A new era of environmental awareness and activism was born on April 22, 1970, as 20 million people staged demonstrations in cities and towns across the US, demanding better stewardship of the country’s air, water, land and other natural resources. Earth Day was born – and before the year was out, the groundswell of public support for environmental protection resulted in Congress’ authorization of the US Environmental Protection Agency. Passage of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act followed soon after.
As we prepare to mark the 51st anniversary of Earth Day this week, there are different environmental challenges to tackle – some more complicated and urgent to solve than the issues addressed by the founders of the first Earth Day two generations ago. Still, the same spirit of working individually and together for the good of the planet presides over this unique “holiday.” We at the DLC hope you and your family will celebrate it well. For inspiration, we’ve curated a brief list of some actions the DLC staff is taking to make the world cleaner and greener:
- Installed home solar PV system
- Chose 100 percent renewable power through a local utility “opt up” program
- Transitioned home lighting to LEDs – of course!
- Composting kitchen scraps
- Recycling everything recyclable locally, and one staffer created a recycling program to handle additional cardboard package resulting from pandemic product deliveries
- Bringing reusable bags to the grocery store and using reusable mesh bags for produce (or none at all)
- Repurpose empty glass and plastic containers
- Reuse plastic flatware and takeout containers
- Bring shampoo and conditioner on trips rather than using disposable plastic-packaged hotel products
- Have made picking up and properly disposing of litter part of the tradition of family walks at home and while traveling
- Repurpose cardboard egg cartons and plastic “clamshell” packaging to start seedlings
- Built a pollinator garden at children’s elementary school
- Plant native and pollinator plants in the yard
- Shop at farmers’ markets and/or support local farms through Community Supported Agriculture
- Eat lower on the food chain, less meat and fish
- Drive less – organizing trips to use as little fuel as possible
- Purchased electric and hybrid electric vehicles
- Use an electric bike instead of driving
There are, of course, many more actions that can make an impact as we think globally and act locally to protect and enhance the planet not just on Earth Day, but every day. The DLC would love to hear your ideas. Please let us know in the Comments section of this blog!