How to Celebrate Earth Day

The celebration of Earth Day is on April 22, and it began in 1970. Since then, it has grown into a global event recognized by over 192 countries. Devoting a special day to helping the earth is a way to demonstrate how much we care about the future of our planet. No matter what you like to do best, there’s a way to get involved in Earth Day. You could spend time in nature to deepen your appreciation still further. You can plant a tree, make a meal with locally-grown vegetables, educate a family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker, or member of your faith community, clean up trash in your neighborhood, set up a bird feeder, reduce your use of electricity, and find other ways to get around that use no or much less fuel. The possibilities are endless. Use Earth Day to appreciate what you and others are already doing and to explore what you may do further today and throughout the coming year to help heal this planet that is our home.

EditGetting Engaged
Learn more about the environment. Earth Day is a good time to make a commitment to learning more about the environment and how you can help to protect it. Read articles to get up to date on the current issues affecting the environment, like pollution, water shortages, and climate change. Or, learn about a region you’ve never considered before, like the Arctic, the deserts, or the rain forests. Not sure where to start? Check out your local news sources for information about environmental issues in your own backyard.
Understand how climate change works, and what you can do about it.[1]
If you live in a city, look into urban environmental issues like contaminated drinking water and energy conservation.[2]
If you live near a body of water, do research to find out whether it’s healthy or in need of help.[3]
Learn more about fracking, which is affecting many communities in the United States.[4]
Find out which species native to your area are under threat of extinction.[5]

Join an environmental group. Think about the issues that concern you the most and if you haven’t done so already, join a local group that undertakes activities to help protect the environment in your area. Earth Day is a great day to start getting involved. In almost any community, you’ll find local groups that do the following:[6]
Host clean-ups of local bodies of water and their shores

Fight air and water pollution

Plant trees and install community gardens

Protect habitats under threat of getting developed

Can’t find a group? Consider starting your own.

Spread the word. Everyone has environmental knowledge they can share with others. Just talking about the environment with people who may not think about it that much is a good way to celebrate Earth Day. Talk to your parents, friends, teachers, siblings, and anyone else you’d like about the issues you care about most. Here are a few ways to educate others about the earth:
Give a speech at your local library on how to compost with worms

Take a group of children down to the recycling center to show them how things are recycled

Recite nature poems in the park

Offer to teach your office colleagues how to make environmentally-friendly choices at work during lunch hour

Encourage people to respond and if they have no opinions or they seem to not know much, help them learn some more by imparting your environmental knowledge in a friendly and helpful manner.

Get a group of friends to wear green and brown. When people ask you why you’re dressed like a tree, take the opportunity to talk about Earth Day.

Go to an Earth Day fair. Maybe your school, your street, or your local neighborhood is holding an environmental fair. If your community doesn’t have one planned, consider starting one yourself. It’s the perfect day to get together for a fun and educational celebration of the earth. Money raised can go towards a local environmental restoration project or to an environmental group agreed upon by all the participants running the fair. These offerings are common at Earth Day fairs:
Demonstrations of environmentally-friendly products

Children’s earth-themed artwork

Healthy/locally grown foods to eat

Animal care demonstrations (including wildlife rescue)

Games for the children made of recycled products

Musicians and actors performing environmental music and skits

Stalls for recycling unwanted treasures and books

Local environmental organizations presenting their issues and wares.

Enjoy Earth Day entertainment. There are many Earth Day song lyrics available on the Internet. Most follow well-known tunes so people can easily sing along. These make a fantastic classroom activity and help younger children to become interested in environmental topics. iTunes has many songs about the Earth for downloading: try searching for words such as “planet,” “Earth,” “endangered,” “pollution” etc.

Cook a special Earth Day meal. Invite friends and family over for a meal, and plan a menu that uses locally produced foods, is healthy and has minimal impact on the environment. Favor vegetables, fruit, and other produce, as these use fewer resources to grow than mass-farmed meat. If you still would like meat, look for locally produced, organic meat. Try to have organic food completely.
To decorate for the meal, use recycled decorations made by you and your friends instead of buying brand-new decorations.

When you wash up after the meal, use the low-water dishwashing method. Teach those who are helping how to use it, too.

