Feeling worn down by the coronavirus pandemic, quarantine and social distancing? I hear you. We could all use a reason to celebrate right now. Thank goodness Earth Day is here!
It’s not just any Earth Day, either. 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of this worldwide observance (after the Cuyahoga River lit on fire one too many times and helped spark clean air and water protests all over the world).
This was supposed to be a year to spill out into the streets again to demand action against fossil fuels and plastic pollution – a path toward a more sustainable future. But the coronavirus changed all that and most of the Earth Day actions you’ll see this year will be digital.
Nevertheless, I think we can all find a way to honor Mother Nature this year.
If nothing else, this strange time in which we’re living may give us a rare moment to relax and drink in the world around us. Even your backyard can be a beautiful place if you look at it through the right lens.
My family is enjoying watching the flowers and trees bloom in our neighborhood. When it’s warm enough to go for a walk, we’ve been trying to name all of the flowers we see (because who couldn’t use a good botany lesson to supplement their home schooling right now?).
If you’re out for a stroll, keep an eye out for litter and pick it up. It’s a great way to teach your kids about being responsible with trash.
My kids have a blast picking dandelions and violets and making bouquets. My son even made me a little Easter corsage.
We have cardinals and blue jays nesting in our backyard right now. They add some wonderful pops of color to our trees. We’ve given them names and keep an eye out for them every day.
Pre-quarantine, Grandpa helped my son make a bird feeder out of recycled materials. On Earth Day, we’re going to fill it up with seed and hang it in the backyard.
If you need to get your garden started, or if you want to plant a new tree, there is no better time to do it. I don’t have a green thumb, but I’ve heard it’s very therapeutic!
Maybe you could consider letting your child adopt an animal through the World Wildlife Fund, or donating to another cause. We adopted a Sumatran rhino a few years ago. They’re my husband’s favorite. I can’t think of a better way to get kids (or adults) to care about conservation efforts than to put a face (human or otherwise) with the concept.
I don’t remember if I’ve ever seen clearer skies than I’ve seen this past month. There are no planes, no jets, no streaks of exhaust all over the sky. Global pollution has plummeted since mid-March! This may be one of the only opportunities we have in our lifetimes to stargaze with our families under totally clear, cold skies. (Let’s add astronomy to our curriculum, while we’re at it.)
How will you celebrate Earth Day this year? No matter what you do, I hope that you are keeping healthy and safe, and that you can take a few moments on this day to breathe.