50 Ways to Honor Earth Day

With the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day this month, we are disappointed that opportunities to celebrate together have been canceled. While those events would have been fun, the best way to honor Earth Day is to make changes, take action, and increase awareness! Green Energy Ohio has put together the following list of 50 ways to honor Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary. We’ve included ways to celebrate right from your home, with digital experiences and activities that keep social distancing in mind – but some may have to wait until our activities return to normal. Some require making purchases or calling on experts; others just require your time and commitment. All of them will improve your quality of life while, at the same time, preserving the health of the planet. Set a goal to accomplish as many as possible before Earth Day 2021!

Show us how you’re celebrating Earth Day by entering the #GEOHonorsEarthDay photo contest!

Sign Up and Speak Out

1. Become a member of Green Energy Ohio! Not only will you be supporting our work toward a greener future, our memberships offer a multitude of ways for you to grow as an individual or business.

2. Join the climate conversation! Use your extra free time to learn more about climate change and its impacts by joining Green Energy Ohio’s Climate Change Book Club on Facebook. Invite a friend to join!

3. Enroll in AEP Energy’s ECO-Advantage® program to source your electricity from wind, protect your home from rising energy costs, and support renewable energy resources. Mention GEO when signing up and AEP Energy will donate $30 to GEO’s programs!

4. Support GEO when you shop! In these times, you’re likely doing a lot more shopping from home. Visit AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), select Green Energy Ohio from their list of eligible organizations, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to GEO.

5. Write a letter or email to your U.S. Senators and Congresspersons supporting federal action on climate.

6. Sign up for a climate change newsletter, like Climate NexusInsideClimate News, or Midwest Energy News.

7. Learn about the challenges facing wildlife throughout the world and what your local zoo is doing to preserve endangered species. 

8. Write a letter to your State Senators and Representatives opposing proposed legislation that would restrict wind farm development in Ohio: Senate Bill 234 and House Bill 401

9. Find out what your Ohio city is doing to institute sustainable practices and fight climate change. 

10. Talk about climate change! Studies show that your friends and family are much more likely to listen to you on the issue than they are a voice on television. Become a trusted source of information and keep the conversation going. 

11. Sign up for your local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to support local farmers

12. Sign up for the Youth Climate Strike Earth Day Live online event.  From April 22-24, the youth-led 72-hour live stream and online mobilization will aim to engage people around the world in collective action to protect our climate and communities.

13. Participate in the Solve Climate by 2030 Power Dialogue on April 7 sponsored by the Bard Center for Environmental Policy and hosted by the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at The Ohio State University. With expert panelists and breakout discussion sessions, the webinar is aimed at finding three ambitious but feasible actions for Ohio to accomplish, if we really aim to solve climate change by 2030.

14. Join the national Earth Day Coalition’s Earthrise: Earth Day Goes Digital, filling the digital landscape with global conversations, calls to action, performances, video teach-ins and more.

15. Register for the Smithsonian Conservation Commons Earth Optimism 2020 Summit. We need to be optimistic more than ever, and the set of distinguished speakers assembled for the Summit will provide information and inspiration.

Ditch and Switch  

16. Switch to energy efficient light bulbs. 

17. Use rechargeable batteries – to reduce the amount of batteries you purchase and discard.  

18. Sign up for paperless online billing. 

19. Opt to stop receiving junk mail

20. Purchase reusable or biodegradable cutlery, and keep them with you for summer picnics or eating on the go! 

21. Break up with single-use plastic by purchasing reusable alternatives to water bottles, coffee cups, straws, and shopping bags. 

22. Learn about the impact of transportation on our climate. Plan to incorporate more walking and biking into your daily life — and switch to more public transit once our lives return to normal. 

23. Plan Meatless Monday meals. The U.N. reports that the meat industry is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Try a new recipe and challenge yourself! 

24. Incorporate more eco-friendly products into your spring cleaning arsenal. 

Green Home Makeover  

25. Clean out your garage/basement and box up all paints, cleaners, etc. for disposal at a hazardous waste drive through sites – when they are available again. 

26. Take an inventory of your stuff, donate what you don’t want, and don’t buy what you don’t need. Many organizations offer porch pick-up services – donate without leaving your doorstep. 

27. Fix leaky taps and install low-flow faucets and shower heads to conserve water

28. Get a spring check-up for your HVAC system to make sure it’s operating efficiently. 

29. Calculate your household’s carbon footprint and learn more ways to reduce it! 

30. Install a programmable thermostat. 

31. Use timers for outdoor lighting and turn off the lights when you leave a room. 

32. Get an energy audit of your home or business. 

33. Fix it! Online tutorials have made it possible to make quick fixes that will save you money and reduce landfill waste. 

34. Ditch your drafts! Almost 50% of the energy use in a typical U.S. home goes to heating and cooling. Make sure your home is insulated and properly sealed. 

Nurture Nature

35. Pick up litter in your local green spaces! Create an online competition with friends by picking up your local green spaces, whoever collects the most waste wins! Share your “hauls” online to inspire others! 

36. Take a hike! Check out this library of family-friendly hikes in your area, but be sure to check on the status of parks and trails before you go.  

37. Take a virtual tour of a national park and learn about our public lands! Then plan your first trip for after the travel ban is over.  

38. Get planting! Spend this time at home cultivating your flower beds, windowsill and vegetable gardens. Learn more about pollinator friendly plants and practices – no green thumb required! 

39. Leave no peel behind! Start a kitchen compost pile, and graduate to a compost bin outdoors

40. Pamper pollinators by refilling your bird feeders or reuse discarded materials to make your own

41. Opt for a natural landscape that doesn’t require the use of fertilizers and pesticides.

Reduce and Reuse  

42. Take shorter showers! The duration of the shower has a direct effect on water usage. Time yourself and set goals for reducing your shower time.  

43. Turn the faucet off! Though we may be washing our hands more now than ever, it is no excuse to leave the water running. You can save several gallons a day by shutting the water off while you scrub your hands. 

44. Reduce your food waste. From re-organizing your fridge to planning shopping trips ahead of time, there are plenty of ways to reduce your food waste even as we are stocking up on staples! 

45. Unplug energy vampires! Did you know the average microwave uses more power displaying the time in one year than it does heating your food? Computers, televisions, cable boxes, microwaves, and phone chargers are among the many electronics that use lots of energy while not in use. Unplug and shut down your appliances and electronics when you’re not using them. 

46. Reduce your non-recyclable waste by opting for groceries with less packaging! Don’t forget your reusable shopping and produce bags, which you can make from reused materials

47. Stay home! This one is a no brainer that will help you save gas and stay healthy! When you do drive, reduce your emissions by turning your engine off if you’re idling for more than two minutes.  

48. Learn more about recycling. On average, Americans recycle less than a third of their waste. Brush up your recycling knowledge to learn what can and can’t go in your recycling bin.  

49. Conserve water by running full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine. 

50. Recycle your old electronics.