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This Earth Day, April 22, 2020, is an historic day marking its 50th Year.  Through a lot of preparation, the Earth Day Network will be conducting its first ever digital event, and many organizations and businesses will be hosting their own virtual Earth Day celebrations. 

While the in-person events are cancelled this year, there are many ways to participate whether it be from the comfort of our own homes to outdoor solo-events.  

Sunbolt has scoured the internet and compiled a list of safe ways to help the planet.  Our team will be participating on April 22nd, and some of those who can venture outside will be plogging (#2 in the list below).

Here are ten ways you can participate this Earth Day:

1. You can help the planet starting with your kitchen.

  1. Try to buy mostly non-perishable foods (canned goods, dry beans, quinoa, legumes, and rice). They are easy to prepare and last much longer. Beans, legumes and quinoa are more filling, too.
  2. Make veggie stock! Throw all your forgotten vegetable scraps and any herbs from your refrigerator into a pot, add water and simmer for a few hours. Strain and then use the stock for anything you want from soups to pasta dishes.
  3. Compost any produce that has gone bad. Here is more on composting including what types of foods are good to compost, and you can do so even if you live in the city! As a matter of fact, some of us here at Sunbolt have never tried composting before, and now that we’ve seen how easy it is, we’re going to try it, too!
  4. Save on sponges: You can soak a sponge in cold salt water for ten minutes to refresh it. Another tip is to cut a large sponge in half.
  5. No need to throw away mismatched socks! Instead, save them to put over your hand and use them to dry the dishes.

2. Solo Clean-ups

  1. Plogging: If your area is safe to venture outside a bit and you can do this while adhering to CDC Guidelines, Plogging is a fun way to stay in shape and help the planet (whether you do it now or much later!) Plogging is where you pick up litter while jogging (walking counts). Make sure to wear a mask and disposable gloves, and properly throw your gloves out in a trash can when you’re done picking up the litter. Whatever you do: DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE!
  2. Join the #trashtag challenge, where you take before and after photos of the area you cleaned up, and post the photos using the hashtag.

3. Aquariums, parks and museums are having virtual events:

  1. Aquariums: Check out your local aquarium’s website for activities that will be sure to entertain grown-ups and kids. Some examples are The Aquarium of the Pacific where they will be hosting a day filled with lectures and sessions, and the National Aquarium in Baltimore has Earth Day at Your Place with simple gardening tips.
  2. Parks: Google has created the ultimate virtual park experience with 360-degree tours. You can also check out your city’s parks department for a list of fun things to do and learn more about your community in the process. New York City Parks has a whole list of various activities happening this week. California State Parks Foundation is celebrating online via social media, trivia, and a giveaway!
  3. Museums: Museums are bringing Earth Day to you. From the Florida Museum to the American Museum of Natural History, you’ll find entertainment for all ages.

4. One Earth Film Festival is hosting the Earth Day Virtual Film Festival all week long.  You can register for free screenings, watch a film in community online, then discuss with experts via live chat. 

5. Consider switching to solar.  You can start by simply contacting your local utilities provider to learn about the green power options they offer. There are many products out there that reduce the use of electricity, as well as outdoor amenities like our solar workstations that provide off-grid power to charge electronics. By taking the first step to switching some of your electricity to renewable energy, you’ll help save the planet along with some of your electric bill. 

6. Consider donating to the Canopy Project, where every dollar will plant one tree.

7. NASA put together an Earth Day Tool Kit with activities and videos.  They have discussions at various times throughout the day so be sure to visit their website for more details.  

8. Plastic Audit:  Gather all the plastic items in your kitchen and bathroom(s).  Count how many plastic containers, bottles, wraps and bags you purchased, then research which products have more sustainable packaging.  Explore more ideas on how to reduce your plastic use here!

9. Check out your alma mater.  Colleges and Universities around the country are conducting virtual events.  Visit the Green Campus Network to see which institutions are leading in sustainability.

10. For 3 days, Earth Day Live is bringing together thought leaders, activists, performers and more for a wide variety of virtual Earth Day events.  The opening ceremony begins with Thomas Lopez Jr. on April 22nd at 9:00 am EST, and the live event concludes at 8:30 PM EST on April 24th with Soul Clap DJ Set. Please visit EarthDayLive2020.org to register and see the full schedule.  

While we may not be able to work together physically during this historic day, we are grateful to be able to follow all the creative virtual activities and reflect on what we can do together moving forward. 

Please feel free to tag us on your Earth Day posts, follow us @gosunbolt, and stay tuned for our Earth Day Round-up next week where we will share and give credit to various Earth Day participants and activities.