by Dylan Bartlett
On April 22nd, people around the world will celebrate Earth Day. It’s a time for appreciation, gratitude and, more importantly, progress. Whether you’ve volunteered in years past or you want to get in on the action now, there’s a ton of ways to give back. Some of these you can do during lockdown, and others you can do when life gets back to normal.
Take a look so that you can make a difference all by yourself.
1. Clean Up a Local River
Most of us live near some kind of waterway. Whether that’s a creek or pond, it’s likely filled with litter. Research has shown that over 1,000 rivers account for 80% of our oceans’ pollution. So, why not put on a pair of gloves, grab a trash bag and get to work?
Head down to your waterway of choice. Look for plastic cups and containers, as well as glass bottles. Use one bag for trash and another for recyclables. This way, you don’t have to separate items later. Feel free to listen to music as you clean. You’ll feel at peace as you’re alone with nature.
Cleanups are an excellent way to beautify your neighborhood. As plastic waste continues to harm both people and animals, it’s become increasingly necessary to revitalize our communities. You have the power to make a massive difference.
2. Plant a Garden
If you’re ready to get knee-deep in a bed of dirt, look no further. Gardens provide significant nutrients to the Earth, which makes them a worthwhile project. And best of all, you can learn something new along the way.
Find a spot in your backyard that gets enough sunlight exposure. You’ll also want to ensure there’s soft soil, so your plants can thrive. Once you’ve chosen a small plot, it’s time to think about your seeds. Lettuce, radishes and legumes work well in the spring. But you can also choose plants you and your family are most likely to eat.
As you manage your garden, you’ll be able to feed yourself and give back to the Earth in a self-sufficient way.
3. Rebuild a House
When there’s a natural disaster, 40% of businesses don’t reopen, and 25% of those that survive close within two years. Of course, residential homes are also affected. But even communities that weren’t impacted by catastrophes—like the wildfires in California—could use some assistance.
Some individuals simply can’t afford to repair their houses. Why not lend your skills to the cause and help improve the lives of those around you?
When people thrive in their communities, the world becomes a better place. Repairing someone’s home or doing maintenance for them can assist them in enhancing their quality of life.
4. Spend Time With Animals
You could also work with the other creatures that call Earth home. Take your dog on a long hike, or teach your cat some new tricks. Send a food or toy donation to your local animal shelter. You may even want to foster an animal.
People don’t usually think about the globe’s other inhabitants on Earth Day, but it’s essential to make sure that people and animals alike feel loved. When you spend time with animals, you gain so many different benefits and contribute to a fantastic cause.
5. Donate Old Clothes
Find a local organization—like Vietnam Veterans of America—that can pick up your donation. Then, clean out every room in your house. Organize objects by type and place them in trash bags. Don’t forget to label your contributions accordingly. Some services will even pick up furniture.
Your donations will create a more sustainable planet. Secondhand purchases reduce unnecessary material waste and labor.
There’s so much you can do on April 22 to give back to the world. Whether you want to spend time with animals or learn how to garden, there’s a volunteer opportunity for everyone. So, don’t wait—get involved!