Remember that every day is Earth Day. Anything to help our environment is a perfect thing to do on Earth Day and every day. Don’t restrict yourself to just one day a year; learn about how you can make a difference to environmental protection all the time. It’s going to take a lot of work to heal our planet. Leading by example will help others remember that the earth is important every day of the year.

EditCaring for Trees, Plants and Animals
Plant trees. As the date of Earth Day roughly coincides with U.S. Arbor Day, planting trees is a popular Earth Day activity. Trees help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, clean pollution, secure soil in place to prevent erosion and provide homes for many birds, insects, and other animals. There’s almost no more important, long-lasting act you can do to celebrate Earth Day.
Pick a tree that you know can survive in your climate. It’s best to find a species native to where you live. If you’re unsure about what that might be, ask an employee at your local garden shop, or inside the garden department of a big-box store.

To ensure that the tree grows tall and strong, make sure you plant it correctly. Choose the correct planting spot to meet its needs, dig a properly-sized hole, and water the tree well to give it a good start.

Plant wildflowers. Choose flowers that are native to your area and plant them in your garden or on nature strips where plants are usually grown. Restoring the local plant life will help attract native bird life, pollinators, and local mammals. Here are a few examples of common flowers that will draw wildlife:
If you want to attract Monarch butterflies, plant milkweed, pansies or goldenrod.[7]
If you want to attract bees, plant bee balm, lavender or sage.

If you want to attract hummingbirds, plant foxglove, petunias or lilies.[8]

Welcome animals into your yard. You can do a lot for the creatures of the earth starting in your own yard or neighborhood. In their quest for the perfect lawn, many people drive out the insects, rodents, birds, and reptiles that need a place to call home just as much as we do. Starting on Earth Day, why not welcome these nonhuman neighbors into your yard? Here’s how to do it.
Instead of mowing the entire yard, leave a few sections unmowed. Bees, butterflies, and many other insects will find this inviting. If you’re worried about them coming inside, have the unmowed area in the back of the yard instead of right next to the house.

Install a bird feeder, bat feeder, squirrel feeder, hummingbird feeder, or any other type of feeder to attract more wild animals.

Provide a source of water, like a birdbath or a small pond.

Don’t try to get rid of snakes, lizards, frogs, moles, squirrels, and the other creatures who want to hang out in your yard. Many of these animals are beneficial; they aerate your yard, eat mosquitoes and improve biodiversity in the area. Live and let live. Tell your neighbors to do the same!

Talk to your neighbors about going organic. Pesticides and herbicides can harm wild animals, native plants, trees, pets, and even humans. Make Earth Day the day you stop using chemicals in your yard and try organic methods of weed and pest removal instead. Consider talking to your neighbors about making the whole neighborhood organic.
Getting rid of pests the old-fashioned way can actually be more effective than using pesticides. Try planting native plants to control the insect population. Use water to spray common insects like aphids off of your vegetable plants.

When it comes to weeds, pulling them out by hand works better than any other method.

Commit to protecting local wild places. Whether you live near an ocean, river, forest, mountain, swamp or lake, wild areas like these need protection. They are home to many plants and animals who rely on them for food and shelter. On Earth Day, commit to protecting the wild places in your community by doing the following:
Join a group working to protect these areas from pollution and developments.

Encourage people to respect wild spaces by not damaging animal habitats, littering, and dumping in the water.

Clean up litter in your community. Many groups use the weekend of Earth Day to clear roadways, highways and neighborhood streets of litter that has accumulated since the last clean-up day.[9] Many companies donate gloves and bags for clean-up groups, and villages organize bag pickups. Once the group has collected the trash and placed the recycled bags along the road, get the village public works department to pick the bags up. It’s a wonderful community project that you can do as an individual or with a group.

EditEating Earth-Friendly Food
Eat food from local sources. Eating food that was grown or raised as close to your home as possible is important for a variety of reasons. Locally-grown food doesn’t require as much gas to arrive in your town and end up on the shelves in your grocery store. The closer to your home it was grown, the more environmentally friendly it is.[10]
Farmer’s markets are a great place to find local foods. Most foods available in farmer’s markets were grown within a 50-mile vicinity.

Some grocery stores have a section devoted to locally-grown foods. Look for foods that were produced in your state, or better yet, within 50 miles of your town.

