Restore Our Earth

Happy 51st Earth Day! The theme of this year’s earth day is “Restore Our Earth” and in celebration of today, earthday.org created a list of 51 things you can do any day of the year to Restore Our Earth. Here are two of our staff’s favorites from the list:

Tip # 11 – Plogging: This is a new expression for us, but we’re all for it! Plogging, or picking up trash while jogging, started in Sweden in 2016 as a way for people to take an active role cleaning up the environment and has been gaining popularity around the globe ever since. Talk about a great way to get your exercise in for the day and do a good deed for the environment! I’m more of a pliker (while hiking) and a plalker (while walking), but I’ve been picking up trash from my neighborhood and trails for years. It’s always rewarding at the end of the walk or hike to place the items I collected in the trash/recycling bin, knowing I’ve done my small part to make these areas cleaner. I also think that incorporating picking up trash into my life has also allowed me to have some great conversations with people about why I am doing this and has encouraged them to think more about properly disposing of trash or even become a plogger themselves. Lastly, it has helped me to understand the impact of waste on our planet and has helped me to choose products with minimal to no packaging as much as possible. – Carolyn

Tip # 44 – Rewild Your Yard: The act of planting a flower or vegetable garden is nothing new, but have you heard of rewilding? This concept generally refers to large scale efforts to restore ecological processes and wilderness areas. The outcome is an environment that is more in sync with the natural world, more sustainable, and more biodiverse. This same practice has become more popularly implemented at a smaller scale, such as our own backyards. The idea is to rethink the traditional aesthetic of a tidy or manicured yard, which is uniform and has low ecological value, and adopt a more wild approach that incorporates the use of native plants and sets aside space for wildlife. An easy way to start this process is to convert a portion of your mowed lawn into wildlife habitat. You won’t be weeding or maintaining this space (remember we’re keeping it wild!), so choose plants and trees that provide value for wildlife but don’t need a lot of maintenance. Beebalm, coreopsis, and milkweed are great plants for sunny areas and blue lobelia, bellwort, and self-heal do well in the shade. All of these plants offer food and/or cover for pollinators and birds throughout the year. If you have the space, planting a tree can be a bigger bang for your ecological buck. Native oaks, for instance, support over 500 species of insects, caterpillars, butterflies, birds, and other wildlife. Trees also add pathways for wildlife movement between properties, thereby increasing ecological connectivity in more urban settings. This Earth Week, we challenge you to go for it, get wild, and rewild a space at your home or workplace. – Kerry