Categories: Activities

10 Ways to #LeaveItBetter in Honor of Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary

Now more than ever, it’s important to appreciate the time we get to spend outdoors and care for our environment. And amid the widespread effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Earth Day serves as a bright spot. To honor the movement and its 50th anniversary, we’re sharing 10 ways to give our home some lovin’ (even if we’re all doing so indoors for now).

1. Start a victory garden or a pollinator garden

Due to COVID-19 and an increase in free time at home, more and more people are turning to small-space gardens. Victory gardens are back following popularity during World War II as a way to grow produce at home, and Modern Farmer has shared three easy ways to get started. Pollinator gardens complement vegetable gardens in that they draw the insects that pollinate crops—find gardening tips from the U.S. Forest Service.

2. Get inspired by online Earth Day programming

Even if you’ve picked over the options on your streaming services, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding something to watch on Earth Day. With NASA’s #EarthDayatHome event and the American Museum of Natural History’s kid-friendly EarthFest from Home, you’ll find a variety of talks, watch parties, interactive demonstrations, and kid-friendly workshops. And for total immersion, tune into the official Earth Day Live (featuring His Holiness Pope Francis himself, Dr. Sylvia Earle, and more) or the massive 72-hour Earth Day livestream event for three full days of community talks and calls to action.

3. Sign up for local, seasonal food deliveries

Support local farms and get fresh produce delivered to your door by subscribing to a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). You can know where your food comes from, get to know community producers, and discover new-to-you veggies.

4. Support the U.S. Postal Service and raise awareness with Earth Day stamps

Everyone likes receiving snail mail, and these days, the extra thought can really go a long way. Send your letters with the new Earth Day Forever stamp, which marks 50 years of climate action and environment protection.

5. Get in on some citizen science

With the Earth Challenge 2020 app (EC2020), you can pledge to take air quality measurements to contribute to a global database dedicated to improving air pollution. Readings can be done at home and on your phone with no need to leave the house.

6. Take part in the Great Global (Solo) Cleanup

Group community cleanups may be on hold, but you can still #LeaveItBetter by picking up trash on a walk around the neighborhood. EarthDay.org is tracking cleanup efforts no matter how big or small. Just be sure to act in accordance with your area’s COVID-19 guidelines!

7. Start composting at home

Composting is one of those things that can be daunting to start on your own—but now’s the perfect time. It really doesn’t take much effort, recycles food scraps for healthier soil, and saves landfill space. The National Resources Defense Council has tips and checklists for setting up your space.

8. Make homemade hummingbird nectar

If you don’t quite have the resources for a full-fledged pollinator garden, you can still feed hummingbirds with just water and refined white sugar. It’s a win-win: you help sustain their foraging and get more opportunities to spot the speedy birds in your yard. Check out this recipe from the Audubon Society for more details.

9. Donate to an environmental nonprofit

We strongly believe money is best spent on experiences and bettering our communities. A few ideas to get you started:

10. Create some zero-waste crafts

Having creative outlets keeps us healthy. Put your focus into an upcycled craft project—it’s easy to find inspiration online with uses for items as simple as food jars, coffee filters, egg cartons, corks, paper scraps…just roll with it!

How are you celebrating Earth Day?

We’d love to know! Tweet to us @hipcamp.

Jenna is Hipcamp's Managing Editor. Aside from storytelling, she spends her time reading, hiking, watching baseball, and heading out on weekend getaways to California's corners and beyond.

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