard from many of you, that your hard copy of Bee Culture is not showing up as in the past. We have a Digital version of Bee Culture. We are making this available to you at NO COST until this situation is over. This is how you can access it and read it for FREE online. Go to www.beeculture.com and click on the “Latest Issues” tap at the top of the page.
We thank each of you as we all go through this together. Hang in there.
The Bee Culture Team.