14 Ways to Celebrate Mother Nature

Every April 22nd people across the United States and around the world participate in activities that give back to the environment or celebrate Earth. Earth Day started in 1970, and has grown significantly in 46 years. This explosion of environmental consciousness is not just for fun. Over the past 50 years, humans have used up more natural resources than in all of previous history, according to EcoCycle. A report from the World Economic Forum this year found that the world’s oceans will contain more trash than fish by weight, by 2050.

The global climate talks in Paris in December brought more attention to the world’s increasingly dire situation, but many countries, as well as politicians in the U.S., remain reluctant to take steps to slow human contributions to climate change.

Still, scientists are encouraging people to clean up their act. In honor of Earth Day 2017, here are 15 ways to celebrate Mother Nature and give her some love.

Attend an Earth Day festival, event or fair. At these events around the U.S., you can talk to other environmentally inclined individuals, eat locally grown food, buy eco-friendly products and maybe listen to environment-themed music. The Earth Day website has a listing of events so you can look up fairs near you.

Encourage friends to get involved. You can start a pledge board at work or school so that everyone can commit to taking environmental actions this year. You can keep each other accountable and stay on track with your pledges.

Recycle. Learn which items you can and cannot recycle in your city, and figure out where to take recyclables. You can even decorate a recycling bin for Earth Day.

Track your online energy use. Curious about how much energy you’re using while watching Netflix or scrolling through Facebook? Download an extension like Chrome’s Earth Mode plug-in that tracks your usage and calculates how many trees need to be planted to offset it.

Plant a tree. This is a fun Earth Day activity and an easy and effective way to celebrate Mother Nature.

Sign a petition. There are all kinds of petitions calling on governments to take action on climate change, and public support can often help push through big changes. The Earth Day website has a petition you can sign to show support for the Paris Agreement that countries signed pledging to work together to fight climate change.

Start composting. Composting is a form of recycling, but for food. It’s a biological process in which natural microorganisms break down organic materials such as leaves, grass clippings and certain food scraps. You can start with just a bucket in your backyard or someplace outside where you can take leftovers. This helps avoid waste, and you can use the compost to give nutrients to your garden.

Eat less meat. The meat industry is responsible for about 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and with more people eating meat every year, the industry is still growing. But this doesn’t mean you have to become a vegetarian. By forgoing meat just one day a week, you can help limit the amount of it needed around the world and reduce your own carbon footprint.

Give up bottled water. Like the meat industry, bottling water consumes an enormous amount of fossil fuels. Plus, all those bottles end up in landfills and are terrible for the environment. If you switch to reusable water bottles, you’ll save money and help the environment.

Make a garden. This can be a great activity for kids, a neighborhood, or a group of friends. Whether you plant flowers, vegetables, or fruit, this is a terrific way to celebrate Earth Day — and enjoy good food down the line.