April 22, 2020 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. While every day is the perfect day to honor Mother Earth, Earth Day is an opportunity to implement a new sustainable practice, create something beautiful or protect limited resources. So while you are hunkered down during COVID-19, here are some activities you can do to celebrate Earth Day at home.
Establish rain barrels
Water conservation is especially important, so why not start in your own yard by collecting rainwater? In turn, you can use it to water the lawn and garden or provide a drink for pets and wildlife. Systems are easy to set up with a downspout diverter that you can incorporate directly into your gutter system.
Pick up garbage
Garbage is not only an eyesore, but it can hurt wildlife and pollute waterways, too. This Earth Day, head out on your own or with your household to pick up the neighborhood on your daily walk or even clean up your own yard. Just be sure to follow health precautions, including social distancing and wearing masks.
For a fun Earth Day project, build your own planters. You can make them out of spare wood or concrete mix, or you can get creative with household items that make excellent planters, such as an old boot, a colander or a teapot.
Create flower beds
Because Earth Day lands in spring, it’s a great time to plan for planting. If you’re creating flower beds, use repurposed materials instead of buying new. Grab a pallet, upcycle some metal sheeting, stack rocks from around the property or line the space with upside-down bottles. The options for creating flower beds are only limited by your imagination, so get creative!
Design an eco-friendly pantry
Earth Day is about giving thought to ways you can reduce consumption and waste and that idea works just as well inside the home as it does outside of it. With that in mind, tackle the pantry by moving food and spices into glass jars. Use a label-maker or attach chalk paint stickers to the front of each jar so you can identify the ingredients. Then, plan to purchase from bulk bins in the future to eliminate packaging waste with each grocery store trip.
Plant a tree
Few things are more ubiquitous than planting a tree on Earth Day, so join the movement by putting some of your favorites in the yard. Trees offer endless benefits, from providing animal habitats and shade to cleaning the air you breathe. Consider planting a fruit tree, so you can even harvest some sweet rewards.
Provide bird feeders and baths
Birds are pollinators, plus they are just fun to watch as they fly and sing around the yard. Take care of your feathered friends with clean bird baths and feeders full of fresh seeds for them to enjoy.
Build a butterfly house
In addition to selecting plants that attract fluttery friends, you can spend your Earth Day building a home specifically made for butterflies. Plans are fairly basic, and if you are inclined, a slight variation in the design can net you a bat house, too.
Start an apiary
Bees are essential for pollination and a healthy food and flower supply. With that in mind, why not manage your own apiary? There are some upfront costs and planning required, but if beekeeping is on your bucket list, Earth Day is the perfect time to start.
Make your own cleaning products
To avoid washing toxic chemicals down the drain and into the water system, make your own natural cleaners. With a little practice, you can make laundry detergent, fabric softener, liquid soap and all-purpose cleaners. Natural cleaners don’t require very many ingredients, and you may already have these ingredients in your home. Spend your Earth Day making the switch from commercial to homemade.
Eliminating plastic from your house can take your Earth Day campaign from one room to the next. Although you don’t have to hit the internet to order all new containers, make a wish list and replace plastic items as you are able. Common examples include shampoo bottles, water bottles, laundry detergent jugs, grocery bags and food storage containers. Vow to make the switch to no packaging or glass and stainless steel reusable containers for every item on the list.
Convert to online billing
In today’s world, paper billing is rarely needed. Save mail delivery fuel emissions and reduce paper consumption by moving your bills online instead of receiving them in paper form. This can include mail relating to utilities, banking, credit cards, mortgages and more.
Plan or plant a garden
Providing fresh, farm-to-table food for your family or roommates is a fabulous way to spend Earth Day. The benefits are endless, from bountiful produce to a smaller carbon footprint. If it’s not quite planting time in your region, at least outline a plan for what plants you hope to grow, where you will locate them and when they will be ready for consumption.
If you don’t have one already, composters are easy to start and maintain. You can buy a commercial composter, put together a basic wood box without a bottom or simply make a pile in the backyard. Position your compost pile in a sunny spot for best results, stir it occasionally and make sure it stays moist during very dry seasons. Layer ingredients with approximately equal amounts of brown materials, green materials and organic food scraps.
Watch the Lyrid meteor shower
Enjoy an exciting glimpse of our universe by watching the Lyric meteor shower, which is actually visible from about April 16 to April 25, just in time to celebrate Earth Day. You’ll have a chance to see up to 10 to 15 meteors per hour.