In the Wizard of Oz, I believe the Wicked Witch of the West said it best after Dorothy threw water on her to put the fire out on Scarecrow’s arm, “Oh, what a world! What a world!’ Pretty sure she wasn’t saying it in a positive way but with today being Earth Day, I decided to do a little research on Earth Day and the affects it has on our world.
The theme for Earth Day 2021 is Restore Our Earth. More than 1 billion people in 192 countries participate in Earth Day. Believe it or not, this is the 51st anniversary Earth Day. According to earthday.org, Earth Day aims to “build the world’s largest environmental movement to drive transformative change for people and the planet.” The movement’s mission is “to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide.” This day also recognizes a collective responsibility, to promote harmony with nature and the Earth to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations of humanity. This day provides an opportunity to raise public awareness around the world to the challenges regarding the well-being of the planet and all the life it supports.
Well that all sounds nice but what does it really mean? The world is a pretty big place. What can I do to make a difference? Spring is a perfect time do some very basic things to help do your part.
1. Bee Helpful! Bees are the great pollinators! Plant flowers that attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds. We all learned it in basic science. We need these pollinators to help spread the pollen to make things grow. Did you know that one out of every three bites of food you eat is due to pollinating insects? Do some research as you are getting your spring planting started to see what native plants are not only pretty but helpful!
2. Clean Up! You see everyone out walking their dogs with their little “baggies”. Take one with you to pick up trash along your walk or neighborhood park, especially any plastic that you find laying around. Keep it out of the creeks and storm drains.
3. Plant a tree! Who doesn’t need a little extra shade during August! It cools, it captures carbon and is a great way to spruce up your yard. Don’t need any more trees in your yard? Find organizations like Up with Trees and see if you can donate or volunteer with planting.
4. Recycle Reduce Reuse! A lot of cities provide recycle bins at no charge to help out with reducing land waste. Did you know that it takes over 500 years for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill? Try to reduce using products that don’t break down quickly. Find ways to reuse things like containers for growing seedlings (there we go with planting again!)
5. Conserve Water! Try adding a rain barrel to your yard to use for watering all those beautiful flowers and trees you planted earlier.
Do some research to see if there are other ways you can help to restore our earth. It’s really pretty simple. And as Dorothy said at the end of The Wizard of Oz, “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire, I won’t look any further than my own backyard.”
Word to your Mother. Mother Earth!