Earth and Arbor Day
April is quite the month for those of us dedicated to helping the Earth. Both Earth Day and Arbor Day are celebrated this month.
It’s like Christmas for hippies!
Earth Day, April 22nd, started in 1970 and next year (2020) will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. This year’s theme and focus is ending plastic pollution, which is a mighty big undertaking, considering how much we rely on plastics. I’ve been trying to reduce my plastic use but it is everywhere! Even recycling all the plastic I can, some still ends up in the trash because it’s not accepted by our city.
The Earth Day Foundation wants to help with the issue of not being able to recycle all plastics. They are working on making global regulations for disposal of all plastics. They also want to end single-use plastics.
But is that even doable at this point?
I think getting better disposal and recycling will be easier than getting rid of all single-use plastics. We, as a society, have grown accustomed to single-use, disposable items, like water bottles. Reversing the trend will be a difficult task. I admit I use water bottles in very limited circumstances. And I always take my bottle home to recycle it.
All this plastic puts our wildlife and oceans at risk. We need to find solutions and alternatives to our dependency on plastics.
What can you do?
Start small by recycling what you can. Eventually, I hope we can get to 100% recycling but we aren’t there… yet. Check your cities website for what is and is not recyclable. Reduce your use of water bottles and other single-use plastic items. Get yourself reusable cups or tumblers. Look into glass containers or bento boxes for your lunches. Look for products with little or no packaging or those with packages made from recyclable materials.
Arbor Day is April 27th. In the US, the very first Arbor day was in 1872. It was started as a day to plant trees.
Fun Fact: The first recorded Arbor Day was in 1594 in Spain!
How can you participate in Arbor Day?
If you are planting a tree, be sure to choose the right tree. Look for one native to your climate. This is especially important when you live in a desert like I do. You don’t want trees that suck down water if you don’t get a lot of rain. If you aren’t planting trees you can take a tree hike and try to identify all the different types of trees you see. You can also volunteer to clean up a public place. Or just take a walk through your neighborhood and pick up trash as you go.
Some fun tree facts:
- One acre of forest puts out four tons of oxygen and takes in six tons of carbon dioxide.
- There are 60-200 million spaces along city streets in the US that could potentially have trees planted. Those trees could absorb 33 million tons of CO2 each year and save approximately four billion (!) in energy costs.
- Want to save on your AC costs? Plant shade trees. They can save up to $175 per year!
Want to plant a tree this year? Here are a few tips.