Today marks the 51st Anniversary of Earth Day; this years theme is "Restore Our Earth". Every April 22nd, we celebrate Earth Day, whether it's a walk through the woods, picking up litter as you're out walking, or buying more eco-friendly products:
🍀Here are 10 ways that you can help care for your planet:
1. Support our Pollinators
Bring native bees and other pollinating creatures to your garden by selecting the right plants. Bee-friendly flowers draw in pollinators so plan for a succession of flowers, so as one finishes another starts off. Flowers rich in pollen and nectar are best. Providing a wide range of flowers in your garden will provide a bigger banquet for your bees.
2. Clean Up Plastic in your Neighborhood or Local Park
One of the best ways to connect with the Earth is through cleanups! Go on a walk with a trash bag and help to clean up any plastic that you find. Perhaps you know of a nearby ditch that is polluted with trash that needs a spring cleaning! You’ll start to realize that plastic permeates every aspect of our lives. Don’t forget to recycle what plastic you can. See a Plastics Recycling Chart.
3. Swap Out Your Kitchen and Household Products
Think 100% recycled aluminum foil, chemical-free parchment paper for baking, compostable bags made with potato starch, and even vegetable-based inks for packaging; that is what 'If You Care' brand is all about. Even if you can't do a full swap, doing little things like switching to non-toxic cleaning products & reusable bottles goes a LONG way!
4. Plant a Tree
They capture carbon, cool overheated places, benefit agriculture, support pollinators, reduce the risk of disease transmission, and boost local economies. Did you know that planting one oak tree brings in more insect and bird species than an entire yard of plants? See advice on how to plant a tree.
5. Use Wildflowers and Native Plants
Wildflowers and indigenous species are not only beautiful but also attract native and beneficial insects that improve both pest control and pollination—meaning bigger flowers and bigger harvests. Try to simply add a couple of native plants to your garden each year, and you’ll be amazed at the difference—they’ll bring in pollinators as well as birds!
6. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (in the Garden)
Caring about yourself and nature means being less wasteful and saving money, too. If you are a gardener, here are just a few ideas:
Buy in bulk when you know that you’ll need a lot of topsoil, mulch, compost, or other materials. This cuts down on plastic bags. Check with your city recycling center or Department of Transportation—they might offer free compost, soil, sand, or other materials.
Reuse, recycle, or return old plastic pots and trays.
Plant pots right into the ground! Here are 10 types of biodegradable pots.
7. Stop Pesticides and Chemicals in the Garden
Much of this is simply focusing less on the plant and more on the health of the soil that supports the plant. If it's nutrient-rich with organic matter, plants thrive. You don’t need chemicals to get rid of pesky garden pests: Companion planting, natural remedies, and attracting predators to your garden can save you money and also save your plants.
See how to use organic soil amendments to turn your poor garden soil into a nutrient-rich paradise in which plants will thrive.
8. Conserve Water
We waste a lot of water. Avoid overwatering your plants and improve their health by knowing how much your garden really needs. Avoid watering your garden vegetables and plants from overhead, which invites fungal disease. Water at the soil level. If you must use sprinklers, put them on timers. Harvest your rainwater from a roof, gutters, and sky with a rain barrel.
9. Think About Your Diet
About one-third of the food that we produce every year goes to waste annually!
Usually, this happens after we buy the food. How do we avoid waste in our own lives (and save money)? Also, how can we improve our diet so that it’s healthier for ourselves (and the planet)?
One way is to care about your “foodprint,” which is the result of everything that it takes to get your food from the farm to your plate.