Celebrate Earth Day at Home

Tips for Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day at Home
Posted on 04/21/2020
Shoreline at Seahurst Park

Ways to Celebrate Earth Day While Staying Home and Staying Healthy!

  • Share your photos. Post your best photos of Burien parks on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the tag “#EarthDayBurien”. We’ll share our favorites!”
  • Pick up the litter around your house or neighborhood when you take walks. Make sure you maintain social distancing and personal protection protocols while helping keep our environment clean!
  • Protect air quality by refraining from outdoor burning and other activities that may pollute the air. A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health has found that air pollution makes it harder for us to recover from COVID-19.
  • Are you teaching at home? Use Earth Day teaching kits for engaging environmental education opportunities at home.
  • Perform a home trash audit. With your family, roommate, or by yourself, document all items you put in the garbage in one day. After the day is over, pick between 3–5 items in your trash bin and brainstorm how to avoid putting that material in the garbage. For example, if you put any plastic forks in the garbage, consider swapping those for bamboo forks (compostable) or use durable metal forks!
  • Pledge to reduce your personal food waste. Scientists from the United Nations Environment Programme estimate that if food waste was its own country, “…it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter, behind China and the US.” When we toss edible food into the garbage, it ends up in the landfill where it generates methane while it tries to break down. Calculate your “food print” here! https://www.earthday.org/foodprints-calculators/
  • Do you have old clothes you want to donate? Before donating them, try re-purposing them into cloth bags, bandanas, gift wrap, or a mask!
  • Buy locally made goods to support businesses in your area.
  • Pledge to reduce the use of a plastic item you frequently use in your life, such as plastic straws, plastic water bottles, or plastic cutlery.
  • Conserve water at home by taking shorter showers and turning off the water while brushing your teeth or washing the dishes.

Online Events to Watch at Home

  • April 22, noon–1 p.m., “Gaia has a Fever”: In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Dr. Jennifer Thomson of Bucknell University will give a talk untangling the history of oil corporations, climate justice, and environmental governance.
  • April 22, 7–9 p.m., Pacific Science Center: Science in the City: Don’t worry, this Earth Day talk isn’t doom-and-gloom or a history lesson! Dr. Peter Kahn, UW Professor in the Department of Psychology and School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, Director of the HINTS Laboratory, and Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Ecopsychology, will show how, even in the city, we can deepen our interactions with the natural world. He will share his lab’s studies on people interacting with technological nature and he will talk about a new urban design methodology–Interaction Pattern Design–through which we can rewild our lives.
  • April 22, 11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m. (session 1) and 2:00 p.m.–3:15 p.m. (session 2), Seattle University Earth Talks: Earth Talks is a virtual event of short 5-minute presentations by faculty, students, and community partners about environmental justice and sustainability research, service, and activism. The first session will start with a special interview with Denis Hayes who organized the first Earth Day in 1970.
  • April 24, noon–1 p.m, Webinar: "Alpine Wildflowers of Mt. Rainier" with Donovan Tracy: Wildflower enthusiast and photographer Donovan Tracy will discuss the amazing flowers found at Mount Rainier.

History of Earth Day

On this day in 1970, approximately 20 million Americans—10 percent of the U.S. population at the time—took to the streets, college campuses, and hundreds of cities to protest environmental pollution and demand a new way forward for our planet. Earth Day was a unified response to an environment in crisis—oil spills, smog, and rivers so polluted they literally caught fire.

The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement, including the passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States:

  • The Clean Air Act
  • Clean Water Act
  • Endangered Species Act

Earth Day was also the impetus for creating the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Although, we have made progress over the last 50 years, our world’s population continues to grow and we still have much work to do in order to reduce carbon emissions, conserve water, and protect our habitat.