Cheap Ways to Celebrate Earth Day
The theme of one recent Earth Day was “Invest in Our Planet.” It’s an investment that doesn’t have to come with a huge price tag.
Earth Day can be celebrated through an array of inexpensive options. That is part of the beauty of the holiday. Earth-friendly activities that seem small and cheap, make a big impact on not just Earth Day but every day.
12 Cheap Ways to Celebrate Earth Day
Launched in 1970 and held every April 22, Earth Day is a reminder that the health of the planet is in our hands. It is a strong call to action, especially as climate change becomes an escalating threat to our very well-being.
Unlike other holidays, it is one that never requires a lot of cash to celebrate or make a difference. Whether you want to focus on one issue related to sustainability or take on a community, city, state, or national environmental project, it is common to celebrate Earth Day without spending a single dime.
Earth Day can be an inexpensive — and fun — way for children to learn about recycling and waste, especially if the result is a unique craft to make at home. It is often a learning experience for adults as well. Who knew there are so many ways to go green?
Here is a closer look at just some of the many cheap ways to celebrate Earth Day — and still make a big difference.
1. Contribute to the Canopy Project
If you have ever been to a garden store or nursery, you know that most trees are not cheap. Participating in the Canopy Project is one of the best cheap ways to celebrate Earth Day.
A favorite of Earthday.org, for more than 10 years the Canopy Project has worked to plant tens of millions of trees around the world. And it costs as little as $1 to help reforest our fragile planet.
Every single tree helps. Every year, Earth loses over eighteen million acres of forests.
Trees do not just heal the Earth. Trees heal communities by helping local economies and providing energy and food to locals. Trees revive habitats for animals and fight the impact of climate change.
2. Commit to Going Car Free
Over 95% of the world’s population breathes dirty air, making air pollution one of the top five causes of death worldwide. Cars are one of the top producers of dangerous air, especially in packed global cities.
While it is not easy, ditching your vehicle can have a huge impact on your health and the health of the planet.
For example, when part of Paris went car-free it dropped its nitrogen dioxide levels by 40%.
If you live in a city that offers reliable public transportation or carpooling — or it is reasonable to walk or bike to work — ditching your expensive, noisy, and dirty car may be more doable than you think.
It is not just one of the most effective cheap ways to celebrate Earth Day. It is an approach that will save you money. Even going electric with your car can help.
3. Launch a Community Compost Project
Composting, or using organic material that has decayed as fertilizer for plants, has gotten increasingly mainstream to recycle food waste.
Individuals have embraced composting to enrich the soil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, one of the biggest causes of climate change.
But composting does not have to be a solo project. Composting on a community scale is increasingly popular in urban and suburban areas around the world. Check to see if your community has community composting sites near you. If it does not, it is easy to get started.
4. Join a Clean-Up Event
It is one of the most common cheap ways to celebrate Earth Day — and one of the best. Chances are a clean-up gathering is happening in our town or a town near you this Earth Day.
All you must do is find one to fit your schedule. Clean-up events are held at beaches, rivers, streams, and city parks — and it is something the whole family can do together. Do you have a favorite trail for hiking? Start a clean-up event for that trail.
Have a park you always love to visit? See if there is a clean-up event this Earth Day there. Enjoy heading to the ocean? Find a clean-up event near your favorite beach town. You may be inspired to make such clean-up gatherings a regular activity.
5. Check out a National Park
America’s national parks are nature’s gift to us all. Earth Day is the perfect time to return the favor.
Visiting a national park not only provides a close-up view of the power of nature but helps support federal waters and lands that are integral to the very being of the United States.
A bit of time spent hiking, canoeing, biking, or strolling in a national park is always time well spent — and displays that you respect and appreciate these sacred spaces.
Many national parks also offer Earth Day-related events the week of the holiday, including special tours, promotion of volunteering, and citizen science activities.
6. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Your “carbon footprint” is more than just a buzzword. It is an actual way to pinpoint your contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, whether through behaviors or through the products you use.
It is one of the most practical and cheap ways to celebrate Earth Day because it is data-driven and free.
A good way to honor Earth Day and its mission is simply to calculate your carbon footprint and find ways to cut back.
7. Take Up Beekeeping
Yes, beekeeping is often on the more expensive end of cheap ways to celebrate Earth Day, especially if you add up an introductory course, beekeeping equipment, and, well, the actual bees.
But the environmental benefits of beekeeping, even in small operations in a backyard, are invaluable. Not only are bees fantastic pollinators, but they also pollinate as much as 30% of everyday foods like apples and strawberries.
Bees play an essential role in food systems and ecosystems on local and worldwide levels. Also, you can reward yourself with a bit of honey whenever you would like.
8. Attend an Earth Day Festival
They may be a bit harder to find than a Christmas or July 4 festival, but most communities host some type of public gatherings as cheap ways to celebrate Earth Day.
These are a great way to connect with environmentally conscious neighbors and learn more about sustainability efforts in your community. Some events are used to gather support for environmental initiatives, such as the maintenance of public trails and more money for recycling programs.
9. Make Your Own Cleaning Products
It may not sound like the most exciting way to celebrate Earth Day, but making your own green products is an impactful way to spend this coming April 22.
Many cleaning products are packed with ingredients that are the opposite of being environmentally friendly. Perchloroethylene used in many carpet cleaners is a neurotoxin. Even the chlorine found in toilet cleaners may produce toxic gas.
10. Stop Using Plastic Bags. Forever.
There is a reason more retail and grocery stores are eliminating plastic bags. About 1,500 plastic bags are brought home each year by American families.
Just 1% of all plastic bags are recycled. The rest can be found in landfills. Or as litter. Or in our oceans killing the world’s animals.
This Earth Day, celebrate by making it a habit to only use reusable bags when possible; keep a stash in your car and take them into a store with you. Because the next bag you use should not be one that eventually fills the stomach of a turtle with toxic debris.
11. Become a Member of an Environmental Organization
Organizations dedicated to environmental conservation are everywhere, but they can be found in your community.
Local coalitions make waves in communities through environmental awareness events and clean-ups, but there are also numerous local chapters of organizations such as Climate Reality, 350.org, and the Sierra Club. Low membership duties make signing up one of the best cheap ways to celebrate Earth Day.
And yes, your voice can make a difference. Here’s how a small town in Ulster, New York, banded together for a bipartisan movement to protect itself from the long-term environmental impacts of a proposed power plant and advocated for solar power instead.
12. Buy A Water Bottle
A $20 water bottle is an effective way to toast to the next Earth Day.
The average person in the United States buys 13 plastic water bottles every month. That is fifty billion water bottles annually, most of which are not recycled and end up in landfills.
This prominent type of single-use plastic is having a massive impact on the world’s trash production. Each year, 380 million metric tons of plastic are produced in the U.S. — and that is just since 1950 when plastics were introduced. Simply filling up a reusable water bottle each day can reverse that shocking trend.
Climate change warnings can be overwhelming, but it is easy to do your part to make sure our planet becomes as healthy as it can within the decades to come.
Celebrate Earth Day by committing to an eco-friendly lifestyle that is also friendly on your wallet. Reduce, reuse, recycle — and the world will reap the benefits.
With new behaviors and mindsets, Earth Day can be celebrated every day.
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