This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, which started on April 22, 1970. Earth Day was founded by Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, in response to the Santa Barbara Oil Spill in 1969. Seeing firsthand the immense amount of water pollution and destruction caused to the area, he wanted to push environmental protection on the national agenda and make it a priority. Nelson assembled a nationwide team making sure to recruit members from both the Democrat and Republican parties to create a united front. The first Earth Day saw 20 million Americans participate, ultimately leading to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and passing of the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Endangered Species Acts. Earth Day went global in 1990 with over 200 million people participating. With growing fervor every year, Earth Day has become one of the most celebrated secular observances worldwide, with a billion people contributing in some way every year.
With COVID-19 preventing people from participating in typical Earth Day group activities, such as trash clean-ups, we have compiled a list of small ways you can still contribute and participate in Earth Day while adhering to social distancing and staying safe:
- Start a Compost Bin– Instead of throwing away kitchen scraps, glass clippings, and other common materials disposed of, use them to compost! Composting is good for your soil AND the Earth!
- Don’t use Plastic Straws– One of the most common ecofriendly initiatives, using reusable straws or no straw at all is a great way to cut back on unnecessary plastic.
- Don’t use any disposable plates, utensils, etc.– Another way to cut down on the amount of trash being contributed to landfills, which in turn increases the amount of greenhouse gases in the air. Instead use reusable materials (metal, ceramic, wood, etc.) or even biodegradable options.
- Have a “No TV day”– Cut down on power and electricity by spending a day TV-free! This is also a great way to connect with others and not get bogged down in technology. Play cards, go for a walk, the possibilities are endless!
- Plant a Garden– Starting your own little garden is a wonderful way to promote environmentally friendly practices and make a difference in multiple ways. Cut down on the use of pesticides and biocides by supporting organic farming. This also helps cut down on global warming and preserve wildlife.
Celebrate Earth Day While Social DistancingChemtek places environmental sustainability and social responsibility at the forefront of all our operations. While Earth Day is a great way to bring awareness to sustainable practices, these are all things we could be doing to make the world more ecofriendly consistently, not just for one day.