Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970. Fast forward 50 years later and here we are in the midst of a global pandemic. While everyone is questioning what happens next, all I can think of is how the skies seem a bit clearer, a bit bluer, the mountains are more vivid and the air tastes cleaner. Less traffic, more hiking and biking. Less time spent at a desk, more time spent outside with family. Maybe, just maybe, being confined to the comforts of our homes has taught us a thing or two. To appreciate the beauty of a warm spring day, to take a longer look at the mountains that surround us, to value the quiet moments, cool breezes and wide open spaces. That’s what Earth Day is all about. Respecting and cherishing the natural world around us.
While most state and national parks remain closed throughout the country, there are still alternative ways to celebrate Earth Day from home:
-Attend a virtual Earth Day event:
- Natural History Museum has a live Research Quest with a Paleontologist at 11 am.
- Utah Sustainable Business Coalition is hosting a live Earth Day panel to discuss COVID & Climate and how local partners including government, businesses, and nonprofits are taking action, 10 am-12 pm.
- The National Parks Service is celebrating Earth Day digitally. Join them via nps.gov to virtually visit and celebrate our nations national parks.
- Cities4Forests is hosting an international photo contest to help with reforestation projects. The event kicks off on April 22.
- HEAL Utah is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with a week of virtual environmental events.
- The Living Planet Aquarium in Draper is hosting a virtual Earth Day celebration where you can learn about all of the animals residing at the aquarium and ways to help their habitats around the world, 10 am.
- Earthday.org is hosting 24 hours of digital Earth Day events on their website.
-Garden: It seems like a lot of you are already doing this, which is awesome, keep up the good work. For those of you who haven’t started gardening yet, or are looking for ways to start, we’ve got you covered. Check out some of our helpful gardening articles:
-Buy local produce: Buying local veggies from a CSA is important, especially right now. Not only are you purchasing sustainably grown vegetables and fruits, but your supporting local farmers who could really use your help right now. Want to learn more about this? Check out our recent article on why buying local produce is the right choice.
-Watch an environmental documentary: There a SO MANY incredible nature and environmental documentaries available to watch. One of which is being screened locally through Salt Lake Film Society’s website: Fantastic Fungi. Some other recommendations are:
-Go for a walk around your neighborhood: Sure, getting in the van (or truck) and driving out to one of the many national parks in our state sounds like a really nice way to celebrate Mother Earth. Unfortunately, you can’t do that right now. Instead, take a nice long walk through a local park (stay six feet away from anyone else) or a local trail. Go for a walk through your neighborhood. Take in nature any way you can, pay attention to the trees and plants around you.
-Start an environmental book: Whether you like it or not, you have some extra time now. What better way to spend it than reading a book. Grab a blanket, a cup of tea, and go lay out in the sun while reading any of these wonderful environmental books:
-Learn about local biodiversity and its importance: We should all be aware of what lives around us. You might not realize it, but Salt Lake City is full of natural life and biodiversity. The Natural History Museum of Utah wants to help you explore your backyard through their Citizen Science projects. Get outside and learn about plants and animals living in our city!
–Read up about environmental issues facing your state: From air quality, oil, coal and gas to protecting our public lands, the beautiful state of Utah unfortunately faces a lot of environmental issues. It’s important to stay aware and understand your voice in these issues. Learn about these issues and get involved through any of these local environmental organizations:
(For a full list of Utah’s environmental organizations, click here)
Stay aware and stay well, Salt Lake. Enjoy this beautiful time of year, and get outside (responsibly).