April marks the celebration of Earth Month, a time when people all over the world come together to raise awareness of environmental issues and take action to protect our planet.
While Earth Month is a stellar way to remind and encourage us to live sustainably, these efforts shouldn’t be exclusive to just one month.
From reducing our carbon footprint to promoting sustainable living, there are many easy ways we can contribute to a healthier planet.
Let’s take a look at 15 ways you can celebrate Earth Month every month and embrace a more sustainable lifestyle.
- Participate in a community clean up
- Take part in an environmental challenge
- Take a nature walk
- Turn off your tap and lower the thermostat
- Switch to sustainable single-use products
- Start composting
- Plant a garden
- Wash your clothes in cold water, then air dry them
- Treat yourself to reusable products
- Educate yourself on current environmental issues
- Support local and sustainable businesses
- Save the birds and the bees
- Dust off your bike and go for a ride
- Go camping
- Take a trip to a recycling depot
What is Earth Month and why is it important?
During Earth Month, we are encouraged to raise awareness about the environment, climate change, and sustainable living.
It’s also a reminder to reflect on our relationship with our planet and how we can take action to protect it for future generations.
Earth Month offers an opportunity for us to band together to promote sustainable change, but this is something that we should be conscious about every month of the year.
With global warming, pollution, and environmental degradation threatening our health, well-being, and marine and wildlife, it’s more important now than ever to prioritize eco-consciousness.
By participating in Earth Month every month, we can contribute to a global effort to protect the environment. Whether it’s through planting trees, reducing waste, or supporting eco-friendly businesses, there are countless ways to make a positive impact.
The History of Earth Month
Earth Month began as a response to the harmful effects of leaded gas and air pollution caused by inefficient vehicles in the United States.
But it was a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, in 1969 that truly ignited environmental concern.
This spill allowed Senator Gaylord Nelson to see an opportunity to channel the energy and passion of student anti-war projects into activism for ecological issues, particularly air and water pollution.
This inspired a group of activists to create Earth Day, a call for Americans to be environmentally conscious and proactive.
The media quickly picked up on the initiative, and Earth Day was celebrated for the first time on April 22nd, 1970.
But as the movement gained momentum, it became clear that more than one day was needed to achieve the desired impact. Thus, Earth Month was created and first celebrated on April 4th, 1970.
By 1990, Earth Month had become a global event, with 200 million participants from 141 countries joining the cause. And in 1992, the United Nations actively joined the movement, further elevating Earth Month’s importance.
Since then, Earth Day and Month have grown into a global movement, with over 1 billion people in more than 190 countries participating in challenges and activities that support sustainable change.
This month gives us an opportunity to reflect on our footprint and commit to making positive changes for a healthier, more sustainable planet, and it’s time we take this initiative and implement it throughout the rest of the year.
15 Ways to Celebrate Earth Month Every Month
1. Participate in a community clean up
One of the most impactful ways to celebrate Earth Month all year long is by participating in a community clean-up.
Grab some gloves and comfortable shoes and head out to pick up trash, remove plastic from local beaches, or remove debris from parks.
Not only are you helping your local environment and wildlife, but you’re also beautifying your community and meeting new people with similar interests.
No events happening in your city? Start your own!
Gather friends and family, and see what you can accomplish together. You could even up the fun and introduce a little competition to see who can pick up the most trash by the end of the day.
2. Take part in an environmental challenge
Another great way to celebrate Earth Month every month is by participating in an environmental challenge.
Whether you join a local challenge, one on social media, or set one for yourself, you’re committing to making a meaningful change to your daily routine.
Consider challenges like reducing plastic use, going car-free for a week, or incorporating a plant-based diet into your meal plan for a month.
Not only will these challenges make environmental changes, but they’re also an engaging way to learn more about our climate crisis.
3. Enjoy a nature walk
Nothing celebrates our Earth like spending time in nature. Enjoy a walk or a hike and take it all in.
Spending time outside is a great way to connect with the natural world, appreciate the beauty of the environment, and gain a deeper understanding of the ecosystems that support us.
Whether you go for a walk through a local park or on a challenging hike with friends, spending time in nature can be refreshing.
By taking the time to appreciate the natural world, we can deepen our connection to the Earth and renew our commitment to protecting it for future generations.
4. Turn off your tap and lower your thermostat
Two simple yet effective ways to celebrate Earth Month year-round are turning off the tap when you’re not using it and lowering the thermostat.
Reducing water consumption and energy use is critical for reducing our carbon footprint and conserving natural resources.
Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving, fixing leaky faucets, and taking shorter showers can all significantly reduce water usage.
And lowering the thermostat can not only help reduce energy consumption, but also lower heating and cooling costs.
These changes may seem small, but they add up to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
5. Switch to sustainable single-use products
Single-use products, such as plastic straws, cups, and cutlery, are extremely harmful to our planet.
Switching to sustainable alternatives can help reduce waste, protect our environment, and save our marine and wildlife.
Choosing and requesting 100% compostable products made from natural materials like wood, bagasse, and paper can help reduce the amount of waste in our oceans and landfills.
