The weather is warming, flowers are blooming and people all over the state are gearing up to give back to Mother Nature this month in celebration of Earth Day and Arbor Day.
Here are 10 ways you can honor the Earth right here in New Jersey this month!
1. Attend an Earth Day Event
From rain barrel-building workshops and stream cleanups to town fairs and 5Ks—there are fun and engaging community-building events happening all over the state.
A hefty list of Earthy events is included on the state Department of Environmental Protection’s website, which includes a variety of activities happening now through the end of May.
2. “Sweep” the Beach
Sign up to join thousands of others in Clean Ocean Action’s bi-annual Beach Sweeps event happening April 30. Held every fall and spring, the event draws approximately 7,000 volunteers who head out to clean up beaches from Sandy Hook down to Cape May.
Anyone can sign up—see a list of locations near you here.
3. Take a Pledge
Take a pledge with friends, family members or co-workers to make eco-friendly improvements a part of your everyday life. Taking part in a pledge together might help strengthen your relationship and keep you both in check when it comes to your Earthly promises!
With family: Pledge to not leave the water running while brushing your teeth.
With friends: Pledge to stop buying plastic water bottles. Instead invest in a reusable water bottle like this BPA-free glass Ello Bottle (a personal favorite of mine and my friends).
With co-workers: Dine-in at local restaurants during lunch rather than ordering take out.
4. Reduce Your Footprint
Have you ever wondered how many Earths it would take to support your lifestyle? Well, now you can find out by using a footprint calculator like this one designed by the nonprofit Global Footprint Network.
You might think you’re environmentally savvy, but this calculator shows that there is always room for improvement, so figure out your impact and then, reduce it!
5. Walk or Ride To Work
The weather is warming up, so if you live within close proximity to your place of work, try walking or biking at least once a week throughout the spring and summer. Besides the health benefits, walking and biking helps to reduce your carbon footprint.
6. Plant (Native) Plants
Both Earth Day and Arbor Day fall in April, so tackle both in one fell swoop by planting a native tree or plant in your backyard. With invasive plant species proving to be a major issue in the state, it’s important to make sure you look into purchasing native species.
Check out a list of native plants compiled by the Native Plant Society of New Jersey, visit a store where native plants are sold or attend an event like the upcoming Native Plant Sale and Nature Trail Unveiling to be held on Long Beach Island on April 16.
7. Reconnect With the Great Outdoors
New Jersey is the Garden State after all, so make sure to aside time in your busy schedule to reconnect with the land right in your own backyard. Whether it’s planning to bike a new trail or picnicking in one of New Jersey’s 11 National Parks, try to plan a date with Mother Nature this month.
Need an intro to hiking? Check out some of the most popular hikes in each region of New Jersey.
8. Support a Conservation Group
There are dozens of conservation groups located throughout the state that rely on the help of volunteers and donated funds to support their efforts.
Show your support by becoming a member, signing up for a volunteer opportunity or by giving green to help support green efforts.
9. However Small, Do Your Part
You don’t have to attend every Earth Day event in the state to have an impact. Simply bringing a plastic bag with you to throw away trash that you come across on your evening walk can make a difference.
Speaking of plastic bags—stopping collecting them! Try bringing reusable bags when you go shopping at the local farmer’s market or grocery store. Also, be proactive when ordering food and tell the cashier or waiter that you don’t need a take-out bag.
10. Share this story!
One of the best ways to help the Earth is through educating and spreading the word about green initiatives. Share this story and an idea or two of your own about how to give back to the Earth this month.
Also, remember to tag us in any of your Earth Day activity photos on Instagram @NJMonthly!Click here to leave a comment