10 ways to celebrate Earth Day on its 50th anniversary Wednesday
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — With public celebrations on hiatus, there are still plenty of safe and meaningful ways to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, and the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council has gathered some ideas to help you and your family celebrate this golden environmental anniversary.
The Earth Day 2020 theme is “Climate Action,” set by the international nonprofit Earth Day Network. This important focus offers vast opportunities for action. For example, practice citizen science through Earth Challenge 2020, learn more about how to vote for the Earth, take the pesticide-free pledge to protect pollinators or even make an Earth Day sign for your yard or window with your kids.
Hundreds of inspirations are out there, but here are 10 ideas to celebrate Earth Day this year.
1. Use this time to repair those items and gear tucked away to reduce waste and keep your expenses in check. For example, a Sierra Club clothing repair article shows a great way to patch holes in jeans, and a simple Google search can show you how to fix almost anything.
2. Get your hands dirty in a safe way by working in your yard or garden. Colorado State University Master Gardeners advise to split and transplant plants that are already thriving in one part of your yard. Check out the Routt County CSU Extension Master Gardeners page on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
3. Research personal climate actions that you want to accomplish but haven’t made time for yet, such as moving forward with electric vehicles or renewable energy for your home.
- Look into electric vehicle options available now on sites such as pluginamerica.org that lists 40 plug-in models from 24 manufacturers.
- Learn about Western Slope group EV discounts to check out when travel restrictions are lifted. Discounts on five models, plus some pre-owned plug-ins, continue through June 15 at garfieldcleanenergy.org/EV2020. These dealer discounts are in addition to $4,000 in state and up to $7,500 in federal tax credits.
- Input your home details on the CSU Extension Solar Electric PV Calculator at solarcalc.colostate.edu and then consider contacting a local solar installer for free bid.
4. Take advantage of time indoors to improve your home’s energy use. For example, get out your tools, caulk and weatherstripping and fix the air leaks around doors, windows, attic and crawlspace hatches, building envelope penetrations and unsealed recessed light fixtures. Learn more at the regional resource, energysmartcolorado.com/resources/energy-efficiency-tips.
5. With all the cooking at home now, take inventory of your kitchen and food practices. According to national experts, top food categories Americans throw away include prepared foods and leftovers as well as fruits and vegetables. Learn helpful tips to reduce food waste at trashisfortossers.com.
6. Your family may be spending more time watching TV, so energize those brain cells by watching some environmental documentaries, which are of very high quality these days. For example on Netflix, “Our Planet” showcases amazing photography. As another option, the free Hoopla service available through Bud Werner Memorial Library has a movie category called “Celebrate Earth Day.”
7. A lot of closet cleaning seems to be going on. Recycle properly what you can curbside and set aside boxes for “donate or recycle later.” Find local outlets for hard-to-recycle items at yampavalleyrecycles.org, which includes a guide to post on your recycling bin.
8. Take time to research and advocate for your environmental concerns by contacting local representatives and electric co-op board members. Some key current topics include advocacy for maintaining higher vehicle mileage standards on the federal level or asking local co-op leaders to build additional solar gardens for member participation.
9. Find some favorite environmental podcasts from the growing variety of offerings. Some good ones to start with include “Living on Earth,” “Living Planet,” “Science Friday,” “Climate Cast” or “The Overstory” by Sierra Club.
10. You may be thinking about a trip for when it’s safe again. Take this time to research sustainable future adventures by learning more about low-impact itineraries and greener lodging from organizations such as Sustainable Travel International.
We can all contribute to this important golden anniversary of Earth Day every day. Check out the numerous resources and more ideas at earthday.org.
Suzie Romig is the energy outreach director for the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council.
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