Outdoor Adventures’ Guide to Observing Earth Day from Home

by Anna Gimilaro, Helen Weierbach, and John Alexander

This year we celebrate the 50th Earth Day. For 50 years, earth day has been a time to reflect upon what our planet provides for us, connect with nature around us, and take action to protect all that the earth provides. Our management team has put together a list of ways to engage with earth day this year: from sitting on your porch to educating yourself about broader environmental justice issues.

Earthrise Photograph: This photograph was taken by astronaut William Anders in 1968 from Appolo 8. It has become a cornerstone of the earth day and environmental movement. Want to learn more? Listen to the American Geophysical Union’s podcast about it!

  1. Sit outside!
  2. Look through old photos to reminisce on some of the best outdoor adventures you’ve been on. Send them to the friend you miss adventuring with.
  3. Make sure you’re registered with local recycling and/or compost programs available in your city. The City of New Orleans offers free weekly curbside recycling pickup as long as you have a verified bin. Register here if you need one! Unfortunately, there is no municipal glass recycling in New Orleans, but a group of Tulane students recently started a program called Glass Half Full where they collect glass waste and convert it into sand.
  4. Check-in on your house plants. If you have trouble caring for your plants, download the app Planta–a great resource to help you stay on schedule and give them proper care.
  5. Think Global: This year’s earth day theme is climate action. During the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen how each individual’s actions in staying home, keeping safe distances, and helping others around us have helped fight a global problem. While climate change does not present such a visible everyday threat, it similarly requires our commitment to climate action.
  6. Get informed about environmental injustices in your area and make a plan for how you can help. Making change can be easier on a local level, and it is important to know the issues that impact your community. The EPA has a page that outlines issues by region and ways to get involved in remedying them. Remember, at-risk communities are often disparately impacted by crises like climate change and coronavirus.
  7. Start a compost pile. Adopting new lifestyle habits is easier now that everyone has more free time. Composting is a simple way to reduce organic waste in landfills and can be done on a small-scale from home. Some cities offer composting programs but if yours doesn’t, learn how to compost on your own!
  8. This is not just a singular day. Earth Day, by the name, seems like a call to action for one day in the midst of everyday life for the other 364. You can take environmental actions year-round and use Earth Day as a day to reinvigorate and embrace the community of environmentalists you have come to know through the other 364 days of the year. Earth Day, Every Day.