In fact, this is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day so that makes it even more celebratory! The holiday has been celebrated since 1970 as a way to appreciate the planet we live on and make it a cleaner and more beautiful place. It is all about loving what we have and wanting to take care of it. Because it’s not like there are a bunch more planets we can replace it with. This is it, people! We need to take care of this one or start saving up money for that one-way trip to Mars. Seriously, there are many ways to celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd such as learning more about it and why we celebrate it in the first place. We can see how others plan to celebrate and choose to do something ourselves.

hand tools and a person holding a miniature earth

Who is Gaylord Nelson?

This important holiday is celebrated in more than 190 countries. It started out as just a day to help people learn more about environmental issues but has morphed into a full-fledged global celebration. The celebration was actually started by a Wisconsin senator named Gaylord Nelson. He made it his focus to make the government pay attention to how the planet was being damaged by all the pollution and had a huge demonstration to get attention.

From that year on, rallies started being held on April 22nd to raise awareness on the subject. Within a few years, the government took notice by establishing the Environmental Protection Agency who took part in making legislative acts like the Clean Air Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, Water Quality Improvement Act, and the Endangered Species Act. So, we have Gaylord Nelson to thank for this awesome celebration that has taken precedence all over the planet and for helping to save the earth from the pollution that was killing our world.

person holding a miniature shopping cart

Have a Garden Party

Don’t just start a garden, have a garden party! It’s springtime! Contact your friends and neighbors and agree to plant things in all your yards. Not just one or two, but all of your yards. If you can get the hubbies in on it, you can get them to do the digging or tilling while you and the ladies do the planting and watering. That way, you can start about a dozen gardens in one day. That is the kind of garden party we need for Earth Day!

But don’t just stop at the garden. You can plant trees and bushes as well. There is always some room for a lilac or rose bush and a few fruit trees. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to go to the back yard and grab apples and other fruits off the trees? I know I keep telling my hubby we need to do that, but we have not done it yet. Hopefully, we can do it this year.

Note: If you are in a location that is still under quarantine due to the coronavirus, you may have to change this to just planting your own gardens. But next year you can do the garden party thing. Or you can just stay six feet away from each other while you garden. No problem!

children planting a tree

Clean a Park or Highway

Get out there with a bag and some gloves and pick up the trash along the road or in the park. Take your kids and grandkids and teach them about the holiday and why we need to keep the planet clean. Teach them young so they grow up knowing that it is not okay to toss your empty wrappers or water bottles out the window in the car. Just be careful if you are going to be picking up trash near the road with young ones. It may be better to clean the park away from the roads with children under five years old. You can even do this if the social distancing law is still in place. All you have to do is stay at least six feet away from each other.

European town with interesting bridge

Other Countries

Take a cue from one of the other countries. In Copenhagen, they form a circle in Christiansborg Castle Square and play drums or other instruments for 15 minutes every half hour for two hours. Then they do a March for Science. London has a huge celebration with a half-dozen bands performing at The Hive. It is sponsored by the Gaia Warriors, who are a collective of musicians and activists. They raise money for groups who are helping fight climate change and pollution. In Vancouver, they have a parade and festival with activities, music, food, and dancing. It is held in Grandview Park and sponsored by the Youth for Climate Justice Now. South Africa celebrates what they call International Mother Earth Day with an expo called the Rand Show in Johannesburg. In fact, it is so big it lasts the whole week.

No matter how you celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd, just remember to keep it going all year. Respect the planet and keep it clean because it really is all we have. We have to take care of it so it can help take care of us. Unless you really do want to move to Mars.