April 22, 2022 is Earth Day, marking the 52nd anniversary of the holiday. Today is the time to take concrete steps toward bettering the Earth with this year’s theme: “Invest in Our Planet.” The theme is meant to encourage corporations, governments, and everyday individuals to live more sustainably, buy from environmentally responsible companies, and actively improve the Earth.
Earth Day began in the 1970s when activist John McConnell and Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson organized nearly 10% of America’s population to protest air pollution, toxic drinking water, and pesticides. Since then, Earth Day has become an opportunity for communities all over the world to advocate for the planet and improve on environmental issues.
Although Earth Day is a global movement, individuals can still pitch in. Here are a few things you can do to celebrate Earth Day:
See a piece of trash? Pick it up!
If you go for daily walks, bring a small bag with you to collect trash as you go. Removing trash from your neighborhood or community not only enhances the appearance of the area, but it also improves the environment as a whole. Your small contribution to reducing wasteandplastic pollution in your area can benefit the wildlife and humans that live in it.
Learn what can be recycled
Many people (with good intention) throw things in the recycling bin without knowing if it is recyclable. This may not seem like a big deal, but improperly recycling materials can cause recycling contamination, which happens when recyclable objects mix into the wrong recycling bin or when materials are unclean. Contaminated recyclables are unable to be processed, as doing so can result in destruction of recycling machinery and even unsafe working conditions for those who sort materials. As such, many of the items we think are being recycled actually still end up in landfills due to contamination.
Change can be difficult for those who aren’t used to it, but enacting change doesn’t have to be anything drastic. Advocating for change within a senior living community can benefit everyone involved, but you have to start small. Put out a recycling bin that wasn’t there before. Start a gardening club to grow your own food and exchange tips with others. Ask your staff to make the switch to LED lights.
From there, you can move on to more lasting changes such investing in non-toxic furniture materials or natural, light-friendly building designs. Find out how you and your community can live more sustainably here.
Contact local representatives
There is only so much we can do individually to help the environment. Contacting local representatives that have the power to enact real change is one of the best things you can do for the planet. Find representatives in your area here.
While Earth Day is a fun opportunity to help out the planet, you can still follow these tips and more everyday of the year. Check out Earth Day 2022’s list of events to participate in cleanups, activist events, conservation efforts and more, and check out some tips on what you can do to help the planet here.
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