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Our earth, our home- Earth Day April 22

20 April 2023
three hand holding tree for planting. concept earth day

By: Alexanderia Kendall

Earth Day means different things to everyone. To me, it’s a special day to spend extra time reflecting on what I’m already doing to be a good steward of the Earth and what I can maybe improve on over the next year. It’s just like those New Year's resolutions we all take time to think about in January to improve ourselves, but for the Earth. Earth Day was founded in 1970 and has grown exponentially from its small grass roots beginnings. It stretches across the ocean and through generations to ensure our Earth has a healthy future. Let’s chat about five small achievable goals not just for Earth Day, but all of 2023.

  • Single use paper is out, except toilet paper I can’t do reusable there. My family’s biggest success with this is just not buying paper products like napkins, paper towels and plates. Are we perfect? No. We still grab paper plates and napkins for the big family cookout but on the regular, these items do not have a place in our home. No one says you have to look up expensive alternatives or sink money into the latest green craze. You most likely have a stack of washcloths in your linen closet right now and those are perfect. You already have to wash those towels this week anyway, utilize what you have, save money, and the trees!
  • Can I walk there? Maybe, but maybe not. I recently relocated from a place that was impossible for me to walk anywhere in an appropriate amount of time. Since my location dictated my need to drive everywhere, I made an effort to combine my trips to one day or even better one store. I also like to carpool with my friend when we attend school meetings or our favorite classes at the YMCA. It’s definitely a challenge when kids are in carseats, but little things add up and just a few carpool trips a year can make a difference.

  • State Parks! As someone who just lived in a state that required a fee to enjoy state parks, I am loving the free state parks Ohio has to offer. Being out in nature connects meto the Earth and reminds me to keep making those concise decisions to recycle and buy items used when possible. I have a neighbor that weekly heads out with his bags and trash picker and cleans up the streets around us. If you need a more defined space and friends to clean up with, check out the Ohio State Parks page and add the Earth Day volunteer clean up at Caesar Creek to your calendar! 
  • Books, books, books. Children are our future and there is no better time than now to teach them how to be good stewards of the Earth. Our favorite book to enjoy on Earth day is If I Were a Tree by Andrea Zimmerman, but there are so many wonderful choices to teach kids the value of taking care of our Earth. As an adult, you can choose to buy books second hand, pass them on to a fellow reader, or utilize little libraries to exchange books with neighbors.

  • Last but certainly not least, plant a tree or flowers. We all might not have the luxury of a large yard to plant a sapling to grow into a full mature tree and that’s ok. We can grab a used flower pot or two or six and create a container garden full of flowers or vegetables. Planting these items gives the bees valuable sources of food and makes us an active participant in their survival. Planting a garden, even in pots, can be a fun family activity that gets everyone outside enjoying nature and taking care of our Earth.

I’m looking forward to taking that extra moment on April 22nd to admire the beauty around me and patting myself on the back for all the small steps I take each day to keep it that way.