With the cancellation of cleanup events and festivities all around the world, it has been a rough year for Earth Day 2020. However, as we approach its 50th Anniversary, there are still ways we can creatively celebrate this special day right in our backyards.

Here are a few ways you can observe Earth Day right from your home to help keep our Susquehanna Greenway clean and healthy:

Have your own Earth Day Cleanup

With the rise of warm spring weather, one thing that most of us are already doing is spending more time outside. On your next walk on a nearby trail or around your neighborhood, bring along a trash bag and gloves to have your own cleanup while you walk. Every little bit makes an impact.

Green up your Space

What better way to make the earth greener than by planting more of the green stuff? Plants provide numerous benefits to yourself and the environment including the release of oxygen into the atmosphere, absorbing carbon dioxide, providing habitat and food for wildlife and humans, and regulating the water cycle.

Some greening opportunities include planting a tree, starting a vegetable garden, or adopting some indoor plants. When planting outdoors, consider incorporating native plants into your landscape. Visit PennState Extension’s website for a list of suggested native plants for Pennsylvania perennial gardens.

Make your Yard an Oasis for Wildlife

While you’re out greening your yards, consider adding or creating unique habitats for critters who frequent the area. Setting up birdfeeders, bird baths, and birdhouses are a great way to attract our friends of flight. Planting flowers to benefit bees and other pollinators ensures these creatures have plenty to sustain them in the months to come.

Photo by Erika Buckner

Conserve Resources

Reducing your energy and water usage helps lessen pollution and conserve fuel resources to make our region just a little healthier.

Check for leaky faucets, don’t run water while brushing your teeth, and opt for a reusable bottle rather than buying plastic. You can even collect rainwater to use later for watering indoor plants. Other helpful tips include turning off lights when we don’t need them and unplugging electronics that are not in use, especially overnight.

Next time you leave the house, you can also consider walking or biking instead of driving. If there is one positive that has come out of COVID-19, it is that reduced travel has led to visible improvements in the atmosphere, improvements which can even be seen from space. Plus, walking or biking is great for our physical and mental health, too!

Reduce Waste

Recycling and composting probably come to mind when we think about reducing waste, but there is so much more we can do with little effort. Reduce the number of items you purchase that are single use plastics (these include bottles of water, straws, etc.). Also, next time you head to the grocery store, grab a reusable shopping bag to transport your groceries.

Get creative with your recyclables! With a little arts and crafts time, you can combine some of these items with natural objects from your yard to make your own birdhouse. Just be sure to remove any sharp edges or hazards.

Share your Knowledge

While we can’t gather with friends and family, we can still share our knowledge and creativity for celebrating Earth Day. Pick up the phone, hold a video conference, or hop on social media and share your ideas.

As we continue to explore the parks, trails, and communities along our beautiful Susquehanna, let’s take some time to show our appreciation and keep them beautiful for years to come. Happy Earth Day!