Hands holding up a chalk drawing of the earth representing earth day

Earth Day History + 4 Creative Ways to Celebrate

Earth Day reminds us of a too-easily-forgotten truth: our everyday behaviors have an effect on our planet’s health. Think about using this Earth Day to practice habits that conserve resources, promote cleaner air and encourage better health for yourself and your family and friends. 

Earth Day History

Earth Day has its roots in a tumultuous and pivotal moment in American history. In 1970, the Vietnam War raged; the energy crisis loomed; Watergate was just around the corner. The country needed a positive reason to come together for change.

Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, developed the idea for Earth Day when he witnessed the effects of a 1969 oil spill off the coast of California. On April 22, 1970, millions of Americans took part in demonstrations advocating for a cleaner environment.

Later that year, the Environmental Protection Agency was formed, along with the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts being passed. Today, more than 180 countries around the world continue to celebrate Earth Day on April 22 of each year.

Looking for ways you can get involved? Find a few simple ideas below.

Grow Your Own Food

One great way to celebrate Earth Day is to start a vegetable garden at home. Growing your own food provides a fun bonding experience with your family and helps you cut down on the need to shop for produce at the grocery store.

Furthermore, you know exactly where the food is coming from and how it’s being treated, so you won’t have to worry about the presence of harmful pesticides. Get your kids in on the act by tasking them with planting their favorite fruit or vegetable and caring for it throughout the season. This will help teach them about — quite literally — enjoying the fruits of their labor.

If you don’t have the space or time for a full-blown garden, try potting a few herbs or tomato plants to get started on a small scale.

Related: Three reasons to go paperless this year >>

Ditch the Car

If you have somewhere to be on Earth Day and the weather permits, consider keeping your vehicle at home and heading out on a bike or on foot. If you can’t avoid making a commute in a vehicle, consider carpooling with some friends or colleagues or giving public transportation a go.

Vehicles’ impact on the environment is immense. So, even though your single-day reduction of emissions may not make a substantial difference, you may find yourself enjoying the exercise and camaraderie, leading to a new habit that really will foster change.

Play Outside

It’s very easy to get caught up in the digital world, whether it’s browsing the internet, scrolling through your social media feeds or spending hours in front of a video game or television show. This Earth Day, turn off the TV, close your laptop and (gasp) put your phone away, even if only for a short time.

Head outdoors to enjoy a hike on a nature trail with your friends, have a picnic in the park with your family or play a game of catch with your neighbors. If you have an arboretum, garden or national park in your area, take the opportunity to explore and see the beauty that nature has to offer. Even rainy weather can be fun with the right gear.

Related: Easy ways to get exercise at work >>

Make Sustainable Choices at Home

A great way to celebrate Earth Day is to build a day of sustainable living around the home. You can start with more mundane tasks like changing out old lightbulbs for more efficient LED bulbs, gathering up old clothes and accessories for recycling or donation and checking your faucets to make sure they aren’t leaking.

Outside, you can set up feeders and cultivate areas of the yard to accommodate squirrels, birds and insects, or you can pick up litter around the neighborhood. Build your day up to a healthy, delicious homemade meal using only locally grown or homegrown foods, and round out the evening with some reading by candlelight.

Efficiency with our resources and fostering cleaner air have positive impacts on our health and wealth, as well as others. Make this Earth Day your recommitment to being responsible with the daily privilege of living on this planet.

Minster Bank Supports Healthy Communities

Earth Day is a great reminder that keeping the planet safe and healthy is a worthy goal. And at Minster Bank, keeping our communities healthy and strong is our goal all year long.

Learn more about the families and businesses we’ve helped grow.

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