There’s nothing like being cooped up indoors during an extended coronavirus pandemic to help one appreciate the outdoor world.
As the 50th anniversary approaches on Wednesday, many Earth Day gatherings, celebrations and cleanups — like the annual Joe Kleiber Memorial Earth Day Cleanup of the James River— have been canceled.
But even as stay-at-home orders continue, the city of Springfield is moving its Earth Day celebration online with a 12 Days of Earth Day virtual challenge at springfieldmo.gov/earthday. The challenge began Sunday and continues daily through April 30.
“The 12 Days of Earth Day challenge is an opportunity for the community to join us in celebrating not only the 50th anniversary of Earth Day as a one-day event, but to recognize that every day is Earth Day by participating in a series of fun daily activities,” according to Education Outreach Coordinator Laurie Duncan at Springfield Environmental Services.
Daily challenges such as having a low-waste picnic with family, creating nature art in your yard and picking up litter in your neighborhood will continue through Thursday, April 30.
Each day’s activity includes an opportunity for participants to track their points and to showcase their Earth Day efforts by posting to social media using #SGFEarthDay.
The City is continuing to coordinate with community partner agencies to assemble a full schedule of virtual Earth Day offerings, including classes, demonstrations, tree plantings, stream tours and more. Visit springfieldmo.gov/earthday for the full April 22 itinerary.
To join in the Earth Day 2020 celebration, follow Environmental Services on Facebook at facebook.com/SGFEnvironmentalServices or visit springfieldmo.gov/earthday.
The Earth Day movement began 50 years ago when 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate support for a healthy, sustainable environment during the nation’s first Earth Day celebration.
In recent years, Earth Day has grown to be celebrated globally in more than 193 countries.
The national Earth Day organization, www.earthday.org, has put together many tips related to saving and appreciating the planet. Here’s a sample of them:
•Plant a tree or donate a tree through the organization’s Canopy Project.
•Join a local park, river or beach clean-up, if they’re still being held.
•Use environmentally-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products.
•Carpool, ride your bike, use public transportation or drive an electric or hybrid car. •Reduce your carbon footprint by one pound for every mile you do not drive.
•Keep your tires properly inflated and get better gas mileage. Reduce your carbon footprint 20 pounds for each gallon of gas saved.
•Stop using disposable plastics, especially single-use plastics like bottles, bags and straws.
•Use cloth towels instead of paper.
•Bring reusable bags when you shop.
•Buy locally produced food to reduce the distance from farm to fork. Buy straight from the farm, frequent your local farmers’ market, or join a local food co-op.
•Run your dishwasher only when it’s full to save water and energy.
•Wash your clothes only when necessary, use cold water and line dry.
See the full list of Earth Day tips at www.earthday.org.
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