There are lots of great ways to celebrate Earth Day and support the planet, of course.
One of our favorites is the classic: to plant a tree in our own community. I also enjoy taking the family outside to simply enjoy nature any day of the year.
I’m traditionally a fan of individual action, but the truth is that we need so much more than that.
What are some of the unique ways you like to celebrate?
Ways to Support the Planet
What is an important issue to you? Yes, take action based on impact. Still, being emotionally invested into an issue is a great motivator. It helps to be excited about the work you and others are doing.
I read Food Fix this year, and also watched Kiss the Ground on Netflix. Whoa. The potential of regenerative agriculture is compelling. Arguably, changing how we grow food could make a bigger impact than anything else to support the planet.
If you’re interested in watching Kiss the Ground, I recommend it. It is available on Netflix. If you don’t have a subscription you can rent it for $1 on Vimeo or access it for free if you bring it to your school.
Food Fix is also a great read. You can buy it through Amazon using my affiliate link, or find it at most other book retailers.
Do you have other engaging suggestions for learning more about regenerative agriculture? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments.
What To Do for Regenerative Agriculture
GreenBiz has an article of 17 organizations that support regenerative agriculture, which can provide a good place to start.
You can also think about some of the organizations that are working in your local area. For example, we have a seed-saving organization here. It helps preserve localized seed strains, and supports gardening and sustainable food growth.
Perhaps the best way to support regenerative agriculture is to divert some of your food dollars to purchasing from nearby farmers who are dedicated to organic and regenerative growing. Find out how your neighbors are farming, and how you can support their efforts by buying their high-quality, low-impact produce.
Are you interested in regenerative agriculture, and want to help it flourish for free? Build some no-till garden beds and grow your own food! Starting an easy compost pile is also a top-notch way to contribute to better soil and less emissions in your own backyard.
It is impossible to ignore the importance our oceans play in supporting a healthy environment. They absorb a massive amount of carbon emissions. Unfortunately acidification and coral bleaching are a few of the impacts of our abuse of this sprawling resource that covers 70 percent of our planet.
There are plenty of fabulous ocean documentaries to watch if you want to learn more. Of course, Seaspiracy has everybody talking right now. One of the first movies my husband, Mr. M., made me watch was Sharkwater Extinction. Here are some great round-ups by Washington Post and Blue Planet Aquarium.
Anyone who has spent any time around the ocean can tangibly see the mess we have made. It wasn’t that long ago that we thought the oceans were too large to pollute. Now you can’t go anywhere without spotting plastic. More depressing, there are literally microplastics everywhere—from the Arctic to inside your organs.
Additionally, the decline in diversity and health of ocean wildlife is astounding. My brother used to fly float planes off our own Pacific coast. He said that scientists would refer to our orca population as peanut heads because of their advanced starvation.
What To Do for Healthy Oceans
Research some of the other initiatives if you’re interested in financially supporting healthy oceans.
If you live near an ocean you can take it on yourself to participate in beach clean up when you are there. Actually, doing so anywhere, and especially near a water source, can make a small difference.
You can also purchase products and that are local, reducing shipping mileage. The more we can do this as a global community the bigger impact we can have. Be sure to also support plastic-free policies.
Finally, eat less seafood—or at least do what you can to choose seafood that is ethically caught. Ghost nets and overfishing are both enormous problems in our oceans.
How many of my readers are over fifty? If that’s you, the world’s wildlife has declined by at least two thirds over your lifetime. If you’re less than fifty, like I am, that dramatic loss was already underway when you were born. What a shame…
The loss of natural spaces and wildlife has an emotional impact. Here in Canada, nature is essential to our national identity. Many of us feel some connection with a favorite animal or a terrain—I feel a longing for the mountains if I am away for long.
The main cause of wildlife decline is habitat loss—although there are other issues. According to Wikipedia, the primary driver of habitat destruction is agriculture, although there are others as well.
As with many other environmental issues, conservation has intricate ties with many other branches of green initiative. Helping to save land, nature, and wildlife has far-reaching benefits that support the planet and those of us who get to live here.
What To Do For Nature Conservation
Presumably you can’t buy hundreds of hectares to set aside for conservation. However, there are lots of organizations that you can contribute to that are doing just that. Here is a list of 19 environmental charities to know about, most of which support conservation.
Here in my home region we have two notable organizations that are committed to education and conservation. I have supported both of them. Keeping my donations local means I benefit directly from their work. I suggest learning the groups that are doing conservation in your area.
There are also easy ways to support nature through consumer habits. Buy food that is organic. Prioritize other valid environmental certifications when choosing products.
Some companies plant trees with each purchase. You can also set your default search engine to Ecosia. With this search engine you will be planting trees just by browsing the web—something you would be doing anyway.
If you have a yard consider how you can support the micro-habitat that might surround you, especially for vulnerable populations. In our neck of the woods we put up bat houses. We also support sustainable agriculture where we can, and engage with our local natural education initiatives.
Clean energy is the popular big brother of sustainability initiatives. There is good reason for this. Depending on the source, energy use and production accounts for about three quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s great to make personal changes when and where you can. But even if everyone who reads this article started hang-drying their clothes (hopefully you do) and switched their light bulbs for LEDs the effect would be…. negligible.
It’s depressing, yes. And still do that stuff! But what we really need is large-scale changes to how we transition off dirty energy as a society as a whole.
Here in Canada we are an energy-producing nation—and not a very clean one—so it’s messy. I have lots of friends and family who are employed in oil and gas. Still, as a nation, we tend to ignore the impact of our oil exports and focus on our green grants to install better windows and drive better cars.
What To Do for Clean Energy
So, drive and fly less. Buy carbon offsets. But also engage with your government representatives, the companies you support, and your financial institutions. Take time to learn about your own government, and the initiatives it does or doesn’t support.
Oh, and support the planet through initiatives that preserve forests, and contribute to their rejuvenation. Trees and carbon sinks are some of the best tools we have access to in regards to capturing carbon.
Invest in clean energy such as solar, if you can—especially if your grid is supplied in any way by coal.
Vote with your vote, but also with your dollar, and encourage others to do the same to support the planet. How consumers purchase does have a major impact how companies choose to operate.
Walmart and Amazon might not miss your lonely business, but a small local company will be grateful for every purchase you make.
I have posts on shopping at a farmers market, making your own toothpaste, and using cloth diapers or menstrual cups. It can seem overwhelming to tackle everything at once, but each little change is easy—often preferable once you’ve made it.
Choose smaller, choose less, and choose more efficient. You can save loads of money, and simplify your life at the same time.
More isn’t correlated with happiness, my friends. Things like relationships, a sense of fulfillment, and quality time are.
What is important to you?