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Every April 22nd, the U.S. celebrates Earth Day. Ever since the holiday’s debut nearly 50 years ago, millions of Americans have honored the day by taking actions that advance pro-environmental causes and give back to the planet. Here are five ways that you can be among the millions of people properly celebrating Earth Day today.
Bike to work
If your work commute is a bikable distance, ditch your usual mode of transit and get on your bike instead. This option may not work for everyone — a bike ride can be very physically strenuous, especially on warmer days — but biking and walking are the only two emission-free transportation modes. If biking isn’t an option, public transit does indeed cut back on emissions, but for Earth Day, the fully zero-emissions route might be worthwhile.
Start a garden (or go to one nearby)
Got the backyard space for a garden? Start one today. It doesn’t need to be an expansive garden — by cultivating just a few plants that bees can pollinate, you can actively help to counter the growing crisis of dwindling bee populations. If your backyard doesn’t have proper space for starting a garden, contribute at a nearby public garden or visit a nearby park, nature center, or wildlife refuge to learn how you can help preserve the size and habitats of endangered local animal populations.
Commit to veganism (at least temporarily)
Pro-environment advocates aren’t shy about preaching meat-free, plant-based diets. Studies have shown that the processes that put red meat on grocery shelves emit as many as 40 times more greenhouse gases than the processes that bring plant-based foods to consumers. Earth Day is a great time to commit to eating one animal-free meal, and over the next month, you can begin cutting back on animal products even more often. Meatless Monday, for example, is a great way to practice veganism without going cold turkey on, well, turkey.
Sit in meditation
For a truly unusual way to celebrate Earth Day, do absolutely nothing. Don’t use any electricity, gas, or other utilities (except for water, of course). Yes, this means keeping the lights off — the point is to not use any energy at all because all energy production methods impact the environment. Sit in meditation for as long as you possibly can, or do something — exercise, read a book, take a walk around the block — that doesn’t require you to use your energy utilities. Turning off all your energy-powered devices, tools, and household staples for even a small amount of time can make a huge difference today.
Educate yourself on recent scientific discoveries about Earth
Learning about the most recent scientific updates on our planet doesn’t just mean studying up on what’s been newly learned about the planet’s layers. It can mean reminding yourself of how much has been learned in just the past several months about the harms that plastics exert on our planet, how huge the literal mass of life on Earth is, and which environmentally significant cases American courts might soon hear.
What are you doing today for Earth Day? Share some unique ideas in the comments!