“Jacob, please go open the garage door so I can start my car,” I asked my 8-year-old son.
“The car produces a gas that can make us sick if it stays in a closed space so we need to open the door and let it out.”
With a distressed look, he yelled, “So you want to poison the environment?!”
That was a tough question to answer. In the weeks prior to this particular conversation, our car rides would be filled with discussions about fossil fuels, alternative energy sources and how he can’t wait until I have a car that is powered by algae. Though many focus on the planet one day per year, for our family, it’s an everyday adventure.
April 22, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. It is a celebration that raises awareness of the health of our planet and brings communities together so that we can create a more sustainable environment. According to EarthDay.org, “Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behavior and provoke policy changes.” Despite our differences, it is quite clear that humanity is aware of the climate crisis, dwindling resources and changing landscape that we can unite and facilitate change in various aspects of our society.
What You Can Do
Although Earth Day is celebrated once a year, there are actions we can take year-round with our families to make a difference.
- Pick up litter along the side of your road.
- Recycle many unwanted goods at home and at your place of employment.
- Reduce food waste. It is the 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases and costs the average family of four $1200 per year.
- Plant a tree or a garden.
- Get outside and observe nature. Start a conversation with your kids – What do you see? Hear? Smell?
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, organized Earth Day events have been canceled throughout Central Massachusetts. Our cities and towns are encouraging us to go out on our own and clean up trash in our neighborhoods while keeping social distancing guidelines in mind.
What will your family do to celebrate Earth Day?