The Earth Day Network is proud to note that the April 22 celebration of the event dates back to 1970. Crediting Rachel Carson’s 1962 book “Silent Spring” and the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill with being the catalysts for the environmental movement’s birth, the organization highlights that the energy of the anti-war movement was – partially – channeled into the realization that the planet needed help and protection. Fast forward to 2014, and there are five unexpected ways to celebrate Earth Day this year.
Get a Free Earth Day Straw from Glass Dharma
Educate yourself about the waste that popular plastic straws generate. Pointing out that these pieces of plastic pollute the environment just like plastic bags and take-out utensils, the folks at Glass Dharma offer one free glass straw to everyone who completes their quiz. Explaining that they use borosilicate tubing, the manufacturer notes that – with normal use – the straws do not break.
Maintain a Nature Trail or River with the Sierra Club
The Missouri Sierra Club will spend April 9, 10, 12 and 13 maintaining the Ozark Trail in the Pioneer Forest. Cleanup activities last from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. On April 5 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., the organization’s DC chapter will join forces with the Anacostia Watershed Society to clean up the Anacostia River. Check with your local Sierra Club chapter to find out where and when you can participate in local events.
Take the Ecological Footprint Quiz
The Earth Day Network brings the trivia home to you. Take the footprint quiz and find out how much biological material you consume and how much waste you generate. Learn how this compares to the presence of croplands and available fuels. Discover if your creation of carbon dioxide emissions is satisfactorily offset by forests.
Take a Selfie!
Selfies are all the rage on social media. Why not use them to create some awareness this Earth Day? The Nature Conservancy encourages you to take a selfie and use the hashtag #NatureSelfie when posting it to social media. The photo should include your likeness against the backdrop of a park, garden or other nature setting. Switch your social media profile picture to the selfie for a week. For a lasting impression, upload the photo to the organization’s Flickr group.
Let the EPA Help You to Go Green
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants you to pick five environmental actions to change the way you live. The Pick 5 campaign is a worldwide effort to rethink the way consumers of energy, water and goods think about conservation. For instance, an environmental action could be the re-use of household grey water for gardening. Another example would be a personal commitment to learn about composting or greenscaping and then practice one or both at home. Examples of possible steps abound. Make the online pledge and join thousands of Earth Day celebrants who have already done so.