Happy Earth Day! Initiated in 1970, Earth Day is an annual event encouraging people around the world to make their lives a little more greener. By doing so, people conserve resources and help ensure that what we have today will be here tomorrow. With hundreds, if not thousands, of ideas that can help to reduce our footprint, what will you do to celebrate Earth Day?
Recycling initiatives are common place today. The well known Reduce, Reuse, Recycle or the 3Rs program helps to reduce either by reusing or recycling items. Rubbish cleanup events follow suit along highways or in natural areas. More than 80% of all garbage collected is recyclable. Look for Adopt-A-Highway or State and National Park Cleanup Programs in your hometown.
I am a huge proponent that conservation begins in our own backyard. Most people are very surprised at the species they have living just footsteps away from their own home, and how beneficial they are to have as neighbors. One of the easiest things you can do to help wildlife (mammals, reptiles, and insects included) is to plant a flower garden. Not only is a garden aesthetically pleasing, but it also provides homes and food for hundreds of amazing creatures. In addition, bird houses and bat boxes are always needed. Birds and bats will be forever grateful and reciprocate the kind gesture by helping to keep insect and parasite populations in check.
Citizen Scientists are helping researchers like never before. Since scientists cannot be in more than one place at any given time, Citizen Scientists are collecting data on the presence and behavior of particular species, as well as habitat status and environmental health. Citizen Scientists act as liaisons to the general public by disseminating information to let others know what is going in the world around them and what they can do to help. To find out what may be available in your area contact your local Parks department, college or university, Wildlife rehabilitator, or simply do an internet search for Citizen Scientist programs.
Instead of just one day dedicated to making our planet a better place, why don’t we try to make everyday Earth Day. Imagine what a change we could make if we dedicated just 5-15 minutes a day to making our lives a little more greener. We could ensure that what we give to future generations will far outweigh what has already been taken.