Are you looking for ideas on how to celebrate Earth Day? We’ve put together a short list of some suggestions for events and activities:
Join in a Work Day or Cleanup
This is always a great way to get outside and enjoy the weather while getting a chance to meet and work with others. Here are a few ideas:
Tree Planting at Bridgeway Academy – Organized by Nature-Based Solutions and MAD Scientist Associates – Saturday, April 10th, 10 AM to 2 PM
Bridgeway Academy, a nonprofit education and therapy center, needs help planting 1,000 seedlings, shrubs and trees to help provide privacy and a sound barrier while supplementing their therapy and sensory garden.
Visit https://givepul.se/tc611n for details or to register.
Calamus Swamp Work Day - Saturday, April 10th, 10 AM to 2 PM – Columbus Audubon
Located just west of Circleville, Calamus Swamp is a small preserve owned by Columbus Audubon. The workday will focus on clearing invasive plants, repairing areas of the boardwalk, and cleaning up signage.
For details or to register, visit the Columbus Audubon Contact Us page and select Conservation as the Topic Area: https://columbusaudubon.org/act-now/contact-us/
A River Bank Clean Up of Confluence Park – Saturday, April 24th, 10 AM to 2 PM
A Collaborative Event between Green Columbus, Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW), and Midwest Biodiversity Institute (MBI).
This is the fifth year for this Earth Day event! Help out by providing much-needed help to keep our waterways clean by picking up plastic and other trash that flows downstream and pollutes habitat.
Visit https://givepul.se/48ojod for details or to register.
Figure 1 – Alex Roller-Knapp standing next to the trash and debris collected at the 2020 Confluence Park Clean Up.
The Earth Needs Our Help 365 Days a Year!
We all have an impact on the environment around us, and Earth Day is just one day of the year. Why not take your efforts one step further by making a commitment to protect the environment and consider sustainability in our daily lives? There are plenty of ways we can all do our part and make Earth Day every day!
Plant a Native Tree, Shrub, or Perennial
These plants help to break up rainfall and allow water to enter the soil – thus helping to reduce stormwater flows that can end up in water bodies and the ocean. They also help to cool the environment and reduce energy usage, while providing great habitat for wildlife. Ohio Native Plant Month Offers a comprehensive list of where to buy local native plants: https://www.ohionativeplantmonth.org/native-plant-sources
Buying local helps to reduce overall travel miles for both you and local businesses, while reducing the need for packaging. You’ll also help to keep the land and property needed for production in the hands of local farmers, producers and retailers. Here’s a good resource for finding what you need at your local shops: https://www.locally.com/
Reuse Those Water Bottles
Reusable water bottles cut down dramatically on bulky plastics in landfills, or that end up in our lakes, rivers and streams. Disposable plastic water bottles leach harmful chemicals into the environment as they decompose, contaminating the soil and waterways. Consider purchasing a reusable BPA-free water bottle.
Cut Back on Water Use
We all love to take a long, leisurely shower occasionally, but overuse of freshwater in our households means more water is being pulled out of aquifers and groundwater supplies. This reduces availability to other communities, especially where water resources are low. It also increases the need for treatment and purification, which is a lengthy energy-intensive process. Consider taking a shorter shower and turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth and washing your hands or dishes.
Don’t Litter - Throw Away Those Cigarette Butts
Hopefully most of us do our best to avoid littering, but for some reason, cigarette butts still miss those trashcans! Butts end up being carried in our surface water to drains, to rivers, and eventually to beaches and oceans, where estimates show they are by far the largest ocean contaminant.
Consider switching to energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs, and don’t forget to caulk those windows and use weather stripping! You can also ride your bike whenever possible or buy a fuel-efficient vehicle.
Use Biodegradable Products and Reduce Waste
Plastic products are so common in our everyday lives that it’s easy to overlook the harm they do. These bags take many years to break down and as with water bottles, leach harmful chemicals as they decompose. Try carrying a reusable bag with you and in your car wherever go. You might also take a moment before throwing something away to consider if it can be used for another purpose – reuse those carryout containers!
Get Out There and Experience Nature!
What greater way is there to appreciate nature and the environment than by experiencing it firsthand? Exposure to natural light can have immediate positive effects and reduce stress. Experiencing nature increases our awareness of the environment, thus creating a greater desire to protect and improve it.
Calculate Your Carbon Footprint:
What’s your carbon footprint? The Nature Conservancy has put together this handy interactive tool to help estimate your carbon footprint, while giving you great ideas on how to reduce it!
For more ideas on how you can do your part, on both Earth Day and every day, visit these great sites:
Earth Day Columbus 2021: https://www.earthdaycolumbus.org
Earth Day 2021: https://www.earthday.org/