With much of the country sheltering in place and practicing social distancing, it’s probably a good idea to celebrate Earth Day 2020 at home. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still celebrate and make a difference. There are plenty of ways to celebrate and appreciate the Earth from the safety and comfort of your home.Yes, we’ve been told it’s safe to go outside because coronavirus (COVID-19) does not survive well in the fresh air and sunshine. April 22, 2020 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and I imagine the parks and outdoor spaces will be full of people. That will make social distancing very difficult.
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Photo By Daniela Lyra on Flickr

Even if you live in an apartment or just don’t have any green space, here’s what you can do:

Educate yourself

If you are truly stuck inside, there are many ways to still get involved on Earth Day. One way to be more involved is to be more educated. Learn about climate change or any other issue impacting our ecosystems and the planet we call home.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out the Environmental Awareness page of my blog, or jump over to my Environmental Awareness board on Pinterest.

Or jump out to Google and search things like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or the Top 5 Causes of Plastic Pollution.

Or look up your local recycling company and see what they really do or don’t recycle. You may be surprised to learn that you’re putting unrecyclable items in your bin.

Got kids? Find fun movies with environmental messages, like Fern Gully (a personal favorite of mine!). Other ideas include A Beautiful Planet, Arctic Tale, and Adventure Planet.

Share other ideas on how to educate yourself on environmental issues and causes in the comments below!

Evaluate your living habits

Another thing you can do from the safety of your home, is evaluate your current living habits.

  • How much single use plastic do you use?
  • Do the products you buy come in a lot of packaging?
  • Are your cleaning products non-toxic?

Start in the kitchen and see:

  • How much plastic wrap you use
  • How many zip-top bags you go through
    • Do you ever wash and reuse them?
  • How many rolls of paper towels do you go through in a month?
  • Check your dish soap and hand soap:
    • Is it refillable?
    • Do you buy it in concentrate and add your own water? Or are you paying more for a bottle that is mostly filled with water?
    • Is it antibacterial? You may want to consider the effects of washing anti-biotics down the drain over and over.
  • Check your dishwasher detergent:
    • Is it full of toxins going down the drain?
    • Is the packaging eco-friendly?
  • How much produce or other foods do you throw away?

Next, evaluate your bathroom:

  • How many disposable products do you have?
    • Body scrubbing poufs
    • Razors made of plastic
    • Dental floss
    • Plastic toothbrushes
    • Dental floss
  • How many toxins are in your cosmetics?
    • Face creams
    • Shampoo/conditioner
    • Other hair products
    • Mascara and other makeup
    • Perfumes

If you’re not sure what to look for regarding toxins, well, the list is too long and complex for this one post, but do some research (educate yourself!) and watch for the little things you may not think about, like chemical fragrances, which can cause neurological damage.

Got kids? Check out their toys and consider more eco-friendly options. Not to mention how much stuff they have – if it’s a lot, what kind of habits are you teaching them? Make a project of donating stuff you don’t need anymore. Teach them to share, help people in need and protect the environment, all in one go.

 

Evaluate your shopping habits

Next, think about how you shop.

  • Do you buy a lot of fast-fashion and new stuff?
    • Could you repair or reuse more of what you already have?
    • What do you do with the old? Do you donate or resell? Or is it winding up in a landfill?
    • Do or could you buy second-hand?
  • Do you eat out a lot?
    • What kind of packaging is used for the takeout?
    • Would you be willing to bring your own doggy bag?
    • How many plastic straws do you use? Do you really need a straw?

After you’ve thought about your buying habits, consider where you can make changes.

  • Do you really need the latest model of phone (or other tech) as soon as it comes out, or could you make yours last longer?
  • Do you really need new shoes or that purse? And could you search ThredUp for the same thing and get it cheaper?
  • Can you resell, donate or reuse more of what you throw away?

There are a million things to think about, but those are a good starting point. Share what habits you’ve found or how you might change them in the comments below!

And remember, where you spend your money, and what you spend it on, is the most important message you can send to corporations and politicians.

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Photo by bohed on Pixabay

Donate to a cause

Still want to get more involved? Find an environmental cause to support! 4Ocean is having a spring sale (as of April 19, 2020) check out my 4OCean Review for more info on that cause.

Here are some other environmental charity organizations you could look into:

  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Natural Resources Defense Council

Copy-paste any of those into the Google search bar or try “environmental charities in my area,” for something closer to home.

Work in the yard

If you have a private green space, get outside and appreciate it! Do some gardening using non-toxic fertilizers and maybe gloves or knee pads made from recycled materials.

Stick with plants that are indigenous to the area. They tend to grow better with less water and fertilizer needed. Or go with wildflowers that will support local bee populations.

Plant a vegetable garden or herb garden to reduce the plastic waste you bring home from the store.

Plant a tree! That’s the quintessential Earth Day tradition, isn’t it?

Maybe think about ways to reduce grass space if you can. Think about the maintenance required: fuel for a mower, watering and other treatments … less grass will be less time and money for you as well!

Got kids? Teach them to respect mother nature by getting them involved in the yard work, especially in gardening to grow your own foods.

Share how you’ve made your yard more eco-friendly in the comments below!

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Get virtual

With shelter in place and social distancing in full effect, there are all sorts of virtual events taking place. Do a quick Google search for virtual Earth Day events. You’ll find plenty of local events, plus some national or worldwide events too. More will show up the closer we get to the day! I know EarthDay.org is planning a live event, so that is one place to start.

Get on Instagram, Facebook or your preferred social network and see what live events are happening with groups you know, or search for some new groups to follow. Search keywords like “plastic-free” or “upcycle” to see what accounts are available to follow or engage with.

Take a video or snap some pics of what you’re doing for Earth Day and share it on social media. See how many friends and followers chime in with their own.

 

There you have it 5 ways to celebrate Earth Day from home. If you still want to get out and be activ