Earth Day, an annual celebration since 1970, honors the planet’s environment each April 22nd. You will find many events that demonstrate, support, celebrate, and provide education concerning the environment and how we can help protect it.
Starting in the United States as a grass-roots movement, Earth Day has grown to be observed world-wide. Outside of organized activities, I am amazed at the number of things you can do, many small, that can make a difference for our planet. That leads to the question you are probably asking yourself: “What can I do? ”
Getting into Earth Day In-and-Around Home
There are many things you can do around the house, many of which I have started doing. In the age of the Internet and paying everything online, you can curb getting paper copies of your bills and store them digitally. Ditch the plastic at the store, you could ask for paper, or even better, take your own reusable bags. We recently went to the hardware store for more energy-efficient LED light bulbs. Want something fun to do on an ongoing basis? Head to the yard and plant a tree or vegetable garden, then move on to the garage and recycle, recycle, recycle. One thing that never crossed my mind before was to do laundry at night when energy costs are lower. If doing it during the day, dry your clothes on a line outside.
Outside of the home, drive the speed limit or bike to work and places locally when possible. I make sure to recycle at the office, and work with my coworkers to do the same. There are places to take items like mattresses, cell phones and old computer monitors for safe disposal. Whether at home or dining out, try going vegetarian or vegan on occasion (or permanently). Along those same lines, I’ve been working at making meals strictly from things I got at the farmers’ market that day.
Want to make an impact?
Getting Out Into the Community & Michigan
Thinking more in terms of community effort, you can take part in events that help the environment and the effort toward going green this Earth Day. Some ideas include:
- Join or start a collaborative effort with friends, family and neighbors picking up trash in the neighborhood.
- Volunteer for an Earth Day event.
- Help plant a community and/or rooftop garden.
The state of Michigan offers vast stretches of beautiful, natural scenery to experience. Want to just celebrate the majesty of Michigan? You should try to get outside, breathe in some fresh air, and go for a hike in the Huron National Forest, or a walk in your local park. Since it is spring in Michigan, I recommend taking in the endless amount of tulips planted all over Holland, kayak to Turnip Rock, or rent a canoe and spend the day out on a river near you.
Earth Day Celebrations in the Mitten
As I mentioned, there are festivals and events going on throughout Michigan on or around Earth Day. Here are a couple that caught my eye:
The biggest Earth Day celebration you will find in the Mitten, and one of the grandest on the planet, is the annual MI Earth Day Fest in Rochester. Here, you will find countless opportunities to shop, learn and celebrate healthy and green living. The fest will feature 150+ exhibitors, organic and natural food from food trucks, hands-on workshops, environment groups providing information, yoga sessions and other wellness programs, and so much more.
The 11th edition of this Earth Day-inspired green, wellness festival runs April 22-24, 2016 with free admission to the public. To learn more, check out the event and the MI Green Team on Twitter and Facebook.
In the northern half of the state every year, Traverse City hosts the Sweet Earth Arts and Music Festival. Enjoy music and workshops with hands-on activities for people of all ages and celebrate at Northwestern Michigan College. You will learn about global environmental issues at this free event. People will see how they can make a difference while soaking in the views of Grand Traverse Bay. You can find out more information on the events Facebook page.
See what festivals or events are near you on the Michigan DEQ Earth Day Activities page, organized by county. Happy Earth Day to all!
What are some things you’d recommend doing around home, or in the community, to help promote green, healthier living? Any Earth Day Michigan festivities you would recommend checking out?