Today – Wednesday 22 April is Earth Day. It’s the 50th anniversary of the annual Earth Days starting way back in 1970! That beginning sparked the passage in the “U.S. of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts, and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency”.
When I think about the 1970s – I was 5 years old in 1970 – what comes to mind are the Carless Days we had here in New Zealand (1979-1980). There was an oil crisis worldwide and in NZ every private vehicle was restricted from being used one day a week. Every car had a coloured sticker on it showing the day it WASN’T to be driven and the penalties were high if you broke that rule. My Dad was a travelling salesman so he was exempt. Now here we are 50 years later and yes, there is still a crisis around oil use.
The theme for Earth Day 2020 is Climate Action – how ironic that this Earth Day happens amid national lockdowns where we are seeing such things as clear and clean, fish-filled canals in Venice, starry night skies above Los Angeles and our own New Zealand roads almost carless.
What can we do on this day of Climate Action while in the Big Slow Down? Here are some ideas we’ve come up with for you and your whānau so that you can mark this day.
COMPOSTING your kitchen and garden scraps at home stops them from going to landfill if there’s no green waste collection in your area. Green waste in landfill releases methane which contributes hugely to global warming.
If you don’t have a compost bin, or materials to build one, now is a great time to learn about the process! Here’s a couple of great resources to help you get started:
– How to Compost the Easy Way with Dr Compost
– Crisis Gardening: Food Waste Composting at Home.
Create a compost heap for your organic waste. You’ll find heaps of different advice online but I like this one from the Compost Collective which features all different types of composting for your lifestyle: lots of garden waste; household waste; small apartment living waste and more – https://compostcollective.org.nz/
Food and Household Waste Audits
How about doing a FOOD WASTE AUDIT while you’re looking at your organic waste? Or look at how you can reduce waste when you shop. Check out Love Food Hate Waste New Zealand’s website for tips on this:
Love Food Hate Waste
HOUSEHOLD WASTE AUDIT – What about how much hard plastic, soft plastic, glass and other waste you are producing in your household. Take a look at what you put into your recycling for a week. Here’s a waste audit for schools prepared by Greater Wellington Regional Council which will give you some ideas for doing your own household waste audit:
Download how to do a waste audit here
Get out into your garden
NEW PLANTING IN YOUR GARDEN: It may not be possible to get new plants or seedlings from the garden centre or nursery but take a look around your backyard. Is there a flax bush you could split and replant somewhere? New seedlings to pot out or new plants for your vegetable garden? What about fruit or vegetable seeds to germinate?
REMOVE THOSE WEEDS – Check out our CVNZ Resources page with downloadable information and videos for weed removal:
Backyard Weed Control
Read why our natural forests are so important to preserve in this great article from the University of Melbourne:
.Planting trees is no subsititute for natural forest
There are lots of ways you can honour Earth Day at your place, but most of all let’s celebrate our Mother Earth and all she gives us!
Happy Earth Day!!!