April 22 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day!

While you might not be able to attend a community event to celebrate your commitment to protect the environment this year, there are still numerous ways to honor and help preserve the incredible habitat that we call home.

Here are 50 ways you can celebrate while maintaining social distance and staying close to home.

Learn (or Teach) Something New!

1. Teach kids about recycling & composting using the Recology Coloring Book!

2. Learn about a new environmental problem or issue and teach someone else about it. Some ideas: climate change, species extinction, deforestation.

3. Calculate your carbon footprint and brainstorm ways to reduce it.

4. Calculate the carbon footprint of the meals you eat in a single day.

5. Watch The Story of Plastic. It’s making its national debut on April 22 on the Discovery Channel.

6. Have an Environmental Documentary Movie Night or Week. We recommend any of these eye-opening films: A Plastic Ocean (Netflix, Amazon Prime), Before the Flood (Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, YouTube, iTunes), An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes), Ice on Fire (HBO, Hulu), or Plastic China (Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vimeo On Demand)

7. Subscribe to an environmental podcast. Some suggestions: NPR: Environment, Practical(ly) Zero Waste, How to Save the World

8. (Virtually) Interview a senior citizen. Utilize virtual communication like Zoom or FaceTime to connect and ask about the changes they’ve seen in the environment and our waste over the course of their life. Questions like: How did you grocery shop without plastic bags? What did you use instead of paper napkins and paper towels? What effects of pollution have you seen over the years? What are some patterns of consumption you’ve seen change over the years?

9. Give a lesson in laundry and water conservation.

10. Read up on local environmental legislation.

11. Reach out to your local government representatives about environmental issues and policies you care about.

12. Make a micro-composter. With little more than a soda bottle, you can make an indoor composter that will allow your kids to witness the decomposition process.

Find New Ways to Reduce

13. Unplug for the day. Go electricity 1free for a full day. Turn off all your lights and electronic gadgets and used candles or torches for the night. (Check out these fun flashlight games you can play with your family for entertainment.)

14. Stop junk mail.

15. Go paperless. If you receive paper bills or invoices, go paperless.

16. Switch to energy saving bulbs. Replace all standard incandescent light bulbs in your house with energy-efficient bulbs.

17. Repair something you planned to toss and replace.

18. Reduce your water consumption.

19. Have a Zero Waste Day. See if you can go without creating any waste in your home!

20. Go on a litter neighborhood scavenger hunt. Pick up garbage (using proper protective gear) in your neighborhood and use the hashtag #bagyourblock to share your results.

21. Hold a Waste Competition. Challenge your family or neighbors and see who can create the least amount of waste for the week.

22. Take a pledge! Assess your own waste habits and make a public commitment to make a change. Go plastic free for a week, go meatless on Mondays or commit to bringing a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go.

Tend to Your Home & Garden

23. Start a compost pile in your yard.

24. Plant an herb garden, outdoors or in.

25. Start a vegetable garden.

26. Plant a pollinator garden.

27. Start saving rainwater. Use a barrel to collect rainwater that you can reuse to water your garden or indoor plants.

28. Build a birdhouse out of wood or an empty milk carton.

29. Have a family dinner focused on locally-sourced, sustainable foods.

30. Commit to go meatless on Monday (or any other day of the week).

31. Do some natural Spring Cleaning. Use one of these easy recipes for a natural all-purpose cleaner.

32. Plant a tree.

Get Crafty

33. Make or decorate a reusable shopping bag.

34. Make your own art supplies. 

35. Learn to sew and make basic repairs to your clothing.

36. Enlist your kids to design helpful reminder signs in your home to do things like turn out the lights, unplug power strips, and use less water.

37. Make flowers from old egg cartons.

38. Make cars from toilet paper rolls.

39. Make sock puppets from socks you would have discarded.

40. Brew your own bubbles and make your own wands or bubble blowers from recycled materials.

Enjoy the Outdoors

41. Explore your neighborhood by taking a urban hike or nature walk to admire the local sights and sounds.

42. Go on a nature scavenger hunt. Print this handy list of items to find or make your own!

43. Bird-watch or bird-listen.

44. Go on a green picnic. Explore an area close to your home, so you can walk or bike rather than drive. Pack healthy snacks and drinks in reusable containers, bring cloth napkins and real utensils so you won’t make any waste.

45. Watch the sunrise or sunset.

46. Cloudgaze

47. Stargaze

48. Bike, run or play outdoor sports and enjoy the fresh air.

49. Kayak or canoe. Pick up any litter that you see in the water (using proper protective gear of course!).

Bonus!

50. Spread the word! Share what you’re doing on social media and any other way you can to get others involved. Tag us @recology on Facebook or Instagram or @recologywz on Twitter!