The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Sponsored by Earth Day 2021 Full Article: Calendar » Holidays and Events
Earth Day 2021 is an event observed annually on April 22. It is a day held to demonstrate and promote environmental awareness and calls for the protection of our planet. Today, Earth Day, 2021 is celebrated in more than 193 countries each year
History of Earth Day
The equinoctial Earth Day is celebrated on the March equinox (around March 20) to mark the precise moment of astronomical spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and of astronomical autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. An equinox in astronomy is that point in time (not a whole day) when the Sun is directly above the Earth’s equator, occurring around March 20 and September 23 each year.
The history of Earth Day 2021 dates back to 1970 when it was first celebrated in 1970. It was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson to promote ecology and the respect for life on the planet as well as to encourage awareness of the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution. The first Earth Day celebrations took place in two thousand colleges and universities, roughly ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities across the United States.
When 1990 approached, a group of environmental leaders asked Denis Hayes to organize another big campaign. This time, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. In 1995, President Bill Clinton awarded Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest honour given to civilians in the United States) for his role as Earth Day 2021 founder. Today, it now is observed in 192 countries, and coordinated by the non-profit Earth Day Network.
Traditions of Earth Day 2021
Traditionally, Earth Day 2021 is viewed as a time of environmental consciousness and awareness. It is usually celebrated with outdoor performances, where individuals or groups perform acts of service to earth such as the planting of trees, picking up roadside trash, conducting various programs for recycling and conservation, using recyclable containers for snacks and lunches.
Some people are encouraged to sign petitions to governments, calling for stronger or immediate action to stop global warming and to reverse environmental destruction. Television stations frequently air programs dealing with environmental issues.
10 EARTH DAY ACTIVITIES AND IDEAS
- 1. SUPPORT OUR POLLINATORS!
Bring native bees and other pollinating creatures to your garden. One way to do this is by selecting the right plants. Need ideas?
- Find a beauty or two from our list of plants that attract butterflies and plants that attract hummingbirds.
Learn more about native bees (the super-pollinators!) and make a native bee house (much like a bird house!). Or, see how to make a bee-friendly garden habitat including bee-friendly plants.
One of the best ways to connect with the Earth is through cleanups! Go on a walk with a trash bag and help to clean up any plastic that you find. Perhaps you know of a nearby ditch that is polluted with trash that needs a spring cleaning! You’ll start to realize that plastic permeates every aspect of our lives. But as the world wakes up to its addiction, just how easy is it to ditch plastic while growing and storing more of our own food? Don’t forget to recycle what plastic you can. See a Plastics Recycling Chart.
3. SWAP OUT YOUR KITCHEN AND HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS!
Let’s talk about the cooking and cleaning products that touch the food we eat as well as our skin. This year, we’ve discovered a line of kitchen and household products called “If You Care.” Everything’s biodegradable and does not use chemicals or plastic. Think 100% recycled aluminum foil, chemical-free parchment paper for baking, compostable bags made with potato starch, and even vegetable-based inks for their packaging. We love company’s motto: “We care simply because it’s the right thing to do!” You can find If You Care products online and in stores.
4. PLANT A TREE!
We love our trees! They capture carbon, cool overheated places, benefit agriculture, support pollinators, reduce the risk of disease transmission, and boost local economies. Did you know that planting one oak tree brings in more insect and bird species than an entire yard of plants? Talk to your local government about planting more trees and native garden beds in public spaces or consider planting your own on your property! See advice on how to plant a tree.
Another way to make a difference is to ditch printed seed or plant catalogs. When you receive an unwanted catalog in the mail (especially those huge ones!), contact the company and ask to be removed from their print list.
5. USE WILDFLOWERS AND NATIVE PLANTS
Wildflowers and indigenous species are not only beautiful but also attract native and beneficial insects that improve both pest control and pollination—meaning bigger flowers and bigger harvests. Try to simply add a couple of native plants to your garden each year, and you’ll be amazed at the difference—they’ll bring in pollinators as well as birds!
- Here’s more about native plants, why they matter, and a plant list.
- We’ll show you how to grow wildflowers, plus see our list of our 5 favorite and widely adaptable wildflowers plus wildflower varieties by region.
6. REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE IN THE GARDEN
Caring about yourself and nature means being less wasteful and saving money, too. Who could argue with this? If you are a gardener, here are just a few ideas:
- Buy in bulk when you know that you’ll need a lot of topsoil, mulch, compost, or other materials. This cuts down on plastic bags. Many garden centers will even deliver right to your yard. Also check with your city recycling center or Department of Transportation—they might offer free compost, soil, sand, or other materials.
- Reuse, recycle, or return old plastic pots and trays. See six ways to reuse pots and containers and how to repurpose common household items to use in the garden—and save money!
- Plant pots right into the ground! Here are 10 types of biodegradable pots.
7. STOP PESTICIDES AND CHEMICALS IN THE GARDEN
Most of the beginner gardeners whom we meet want to start growing without chemicals or pesticides—in a way that works and even saves money. Much of this is simply about focusing less on the plant and more on the health of the soil that supports the plant. If it’s nutrient-rich with organic matter, plants thrive.
- See how to use organic soil amendments to turn your poor garden soil into a nutrient-rich paradise in which plants will thrive.
- You don’t need chemicals to get rid of pesky garden pests: Companion planting, natural remedies, and attracting predators to your garden can save you money and also save your plants. See how to control pests in the organic garden.
- Some bugs are good for the garden! Here’s a list of some of the best beneficial insects to have in your gardening space, with pictures and tips for attracting them.
- It’s easy to use an organic plant fertilizer—made from just weeds and water. Does it sound strange to make plant fertilizer by using other plants? Thia is how nature works! Here’s a simple recipe for DIY organic fertilizer—without using chemicals or animal waste—right from your garden!
- Gardening and farming methods such as not tilling the soil, growing cover crops during the off-season, and rotating crops (and grazing) help to retain organic materials in the soil.
- Here are tips on organic seed-starting and our Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening to get you started.
8. CONSERVE WATER!
We waste a lot of water. Avoid overwatering your plants and improve their health by knowing how much your garden really needs. Avoid watering your garden vegetables and plants from overhead, which invites fungal disease. Water at the soil level.
- See our top tips for watering wisely in the garden or our video demonstrating 10 smart watering tips. For gardens, flower beds, trees, and other nonlawn areas, consider installing a drip irrigation system or hose with irrigation holes that puts the water right into the soil, where you want it. If you must use sprinklers, put them on timers.
- Harvest your rainwater from a roof, gutters, and sky with a rain barrel. If you have a low-lying area, consider planting a rain garden, which captures runoff, filters out pollutants, and provides food and shelter for butterflies, songbirds, and other wildlife. See plot plans for “sun” and “shade” rain gardens.
9. THINK ABOUT YOUR DIET!
About one-third of the food that we produce every year goes to waste annually! Usually, this happens after we buy the food. How do we avoid waste in our own lives (and save money)? Also, how can we improve our diet so that it’s healthier for ourselves (and the planet)? One way is to care about your “foodprint,” which is the result of everything that it takes to get your food from the farm to your plate. Take this fun 3-minute Foodprint Quiz to find out your foodprint.
10. GET KIDS INVOLVED!
Pass down a love of nature and plants to kids. There are lots of opportunities for hands-on learning experiences outside. Here are some ideas for how to garden with kids, including fun activities like planting a sunflower house!
- Here are 6 simple garden projects for kids from the Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids!
- Children who grow vegetables, eat vegetables.