Earth Day seems to be the one day where everyone talks about taking care of the world. But, here are 5 ways to celebrate Earth Day all year-round.
Vote With The Environment In Mind
For the scale of environmental change we need to happen, voting in all elections—local and national, with the environment in mind, helps to ensure that people, species, and nature are given a voice.
Read: If You Want Environmental Change, Be Politically Engaged
Understand Local Impact
Understanding how your town sources the energy which powers your home, is important. Where do they have contracts? Are the companies relying on fossil fuel or green energy? Is the entire town locked into the contract city council members negotiate or do residents have the choice to have their energy contract elsewhere? These are important questions because you may find that you have less control over your impact than you think. And, if that’s the case, it’s important to understand how your town’s local government prioritizes environmental sustainability.
How to find your town’s environmental impact:
Local environmental information will (or at least should) be listed on your town/city’s government website. Search your town’s website and look for the environmental tab. Or, call your local town hall to help you find the resources. If this information is not publically available online, ask to be connected to your town’s Environmental Task Force. If this is non-existent, think about starting one or mentioning it to someone who would want to!
You should NEVER have to pay to access environmental data. All town/country/business-reports are free resources. If someone wants to charge you, this could be a scam.
Choose One Thing To Change & Stick To It
It can feel overwhelming hearing all of the things and systems that need changing in order to lessen the impact of climate change. Many people feel so overwhelmed and paralyzed that this stops them from being engaged or participating in the environmental movement. Choosing one thing to learn about and change helps to stay focused and see progress in an area. For example, if your one thing to change is trash, you can learn about the overall trash issue and how it relates to the environment. Then, you can go deeper and choose which area to focus on: your local trash system, your household trash system, or both.
Don’t Rely On Others To Teach You
Mistakes companies are often in the news on Earth Day is their attitude for relying on other people to teach them instead of taking the steps to learn and show up in spaces where they can understand what’s going on with the environment. It is not anyone else’s job to make sure you understand what’s going on in the world. Resources advocates/academics may share to help achieve a learning goal—but it is not the only way environmental education is available. Taking time to search the internet, read books and reports, or attend online seminars are ways to practice self-learning.
Talk About It
Talking about the environment and the solutions to help lessen the impact on others is a powerful way to stay motivated while feeling connected to others and the world around. It can feel loney—especially if colleagues or loved ones aren’t interested in the environmental pursuits you are. Having a community–even if it’s a monthly online meeting helps to form the connections and feel like there are others out there who understand what you’re doing and feeling.