Depending on your age, you may have never experienced a smog alert. But in the 1960s and 1970s, especially in Southern California, air pollution was rampant. Widespread knowledge of the connection between humans and the environment was minimal at best, but Rachel Carson’s 1962 bestseller, Silent Spring, began to stir interest in all things ecological.
By 1970, momentum had strengthened, and the first Earth Day was proof that the winds of change were building. People protested, celebrated, and gathered to bring governmental awareness to the looming perils that Mother Earth would surely face if changes were not implemented.
Fifty-two years have passed since that first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, and the environmental movement is stronger than ever. Protests continue as people take to the streets to encourage government to modify environmentally harmful policies, and there’s a lot you can do to make a difference, too.
1. Leave Your Car at Home
With gas prices at record highs in some states, save a few dollars and reduce your carbon footprint by leaving your car in the garage. Try utilizing public transportation, riding your bike, or carpooling with a colleague. Or, if you live really close to your destination, consider walking instead. A little exercise and fresh air might just open your eyes to a new way of getting around town.
2. Plant a Tree
Ever wonder what a tree does for the environment? Most of us remember the concept of photosynthesis from our high school days but forget it years later. In short, trees release oxygen while reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. They beautify the environment and provide shade and shelter to birds and humans alike. Learn how trees play a role in fighting climate change on the Arbor Day Foundation website.
3. Start Composting
In many parts of the U.S., including California, composting has become both mainstream and mandatory thanks to legislation aimed at reducing the Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP) that organic waste, like yard trimmings or food scraps, emit. Instead of tossing unwanted food, grass, or other natural materials into the trash, invest in a waste container specifically for organic material. Some items take longer to break down, but, in time, you’ll have a FREE, rich, soil-boosting supplement to use in your own garden. Learn more about composting here.
4. Come Clean
Give the term “spring cleaning” even more meaning by venturing out to your favorite park, beach, or picnic spot to remove trash. All you need is a garbage bag, a wide-brimmed hat, and a pair of gloves (preferably the washable not disposable kind). And if you’re feeling especially energetic, bring along additional bags for aluminum cans or plastic bottles that you can trade in for cash at your nearest recycling center.
5. Choose Earth-Friendly Products
Finding products that are good for humanity and the Earth isn’t nearly as difficult as it used to be. Today, you’ll find non-toxic, water-free cleansers, so you can refill your own bottle at home instead of repeatedly contributing to the landfill. Look for items made from recycled materials on your next online (no gas needed) or in-person shopping trip. Why buy something made entirely from scratch when unused items like newspapers, cardboard, fabric, and plastic can be cleaned and recreated into something new and fashionable?
6. Pick Biodegradable Staples Made Sustainably
Many of the Earth’s resources are finite, so choosing items made from renewable resources means satisfying your personal needs without lessening resources for the next generation. Acca Kappa’s Biodegradable Collection features products crafted with recyclable, biodegradable compounds that are 100% natural. Our brushes are made of bio-acetate, which is a resin derived from vegetable fiber. Instead of taking decades or centuries to fully break down naturally, these materials break down in under 10 years (usually in less than five when in contact with soil or water).
However you choose to spend your Earth Day, make it a day of action. After all, this really is your Earth, and every effort counts.