Hope and excitement surrounded this year’s Earth Day celebration because it’s the 50th anniversary of what began in 1970! The first Earth Day happened on April 22, 1970 when 20 million Americans demanded a new way forward for our planet. That day is credited with launching the modern day environmental movement.
Earth Day led to the passage of many environmental laws in the United States, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. Although there has been amazing success and decades of progress, our environment is still threatened by things like loss of biodiversity, climate change, and plastic pollution to name a few.
Earth Day challenges us to give intentional thought to our actions and encourages us to think about how small changes in our daily lives can help the environment. Small acts by a lot of people can collectively add up to create a global shift!
The City of Auburn Hills was planning a beautiful day at Hawk Woods Nature Center where we would be able to gather, give back to our community through service together and we had over 400 trees ordered to distribute in the community for planting. We had to change our plans to accommodate the Shelter in Place orders and keep our community safe, so instead of Earth Day in real life, we are offering a digital challenge for Earth Day 2020.
DIGITAL EARTH DAY CHALLENGE 2020:
Make a promise (that you can realistically keep)
Write it on a piece of paper
Take a picture
Post it on the Recreation Department’s Digital Earth Day Challenge 2020 Facebook Event
Keep your promise throughout 2020
We would also love to see pictures of anything you and your family are doing at home to celebrate Earth Day, whether it’s a project, a piece of artwork, research about endangered species, or even working in your garden. We will plan to make a video montage of all the entries, and one participating family or individual will receive an environmentally friendly prize from the Recreation Department for participating in the challenge!
Here are some examples of Earth Day promises, made by the Hegdal household:
“I promise to register to vote!” When you register to vote, you have a say in environmental policy.
“I promise to use boxed laundry detergent instead of plastic bottles.” Picking just one single-use plastic to eliminate out of your daily life will contribute to a global shift.
“I promise to buy more locally sourced fruits and vegetables.” Reducing food miles helps to alleviate our dependence on fossil fuels, reduces air pollution, and cuts back on greenhouse gas emissions.
“I promise to learn about and try worm composting.” Vermicomposting reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Up to 30% of our household waste is organic and can be composted.
“I promise to use a reusable water bottle!” Only 1 out of 5 water bottles are properly recycled. You can put an immediate stop to your own contribution to this environmentally damaging waste of resources by owning a reusable water bottle.
Even if we don’t see you in real life for Earth Day, we hope to see you tomorrow to celebrate with you virtually!
Sage Hegdal, Recreation Director