89% of plastic floating in our oceans comes from single-use products. And when these items go to landfills, they can take centuries to degrade, releasing methane gas as they break down.
Restaurants can help take big steps toward a more sustainable future by switching to compostable single-use products.
Learn More: The Single-Use Plastic Ban Breakdown
6. Start composting
Starting a compost bin is a great way to help protect our planet and reduce your carbon footprint.
Composting breaks products, like food waste, down into nutrient-rich soil, which can be used in your garden or for agricultural purposes.
Food waste accounts for 20% of the overall waste in municipal landfills. And as that food waste starts to break down, it releases methane gas, contributing to climate change.
Set up a bin in your kitchen or backyard and fill it with organic waste like food scraps, leaves, hair, and soiled paper containers. Your planet (and garden) will thank you.
7. Plant a garden
Don’t have a garden? Why not start now?
Gardening is not only a rewarding hobby, but also an excellent way to connect with nature and contribute to a more sustainable future.
By growing your own fruits and vegetables, you can reduce your carbon footprint and minimize the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals.
Whether you have a backyard, balcony, or patio, you can easily start a garden this Earth Month.
Start with a few potted herbs or vegetables. Before you know it, you might have a full-scale garden with raised beds and trellises.
And yummy produce that you can proudly say you grew yourself.
8. Wash your clothes in cold water, then air dry them
Another way to celebrate Earth Month throughout the year and reduce your energy consumption is by washing your clothes in cold water and air drying them.
Using hot water and the dryer uses a significant amount of energy.
Throwing your clothes through a cold water cycle, then hanging them to dry will help reduce your carbon footprint – and save you a bit of money too.
Don’t have access to an outdoor clothesline or want a drying rack taking up space in your home? Try hanging your clothes from your shower curtain rod or similar surfaces.
9. Treat yourself to reusable products
Celebrate Earth Month 365 days a year and treat yourself in the process by switching to reusable products.
Single-use plastic is one of our environment’s greatest enemies. You can reduce your environmental impact by choosing reusable alternatives and contributing to a more sustainable future.
Using reusable products can also save you money in the long run, as you won’t need to keep buying disposable items.
Start by getting yourself a nice reusable water bottle, a cool tote bag, or decorated beeswax food wraps. Stainless steel straws, reusable produce bags, and travel coffee mugs are other great products to invest in.
10. Educate yourself on current environmental issues
Live more sustainably by educating yourself on current environmental issues.
Our planet is facing a wide range of pressing crises, such as climate change, deforestation, and plastic pollution.
By staying informed, you can better understand our challenges and how we can address them.
Start by searching the topics you’re most interested in, browsing sustainability magazines, watching documentaries, or listening to podcasts.
You can also seek out environmental organizations or groups in your community and get involved in local efforts to address these issues.
11. Support local sustainable businesses
Support the environment by supporting sustainable and local businesses.
Sustainable businesses often use environmentally-friendly materials, minimize waste, and prioritize fair labour practices. They also tend to have a smaller carbon footprint than giant corporations.
By shopping at locally-owned and operated businesses that prioritize sustainability, you can help reduce the environmental impact of production and transportation.
While making a positive impact on the environment, you’re also helping to create a more sustainable economy.
12. Save the birds and the bees
You might have heard about how we have to save the bees. Or maybe you’ve seen a confused bird fly into a glass window.
Birds and bees are essential pollinators that play a critical role in our ecosystem. In recent years, their populations have declined due to habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change.
To save the bees, consider planting native plants and flowers in your yard or community garden. And for the birds, consider lowering your blinds to reduce reflection and setting up a bird bath or feeder.
Supporting organic farming practices that minimize the use of pesticides, or organizations that support habitat conservation is another great way to save the birds and the bees.
13. Dust off your bike and go for a ride
Celebrate Earth Day year-round and reduce your carbon footprint by riding your bike instead of driving your car.
Not only is biking a fun and healthy way to get around town, but it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
Whether you bike to school, work, or take a ride around your neighbourhood, you’re helping protect our environment and contribute to a healthier planet.
14. Go camping
Sleeping under the stars is a great way to connect with your environment, appreciate nature’s beauty, and boost your mood.
But when camping, following the Leave No Trace rule of thumb is necessary to minimize your environmental impact.
This includes packing all your trash, staying on designated trails, and using established fire pits. Instead, avoid bringing single-use items, and opt for reusable products like plates, bottles, and silverware.
Remember, the only thing you should be leaving behind is footprints.
15. Take a trip to the recycle depot
Finally, a great way to celebrate Earth Month all year is by utilizing your local recycling depot.
If you have old electronics, plastic bags, large items, or other hard-to-recycle products lying around, it’s time to safely dispose of them.
Making this trip can help reduce the amount of needless waste piling up in our landfills, where chemicals leach into our air and soil.
By taking advantage of the programs that recycling depots offer, you can keep harmful materials out of the environment and give them a new life through recycling.
Learn More: Composting versus Recycling: Which is better?