7 Ways to Celebrate the Planet

Helping to take care of the Earth on April 22 and every day.

Take care of the planet on Earth Day.

(Brian A Jackson / Shutterstock.com)

Earth Day, the annual celebration that supports environmentalism and the need to protect the planet for future generations, is just around the corner. It is celebrated on April 22 in the US and on the spring equinox in the rest of the world. Now in its 54th year, there is still much work to do and you can help.

 The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, according to National Geographic. Inspired by environmental activism in the 1960s, Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin wanted to create a national celebration that would unite environmentalists and further the cause . Along with Denis Hayes, a graduate student at Harvard University, Nelson organized the first Earth Day and 20 million people attended. The theme this year is planet Vs plastic.

The event helped to create the modern environmental movement, according to the organization, and  helped to strengthen support for the Clean Air Act, The Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, important legislation that helps to protect the planet.

Earth Day went global in 1990 and now brings together more than 200 organizations and partners from 192 countries around the world. While the organization's goal is to increase awareness for environmental issues, reported The Almanac, it has become a time for communities – or individuals – to do activities that will help make the planet a better place to live. Here are seven things that you can do to be a steward of planet Earth.

Do a neighborhood cleanup

You can celebrate Earth Day by doing a neighborhood cleanup, suggested the environmental organization Earth Watch. Pick-up litter – making sure to sort out recyclables like plastics – and get to spend some time in nature at the same time. Just take gloves and a trash bag with you as you walk your dog. You can also join an organized park or beach cleanup.

Neighborhood park cleanup.

(Akarawut / Shutterstock.com)

Get kids involved in nature

Earth Day is a great way to get kids to engage with nature and science. You can do a scavenger hunt, make a tree map of the neighborhood, make a house for birds to nest in, and so much more. Here is a list of ways from Earth Watch to get kids outdoors this spring.

Kids learning about nature.

(Evgeny Atamanenko /shutterstock.com)

Make your home more sustainable

You can make your home more sustainable by doing small acts like switching to environmentally friendly LED bulbs, using recycled paper goods, as well as cutting out single-use plastics like cutlery and cups. You can DIY your own safe and effective cleaners. And,you can also really green your home by growing your own indoor herb garden.

Replace your light bulbs with LEDs.

(Sanook.pic / Shutterstock.com)

Plant a tree

Trees are very important for the health of the planet, according to The Almanac. Trees capture carbon and help to cool the planet. Trees also benefit agriculture, provide homes for birds and animals, and provide food. You can check to see if there will be a community tree planting for Earth Day in your area. Become a tree-hugger today!

A father and son planting a tree.

(WeAre / Shutterstock.com)

Support pollinators

Help support pollinators by planting pollinator- friendly plants and flowers in your yard. Pollinators are necessary for most agriculture and many have been in decline for decades. So whether you have room for a meadow of wildflowers or just some potted  flowers, do your part and feed the creatures that help to feed you.

A bee on wildflowers.

(Birgit Haake-Heinbach / Shutterstock.com)

Conserve water 

Americans waste a lot of water. Here are some water saving tips: You can save water in your home by shortening your showers and swapping your shower head to a water efficient one. Turn off the tap while you are brushing your teeth until you need to rinse. Only use your washing machine and dishwasher when full, a dishwasher uses 25 gallons of water whether it is full or half-empty. You can replace old toilets with water saving ones and even more importantly, check your faucets and pipes for leaks. 

Little girl brushing her teeth.

(Ixepop / shutterstock.com)

Stop using chemical in your yard

Another way to help the Earth is to stop using chemical pesticides, weedkillers, and fertilizers in your garden. Commercial products usually contain dangerous chemicals that can damage the soil. You can DIY your own garden care products or use strictly organic ones. You can also keep critters away from you when you enjoy your yard by planting natural bug repellents around your patio.

Using a DIY green and safe pesticide.

(FotoHelin / Shutterstock.com)