Look for foods that were produced on small farms, rather than manufactured at factories.

Plant a vegetable garden. When it comes to eating local, you can’t get much closer to home than your own yard. You can grow a lot of different vegetables in a relatively small space. Earth Day falls during the perfect time of year to plant a garden. Try clearing a bit of grass away and planting a few different varieties to try out during the summer.
Squash is a great choice, since one plant produces enough to feed a small family for several weeks.

Tomatoes is popular among novice gardeners.

Beans are relatively low-maintenance.

Herbs take up very little room and can be grown in pots.

Don’t have space for a garden? See if there’s a community garden in your area where you can start using a plot.

Consider a vegetarian or vegan diet. Most meat is manufactured in an industrial setting under conditions that pollute the environment and are cruel to the animals.[11]Mass-produced meat is normally pumped full of hormones, making it unhealthy for humans to consume. Eliminating meat from your diet is considered a great way to do your part to help the environment. Why not make April 22 your first meatless day?
A vegetarian diet is free of meat and fish, while a vegan diet is free of all animal products (including eggs, honey, and dairy products). Choose the diet that works best for your health needs.

If you don’t want to give up meat entirely, consider buying your meat products only from local farms where you know how the animals were treated. Look for farms that allow animals space to roam and feed them healthy food.[12]

Cook from scratch. Pre-made, processed foods require preservatives and a lot of packaging to keep them from going bad before you eat them. Check out the list of ingredients on items like frozen dinners, packaged snack foods, and other common grocery store items. They likely contain extra sugars, chemical flavorings and other ingredients that aren’t good for the environment or our bodies. The solution is to buy foods in their natural form and cook from scratch.
Even if a product is labeled “natural,” check the ingredients. If you see words you can’t pronounce, you probably don’t need to eat it.

Not sure you know how to cook from scratch? Start with easy dishes like omelets, casseroles, smoothies, or steamed vegetables. Once you learn some basic techniques, you’ll be able to cook more and more dishes from scratch.

EditReducing Waste
Reduce, reuse and recycle. Buy as little as possible and avoid items that come in lots of packaging. Start good habits on Earth Day and carry them through all year long. Here are a few ways you can reduce, reuse and recycle:
Support local growers and producers of food and products. These don’t have to travel as far and so reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Take your drink container with you, and don’t use any disposable plates or cutlery. Recycle all the things you do use for the day or find other uses for things that you no longer use.

Carry a cloth bag for carrying things in and recycle your plastic bags.

Buy or make Earth-friendly cleaning products. Try making up a simple vinegar-and-water counter cleaner, or swapping out your bleach cleaner for a less-toxic orange-based one. Making your own cleaning products saves money and packaging. Homemade cleaning products also often work just as well as of industrial-strength chemicals.
A solution of half vinegar, half water can be used to clean floors, bathrooms, cabinets, counters, and just about anything else in your home.

To remove stains from carpeting, clothing or other fabrics, make a paste with baking soda and water. Let it sit on the stain for a few minutes, then scrub it away with a toothbrush.

Entertain kids with homemade crafts and toys. Instead of using store-bought toys, help kids appreciate the beauty of reusing something old to make it fun and new. Tell kids to get creative and come up with their own ideas for how to make something around the house into a toy. Here are a few ideas:
Build a birdhouse or make a bird feeder to encourage the local bird population, which plays an important role in every ecosystem.

Turn used guitar strings into a centerpiece.

Make a basket from an old orange juice carton.

Convert an old floppy disk into a Starship Enterprise.

Wear a skirt made out of old umbrellas.

Sell or donate used items instead of throwing them away. Hold a garage sale, donate, or reuse household items. Many of us take up a lot of natural resources with stuff we don’t really need, want or use. Ironically, there’s a still lot of people who don’t have basic necessities. Plus, a lot of your unwanted clutter can be used by local charities to resell for much-needed cash.
Another idea is to hold a clothing swap. This can be a fun, free way for friends, relatives, co-workers, neighbors, and the like to find new wardrobe finds. (You can combine with an Earth Day lunch or dinner, too!)

Learn about product exchange communities like Freecycle and other alternatives.

