10 ways to help the planet for Earth Day

Earth Day 2018 is April 22. So what are you doing to celebrate? Rather than letting the annual commemoration pass with a smile and nod to the planet, why not dig in this year and do something as simple as plant a little garden.

We can all start somewhere, and when it comes to saving the place we all call home, that’s always better than nowhere. Here are 10 simple ways you can make your own mission. 

Bash on plastics. This year’s Earth Day theme is “End Plastic Pollution,” and you can get started on the cause by calculating your own consumption and make a plan to reduce it right here.

Just sign up. Let a local program do the legwork for you. Poke around social media to see what organizations, such as recreation districts, environmental groups, community gardens and national organizations with a local presence, already have planned. Then jump on the bandwagon.

Trash talk. One of the simplest ways to make an impact right from your neighborhood is a trash cleanup. Organize a few friends or neighbors to join you for a potluck breakfast, followed by a beautiful morning outside combing yards, sidewalks and shared spaces for unwanted trash.

Find your calling. Not sure what campaign feels right, like something you can attach to for longer than just one day a year? Check out the Earth Day Network's top campaigns for some more inspiration: green schools, endangered species, reforestation, green cities, etc. 

Plant a garden. Perfect for the introvert, planting a garden can quickly renew your focus on the earth and how you’re connected to it, without having to be a big joiner. Use springtime's seasonal boost to plant a backyard garden or patio plant wonderland. You can go as small as establishing an indoor herb garden or as big as helping older neighbors weed their gardens.

Hit the trail. Cleaning up the trails and outdoor spaces that we spend our weekends on will remind you of the importance of the places we play. Check for local trail crews who are planning Earth Day activities, such as cutting new trails, cleaning up old ones or putting erosion proofing in place.

Dive in deeper. If you live close to a coast, consider dedicating Earth Day 2018 to donating some time to start protecting it. We all know Earth’s oceans are swelling with garbage that doesn’t decompose—some 19 billion pounds of plastics end up in the oceans each year. Get down to your local beach to work on a cleanup crew, join a national project or at least start educating yourself about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Bring back the bees. One of Nectar’s biggest causes, bringing honeybees back from the brink of devastation is something every citizen can participate in. You can create a bee-friendly backyard with tons of easy tips like planting bee-friendly flowers or building a bee condo for these vital insects.

Recycle some stuff. If you’re short on time, at least go through your closet, garage, shed, etc. to clean out what you don’t need and give it to someone who does. This is just the first step in rethinking your personal consumption habits throughout the year. How can you buy less and recycle more? Put that on a stickie note and refer to it daily … starting April 22, 2018. 

Celebrate with friends. Why not make Earth Day a celebration of what the planet provides? Plan a dinner party with garden- or farmer’s market-fresh foods, or have everyone bring something homemade that has some earth in it. A foodie moment may just inspire others to start thinking more seriously about our very finite resource.

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