How to celebrate Earth Day during a pandemic
On April 22, 1970, the University of Denver celebrated the nation’s first Earth Day with an education in environmental issues sponsored by the DU Ecology Club, then known as Citizens for Environmental Control. Students from colleges and universities across the state gathered in a geodesic dome built on campus to sing folk songs, watch environmental films about pollution, rap about ecology, hold seminars and listen to music. conferences of local leaders.
Over the next 50 years, the DU community has always found a way to observe Earth Day. This year must be no different, despite the physical distancing made necessary by COVID-19. To make sure everyone can celebrate Earth Day – next week and every week – Emily Schosid, Sustainability Program Coordinator, and Anna Sher, Professor of Biology and Chair of the Sustainability Council, suggest a number of ways to make a difference.
Monday: donation day
Tuesday: Art Day (Submit your art to [email protected] by Sunday April 19 to be included in the showcase.)
Wednesday: Day of action
Thursday: Call day for your representative
Friday: Virtual Happy Hour (The link will be available on Instagram.)
Find a fun upcycling project at home. Upcycling, explains Schosid, is similar to recycling. But instead of putting empty pickle jars in the recycling bin and bringing old T-shirts to Goodwill, upcycling gives them new life. Pillowcases and hand towels can become protective masks, light bulbs can become hanging planters, and milk jugs can become watering cans.
Plant a garden in your garden, on your veranda or in your house. Bonus points if it is a garden favorable to pollinators. Schosid is said to have emotional benefits and may even improve indoor air quality. In addition, growing your own food is the best way to ensure that it is produced in a sustainable way.
Take a walk around the neighborhood to pick up trash (while keeping a safe distance from others). Walking alone has significant mental and physical benefits, and spending time beautifying the environment around you creates a stronger sense of community. Be sure to wear gloves or use forceps to guard against coronavirus infections.
Perform a household waste audit. “Sitting down and familiarizing yourself with your trash can be very enlightening,” says Schosid. Did you sort everything correctly? Are there any items you could replace with a reusable alternative? One of the biggest badly sorted waste sites? Bathroom trash cans.
Participate in citizen science. Download the INaturalist app to identify the plants and animals in your garden and in your neighborhood. You can even join the Earth Challenge 2020 and City Nature Challenge to add your observations to a massive BioBlitz event happening all over the world!
Use nature as artistic inspiration. Take the time to sit outside and write poetry, paint or draw to capture the moment. Or use fallen leaves, sticks and feathers to make a sculpture or collage and connect with your surroundings in a new way.
Eliminate invasive species from your garden to make room for native plant species. Sher recommends visiting the Colorado State University Extension Office, which includes pocket guides for a variety of counties in Colorado.
Help your local pollinators. Build a bee house, bat house or one bird house or plant a pollinator-friendly garden in your backyard. These create safe spaces for bees and butterflies facing a number of threats.
Try to spend the whole day zero waste. If a day goes well, try for a whole week. Even if you are not successful, you will learn valuable lessons about the waste you create and develop strategies to reduce it. Take a close look at grocery shopping, single-use packaging, and think about reusable alternatives.
Have your backyard certified as wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. With just a few simple steps, your yard, balcony or garden can become a more welcoming environment for local birds, butterflies and amphibians, giving them the opportunity to replenish their resources and find shelter.
Lead or join a discussion via a community table. This year, A community table becomes virtual. Gather a group via Zoom to discuss the environment, humans, civic engagement, and earth-friendly actions anytime by June 11.