Earth Day is coming Friday, April 22, and this year’s theme is “Invest in Our Planet.” Regardless of how you choose to invest, there’s never been a more important time to celebrate this holiday. As humans run short on time to curb climate change and prevent catastrophic calamity, it’s important for everyone to take serious, bold actions toward a sustainable future.
“We need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). It’s going to take all of us. All in. Businesses, governments, and citizens — everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet,” the Earth Day website says.
Fortunately, there are many ways to get involved, whether you join a local event, host something on your own, or simply celebrate at home.
There are events worldwide, both virtual and in-person, that you can search for here to find what speaks to you. There are plenty of site cleanups, festivals, speaking engagements, conservation events, teach-ins, film screenings, webinars, and more to choose from.
Register an Event
You can register your own event, whether that be a beach cleanup, a virtual seminar, or a fundraising event, on the Earth Day website. Then, draft up some e-invites to friends and family or create a public event for your community.
Earth Day Discussions
The Earth Day organization also features a wide range of discussions on plastics, fashion, wildlife, regenerative agriculture, youth activism, and more to check out leading up to Earth Day to learn more about the various issues our planet faces and how to take action.
The Great Global Cleanup
For April 2022, a great way to celebrate the Earth is by participating in a local cleanup, whether that be at a nearby park, stream, or beach. The event is called The Great Global Cleanup, and there are events all month long.
“From harming marine and human health, to clogging our waterways and littering communities, plastic pollution is threatening the survival of our shared planet. Cleanups are just one way individuals can get involved to combat this critical issue. For Earth Day 2022, ‘Invest In Our Planet’ means taking action and participating in community measures to help solve the issue of mismanaged waste,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of EarthDay.org.
Join a cleanup event solo or invite friends, or even start your own cleanup and recruit coworkers, family members, neighbors, or other members of your community to pick up trash from your favorite hiking trail or park.
Get Involved at Home
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it may not be possible to attend an in-person cleanup or speaking event, and virtual events may not match up to your schedule. But there are ways to take action from your own home.
Divest From Unsustainable Investments and Businesses
Whether you buy stocks or just financially support businesses through buying their products or services, it’s time to reconsider where you put your money. With this year’s theme to “Invest in Our Planet,” you should consider talking with socially responsible financial experts about how to responsibly invest your money. Green America and Investopedia offer guides to sustainably minded financial experts and firms to consider working with.
Now is also a good time to evaluate the businesses you support. Look into ways to switch buying your household essentials or clothing from big box retailers or fast fashion companies to local, ethical businesses. This also ensures your money goes back into your community.
Work Toward Zero-Waste
Zero-waste living can be intimidating, but investing the time to get accustomed to this lifestyle will be beneficial to you and the planet. You don’t have to order a bundle of Instagram-worthy jars to hold all your dried beans and pastas or throw out the plastic-packaged snacks in the cupboard with homemade granola just yet.
Start by using up what you have. Store dry foods in recycled glass jars from pasta sauces, and don’t waste food in plastic packaging — just vow to start finding zero-waste alternatives on your next grocery trip.
You can also start making compost to make use of food scraps and yard clippings that would otherwise go to waste.
When it comes to investing in our planet, we all need to be on board. Take some time on Earth Day, or any day this month, to write letters to your representatives demanding action on sustainable initiatives. You can also send emails to companies to request more sustainable packaging, ethical and eco-friendly manufacturing, and reusable or recyclable products. And follow-up by divesting from businesses that don’t make efforts toward a collective sustainable future.
If you want to invest some money to “Invest in Our Planet,” you might consider test-driving some electric vehicles and upgrading from your gas-powered car. This is a big investment, but it’s one that could really pay off in the long run for you amidst rising gas prices and for the planet, thanks to the zero emissions.
But you don’t have to spend a fortune on a new car to make an impact. Buy a bike or get a bus pass, and start taking these lower impact transit options to work, school, or wherever you may roam.
Following the theme of investing, you can also make a difference from home by investing in organizations that are working to conserve our planet. Set up recurring donations to local, national, or even global conservation, sustainability, and/or climate organizations that speak to you.