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10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day While Social Distancing

Earth Day is April 22!

Perhaps you celebrate Earth Day by taking part in an Earth Day event, gathering with friends or taking part in a neighbourhood cleanup. Or, maybe you have never celebrated Earth Day before but find yourself with some extra time this year. Whatever your circumstances, if you’d like to celebrate our Earth and take some actions to honour nature and ecology this Wednesday, here are a few ways that you can do so without risking furthering the spread of Covid-19!

Lake and Mountain

  1. Feed or watch the birds: Simply sitting on your balcony or in your yard and observing the birds is a great way to ground yourself in your natural surroundings. You could even open a window and watch for birds out your window! Take it a step further by investing in a bird feeder or two (check out locally owned shops for bird feeders and bird seed, if possible!). The birds will thank you, and you will start to see more variety in the birds around your home. No birds to be found? If you’re not self-isolating or quarantined, take a stroll to a local park and see who’s flying about! If you have no idea what you’re seeing or hearing, give the EyeLoveBirds app a try. This is a great tool that includes soundbites of bird calls, as well as photos, and location analysis to help you identify birds. They also offer curated lists based on your location — purchase one and the proceeds will go to a non-profit conservation organization.
  2. Plant some seeds for bees: No matter if it’s a pot, a planter or a flower bed, bee-friendly plants and flowers are always a great idea! Here are some bee-friendly tips!
  3. Make a donation: If you’re short on time or energy, but can spare a few dollars, your favourite conservation organization would surely be hugely appreciative of your contribution right now. Here is a list of environmental charities in Canada who will use your dollars to the greatest impact.
  4. Clean up the neighbourhood: Such a simple act with such a huge impact! The next time you take a walk, you can bask in the glory of the cleaner streets and green spaces. Be sure to wear gloves (take a couple of extra pairs to be safe!), and bring three bags — one for compostables, one for garbage and one for recycling. Get clear on your local waste guidelines before you go, so you can be sure to categorize trash appropriately. Want to be rewarded for your work (aside from the inherent rewards of a cleaner neighbourhood)? Plastic-Free YYC is hosting a virtual neighbourhood clean-up on Earth Day, complete with prizes! Get the details here.
  5. Go energy-free for the day: This one is very simple! Can you spend a day using as little energy (electricity, heating, gas) as possible? What would you do all day if you it didn’t involve driving, screens, electric lights, or your kitchen? A picnic? A puzzle? A walk in the woods?
  6. Unsubscribe from catalogs and switch to e-bills: If you’ve been meaning to do this but putting it off, now is the perfect time! What are you still receiving in the mail that you don’t need to be? Visit the website of each company or organization and go paperless!
  7. Hang out your laundry to dry: Is it laundry day? If you have a clothesline or drying racks, hang your laundry to dry instead of using the dryer. Don’t have either of those things? Set something up or make a plan to acquire the supplies! Save 3.3 kilowatt hours of energy (average) for each load of laundry you keep out of the dryer!
  8. Set up rainwater collection: Look into getting one or more rain barrels! The rain you collect can be used to water flowers, a vegetable garden or your lawn. Use Earth Day to find out if there are any local rain barrel sales where you can find affordable barrels, or look on Kijiji to buy one. If you have the time, you could get them today and have them set up!
  9. Go meat-free: Maybe you’re not vegetarian, but you could be just for today! It takes far more water to produce meat than vegetables, and it not only takes more fossil fuels for farming and transport, but it also creates more greenhouse gases. Plus, did you know…? There are so many delicious meat-free meals to choose from! Check these out, for a start!
  10. Audit yourself: Do an energy audit to find out how much energy you’re using each day, or a waste audit to find out where, exactly, all that garbage is coming from. Once you have done your audit, you have a starting point to make improvements! 

We hope you have a wonderful Earth Day!