Start a compost bin.[13] Instead of throwing out your food scraps, turn them into the soil for your garden. This process is called composting. Banana peels, egg shells, carrot tops and avocado skins don’t belong in the trash, where they’ll just end up in a landfill. To start composting,
Collect all of your food scraps (except for meat and dairy products) in a closed bin.

Add leaves, sticks, grass clippings and other organic items to the mix.

Turn the mixture every few days using a pitchfork.

The compost will break down into a rich, brown soil after several months of turning.

EditSaving Energy and Water
Consider buying a carbon offset. This is designed to make up for the greenhouse gas emissions you create on the other 364 days of the year.[14] Carbon offsets fund reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through projects such as wind farms, that displaces energy from fossil fuels.

Ride your bike. Use your bicycle or other forms of human powered transportation to commute to work or school and to run errands. This is a lot more environmentally friendly than relying on cars to get wherever you’re going.
If your school or work is too far to bike, look for a form of public transportation you can take. A bus, train or shuttle is better for the environment than driving alone in your car.

Or consider carpooling with a few friends who are going in the same direction.

Conserve water in your house. Do you tend to use more water than you need while going about your daily chores and business? There are little things you can do that make a big difference in how much water you use. Plus, conserving water will keep your water bill down.[15] Try adopting these habits:
While brushing your teeth or washing your hands, turn the water off when not in use. Turn the water off when you are brushing.

If you are washing your hands, turn the water off when you are scrubbing your hands with soap.

Take shorter showers every day from Earth Day on.

Install a greywater system in your home. Recycle water from the house for the garden.

Wash your car using a bucket rather than the hose. Drive the car onto the grass for cleaning, so that the water you do use also waters the grass.

Save electricity. It’s one of the first ways many of us are taught to be environmentally friendly, yet we all need help remembering how important it is to do things like turn off the lights when you leave the room. There are many ways you can save more electricity on a daily basis:[16]
Vow to use less air conditioning in the summer, and less heat in the winter.

Turn off all appliances and electronics when you aren’t using them.

Use energy-saving light bulbs or install skylights on your house’s roof. You could also make mason jar luminaries as well.

Switch to low-energy appliances.

Search the Internet for many more ideas. Earth Day is celebrated in many different ways. An excellent way to find more information is to surf the internet and look at what other people have done. There is so much there that it cannot be replicated here!

Simple things, such as asking young children to use less paper to dry their hands or asking colleagues to turn the lights off when they leave the office at night are great “small starters” to encourage bigger changes. You don’t need to feel that you haven’t time to contribute; every little changed habit that benefits the environment adds up, and you are setting a good example to others.

The other Earth Day is celebrated usually on March 21, which is the equinox for spring in the Northern Hemisphere and for autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. This Earth Day is supported by the United Nations, and the Japanese Peace Bell is rung at the New York United Nations to remind everyone of our place in the human family on our precious planet Earth. See International Earth Day Official Site for further information.

Celebrating World Oceans Day is another opportunity to show that you care for the health of our environment.

Promoting world peace is a strongly related goal for environmentalists. Peace means that nations can focus on environmental issues rather than on war. Celebrate International Day of Peace for a good start in this direction.

Cleaning up part of your local area can be a great way to celebrate Earth Day, but make sure all participants are properly attired or outfitted. Gloves are an absolute must, and if you are collecting litter, sticks with prongs for picking it up are useful. Warn participants to be careful of sticking their fingers into dark places where biting animals might reside and be careful of syringes and other dangerous items.

EditRelated wikiHows
Encourage Recycling at Work

Reduce Your Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Save Money on Gas

Choose the Most Important Organic Foods

Take Action to Reduce Global Warming

Create Urban Rainforests

EditQuick Summary
Cite error: tags exist, but no tag was found

Read More

Today in History for 22nd April 2019

Historical Events

1769 – Madame du Barry becomes King Louis XV’s “official” mistress
1838 – English steamship “Sirius” docks in NYC after crossing the Atlantic, first transatlantic steam passenger service
1969 – Joe Frazier KOs Dave Zyglewick in 1 for heavyweight boxing title
1994 – Schelto Patijn appointed Mayor of Amsterdam
2000 – The Big Number Change takes place in the United Kingdom
2006 – 243 people are injured in pro-democracy protest in Nepal after Nepali security forces open fire on protesters against King Gyanendra.

