Raging Wildfires. Floods and Drought. Oil Spills. Lack of Water.
Just a few of the major problems raised by global warming and climate change. Our character strengths aren’t simply “touchy-feely” things to make us feel better. They help us tackle our hardest issues. So, how can you combat climate change while celebrating Earth Day 2022?
In this post, Strong Cincinnati and Thriving Learning Communities™ (TLC) explain the history and importance of Earth Day, share ways we can celebrate on the individual, school, and business level, and how you can help make a greener world for all.
What is Earth Day?
Earth Day was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1970, leading Congress to authorize the creation of the EPA to handle environmental concerns. In 1990, Earth Day became a world-wide celebration.
Why is Earth Day Important?
“Why would you want to save the galaxy?”
“Because I’m one of the people who lives in it!”
A throwaway joke from a Marvel movie has become a humorous way for activists to share why they advocate for climate change reform. Earth Day 2022’s Theme is Invest In Our Planet.
Earth Day serves to promote clean living and a sustainable habitat for both wildlife and people. Promoting environmental awareness and protecting the earth in our everyday lives is the importance of Earth Day.
8 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day at Home
- Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence: Pick up trash at your local park. Keeping the park clean makes it more enjoyable so everyone can see its beauty.
- Bravery: Contact your representatives. Tell them you want them to protect people based on good policies for the planet and proven science.
- Creativity: Look for opportunites to go digital. Find new ways to do things online instead of using paper.
- Curiosity: Learn about the importance and value of natural resources. Educate yourself and others.
- Gratitude: Take a nature walk and find 3-5 things you’re thankful that the Earth provides.
- Kindness: Instead of buying new, encourage friends and/or family to share items such as yard tools, kitchen appliances, etc…
- Prudence: Shop wisely. Bring a reusable shopping bag and buy less plastic. Choose local, sustainable sources.
- Teamwork: Organize a group volunteer cleanup in your community.
8 Classroom Activites to Celebrate Earth Day
- Fairness: Schedule a weekly, monthly, or annually trash pickup day. Ask students if it’s fair to spread their litter in public spaces we all enjoy.
- Honesty: Have students share their stories of making green changes with their families and friends.
- Humor: Hold a recycling bin decorating contest where the funniest (or punniest!) design wins.
- Leadership: For students interested in making their school more eco-friendly, help them set a small goal and lead a Green Club.
- Love: Have students strength-spot each other for their eco-activities and share
- Love of Learning: Create a classroom garden where students grow herbs and/or vegetables and learn what plants need to thrive.
- Perseverance: By creating interactive ‘No Waste’ bulletin boards, students can track their recycling progress over time. Remind students that helping the environment isn’t a one-and-done process.
- Sense of Meaning: Have students choose to either write an essay or draw an image showing why protecting the Earth is important to them. Display the best in the school.
8 Ways Businesses Can Become More Eco-Friendly
Since organizations are not people, they do not have character strengths. However, people within can use their character strengths to enact change, and organizations can make committments and choices to become more eco-friendly.
- Make energy-efficient upgrades. From using energy-efficient appliances to LED lights and smart thermostats, there are many simple things to do. This also helps reduce a company’s energy bill. Win-win!
- Start a compost program. All the lunch leftovers from staff and external meetings can become soil for gardens and parks instead of creating methane in the landfill.
- Develop green goals for the company. For example, you might push to improve air quality or research if solar panels is feasible.
- Sign the petition pushing for Climate and Environmental Literacy Education. (Non-profit organizations only.)
- Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle. Reduce usage by replacing disposable cups, plates, and utensils for real glass and ceramic alternatives. Reuse items whenever possible. Recycle what you can.
- Partner with green businesses. Carbon-neutral vendors can be found across almost every major industry. By supporting green businesses, companies can become more sustainable.
- Donate and purchase used goods or furniture. If your old office furniture is gently used and fully functional, many entrepeneurs, and small businesses would love to have it. You can also donate furniture to a nonprofit like New Life Furniture Bank.
- Use sustainable cleaning products in the office. Green cleaners replace toxic chemicals with natural ingredients. These work just as well while also keeping toxic ingredients out of streams and waste out of landfills.
There Are Multiple Paths to Sustainability.
However you choose to celebrate Earth Day, we all have our part to play.It’s more critical than ever to start building eco-friendly habits.
Climate crisis is an impending disaster, but by using our character strengths and working to shrink our carbon footprints, we can help reverse the effects of climate change.
Happy Earth Day!