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1891 – Harold Jeffreys, English astronomer (d. 1989)
1923 – Bettie Page, American pinup model considered the ‘Queen of Pinups’ and the ‘Dark Angel’, born in Nashville, Tennessee (d. 2008)
1953 – Steve Bond, Haifa Israel, actor (General Hospital, To Die For)
1969 – Bobby Olive, NFL wide receiver (Indianapolis Colts)
1974 – Georgia Goettmann, model (Cosmo-May 1995)
1975 – Stijn Haeldermans, Belgian soccer player (MVV)

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1864 – Joseph Gilbert Totten, US Union general-major, dies at 76
1941 – Arthur Briscoe, cricketer (South African batsman in 2 Tests), dies
1951 – Stanley Ridges, actor (possessed, Sgt York, Mr Ace), dies at 59
1978 – Will Geer [William Aughe Ghere], American actor (Salt of the Earth, The Waltons), dies at 76
1983 – Earl “Fatha” Hines, American jazz pianist and bandleader (Deep Forest), dies at 79
1994 – Schmidt Hans Burkhardt, artist, dies at 89

More Famous Deaths »

Read More

How to Clean a Typewriter

Typewriters aren’t just cherished devices from the past! They are still used and loved by generations both young and old. If your typewriter is an antique or used regularly, chances are it needs a good clean. Clear out all the dust first with a vacuum, a small paintbrush, and a can of compressed air. Remove dirt and grime with a damp cloth and white vinegar. Deep-clean your typewriter by unsticking sticky keys and oiling the mechanisms to keep it running smoothly. Soon your typewriter will be shiny, glossy, and looking as good as can be!

EditClearing Dust
Place the typewriter on sheets of newspaper. Lay 3-4 sheets of newspaper flat on your work surface. Unlatch the carrying case and lift the typewriter onto the newspaper. This protects your work surface from any dust, dirt, or products that may drip during the cleaning process. It also makes cleaning up your work surface easier.[1]
Alternatively, place the typewriter on an old sheet or towel.

Not all typewriters have a carrying case.

How often you need to dust your typewriter depends on how dirty it is and how often it’s used. If you use your typewriter daily, aim for once every 2-3 weeks.

Use a vacuum and a paintbrush to remove dust from the exterior. Getting rid of dust is one of the largest tasks of cleaning a typewriter. Hold the vacuum cleaner extension arm directly above the machine and run the paintbrush over the area. Work your way around the machine with the paintbrush and vacuum cleaner to free up and remove the dust from all of the surfaces, key faces, and crevices.[2]
You can find a variety of small paintbrushes at craft stores. Pick one with very soft bristles.

Alternatively, you can use a toothbrush instead of a paintbrush. However, only use a toothbrush on modern typewriters and not antiques. This is because the bristles may be too rough, which can cause paint to flake off older machines. Try to use a toothbrush labeled “very soft” if possible.

Vacuum underneath the typewriter to remove dust from inside the machine. Lift the typewriter and rest it on its back. Use the same process of freeing the dust with the paintbrush and removing it with the vacuum cleaner. Move the carriage from side to side so that more of the inner workings are exposed. Remove the dust from these areas too.[3]
Rest the typewriter back in its proper position once you have vacuumed underneath.

Use a can of compressed air to dislodge any difficult to reach dust. Compressed air is the best way to reach dust that couldn’t be removed with the vacuum cleaner and paintbrush. Purchase a can of compressed air from a department or home improvement store and follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully. Aim the nozzle directly above the area you want to reach, such as the keys, and hold down the trigger to dislodge the dust.[4]

EditRemoving Dirt and Grime
Wipe down the typewriter exterior with a damp cloth. Warm water and a drop of dish detergent are great for removing years of built-up grime. Simply add a drop of dish detergent to a cleaning cloth and wet the cloth very lightly with warm water. Gently wipe all surfaces of the typewriter with the cloth.[5]
Be very careful if you have an antique typewriter, as the labels can come off easily.

It’s best to clean the typewriter whenever you notice dirt building up to help keep it in good condition. If you use the typewriter daily, remove the dirt and grime at least once per month.

Dry the typewriter with a cloth. Use a dry cleaning cloth to wipe all areas of the typewriter that you cleaned with warm water and detergent. Make sure that the typewriter is completely dry.[6]
This prevents the typewriter from rusting.

Use white vinegar to clean any glass panels. Not all typewriters have glass panels on the side, but if yours does, then white vinegar is a great cleaning solution! Pour white vinegar into a spray bottle and lightly spray the glass panels. Then rub the glass panels with a cleaning cloth to get a shiny, glossy look.[7]
Be careful to only get vinegar on the glass panels and not on other parts. This is because typewriters tend to be very delicate and the vinegar may lift worn paint.

Clean the typewriter key faces with white vinegar and cotton swabs. Lightly dampen a cotton swab with white vinegar and gently rub each key face to remove dirt and grime. Replace the cotton swab as it gets dirty.[8]
Don’t scrub the key faces too harshly, as the paint may lift off.

Clean the carrying case if the typewriter has one. The typewriter will only be as clean as the carrying case! It’s easy for dirt and dust to build up in the case, so use a vacuum cleaner to remove as much as possible. Wipe down the inside and outside of the case with a damp cloth and then dry it fully with another cloth.[9]
Don’t put your typewriter back inside the case until they are both fully dry, as otherwise, mold and rust can form.

Store the typewriter in the carrying case whenever it’s not in use. The easiest way to keep a typewriter clean is to prevent dust from building up in the first place. Make a habit of putting your typewriter away whenever it’s not in use so that it’s protected from dust and spilled food and beverages.[10]
If your typewriter doesn’t have a carrying case, place a clean drape cloth over it for protection.

EditDeep-Cleaning the Machine
Unstick sticky keys with rubbing alcohol. Dip a toothbrush or small paintbrush in rubbing alcohol. Brush the rubbing alcohol over the metal key mechanisms and over any metal joints. If any key is particularly sticky, press down on the key face to expose that particular key mechanism. Scrub all sides of the key mechanism with the brush and rubbing alcohol to get it running smoothly again.[11]
When scrubbing the key mechanisms, try to scrub in between each one as much as possible.

The key mechanisms are visible at the front of the machine, just below the platen. This is the rubber roller that supports the paper in the typewriter.

Cotton tips (which are the same as cotton swabs) can also be useful if a toothbrush or paintbrush isn’t effective.

You shouldn’t need to deep-clean your typewriter very often, as it typically only needs to be deep-cleaned if you notice a problem starting. Aim to deep-clean your typewriter once every 3-4 months if you use it daily.

Apply a firearm or machinery oil to the main internal mechanisms. A small amount of oil can make a huge difference in helping your typewriter run smoothly! Lift up the typewriter and rest it on its back. Spray a tiny amount of oil over the key mechanisms that you cleaned and over any pivotal joints. Immediately wipe any excess oil away using a clean cloth so that it doesn’t clog up the joints.[12]
Only oil the internal mechanisms once you have removed the dust with a vacuum cleaner first.

The internal mechanisms of typewriters can look complicated. The easiest way to find the pivotal joints is to hold down the space bar, backspace key, and shift key individually, and watch from underneath to see which joints move.

Clean the rubber platen with lacquer thinner if it has difficulty feeding. Pour a small amount of lacquer thinner onto a cleaning cloth. Rub the lacquer thinner over the platen and turn it as you work so that you reach all sides. You may need to swap the cleaning cloth halfway through if the platen is especially dirty.[13]
The lacquer thinner removes the ink and grease from the platen, which helps it to run smoothly.

Avoid using even mild cleaners on antique typewriters, as it is common for the paint to chip away.[14]
If your typewriter is very old or if you don’t feel confident cleaning it yourself, get it professionally cleaned. Take it to a typewriter cleaning service if you can find one or to a professional antique cleaner.

EditThings You’ll Need
EditClearing Dust
Newspaper, sheet, or towel

Vacuum cleaner

Paintbrush or toothbrush

Can of compressed air

EditRemoving Dirt and Grime
Cleaning cloths

Dish detergent

White vinegar

Spray bottle

Cotton swabs

Carry case

EditDeep-Cleaning the Machine
Rubbing alcohol

Toothbrush or small paintbrush

Firearm or machinery oil

Cleaning cloths

Lacquer thinner

Cite error: tags exist, but no tag was found

Read More