This year we've had to cancel our annual celebration at Wood Lake, our Adopt-A-Park group park clean-ups, and many other Earth Day events, but we will be sharing a whole host of activities and resources that you can use and do from the comfort of your own home or backyard!
Spending more time at home can be a chance to try adopting new environmental habits. Being productive can help maintain a sense of normalcy and making successful changes can be a source of positivity. Do what you can, but also be kind to yourself.
Friday, April 24th: TREES & CARBON
- Check out Tree Trust, an organization that teaches job skills to young people while reforesting the Twin Cities.
- Did you know that more than 30,000 tree species (that's over half of all species!) each exist in a single country? More tree fun facts here!
- Here are 30+ tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint – from minimal effort to huge changes, there’s something for everyone!
- Calculate your carbon footprint. How can you reduce your business-as-usual footprint? Extra challenge: calculate using your behaviors before COVID-19 and now. How big is the difference?
- Shop local. Reduce the transportation emissions associated with your purchases, especially food.
- Change your search engine to Ecosia – it’s as effective as others and you help plant trees by using it!
Earth Day Extra: Take a virtual tour of Yellowstone National Park and other national parks. The National Park Foundation also has virtual tours of historic sites, monuments, preserves, and more here!
Thursday, April 23rd: WATER
- Check out this Hennepin County brochure with 10 tips on how to help improve Richfield's water quality.
- Check out Blue Thumb’s website for local partner organizations, grants, and an interactive list of hundreds of plants for raingardens in MN.
- On 4/30, Blue Thumb is hosting a 2 hour online workshop on resilient yards and landscaping. Cost is $5.
- A common Earth Day activity: Do an outside clean-up on a smaller scale this year – like your own backyard or a walk around the block!
- Take this online quiz before checking out hundreds of ways to easily lower the amount of water you use.
- Adopt a storm drain! Storm drains flow directly into our lakes, rivers, and streams. Protect water quality and help prevent localized flooding by keeping storm drains clean of sediment, leaves, grass clippings, and litter.
Earth Day Extra: Watch a sustainability related documentary, like Before The Flood (free here). There are so many others available online, all about different topics – check out these 15!
Wednesday, April 22nd: ENERGY
- Home Energy Efficiency – Home Energy Squad is now offering FREE virtual visits with their experts!
- CEE’s Home Energy Hub (very comprehensive guide to easy improvements)
- Renewable energy options for residents with Xcel Energy
- Learn how to save money with your heating and cooling systems
- How many of these energy efficient practices do you already do? Challenge yourself to achieve 1 or 5 more!
- Line dry your clothes outside. The dryer is one of the most energy intensive appliances in a home!
- Switch out your old lightbulbs with LED ones, and get discounts from Xcel on them!
Earth Day Extra: Learn about the connections between the Climate Change & Coronavirus crises.
Tuesday, April 21st: WASTE
- For re-use: local Fix-it Clinics, Rethink Tailoring, iFixit (web resource)
- For responsible consumption:
- Check out local “Buy Nothing” Facebook groups
- Shop secondhand like at Arc in Richfield
- Visit zero waste stores like Tare Market
- 40 Ways to Waste Basically Less of Everything (Buzzfeed)
- For responsible disposal:
- Search an item to see how you should dispose of it with Hennepin County’s Green Disposal Guide
- Watch how recycling gets processed locally at Eureka Recycling
- Check out this interactive NPR feature on the ins and outs of plastic recycling
- Read Recycling while Social Distancing – Committing to Sustainability at Home
- Take inventory of the single-use items (coffee cups, napkins, paper towels, water bottles, straws, etc) in your household/daily life. Plan out how to transition to reusables, like metal water bottles or cloth napkins.
- Fix something instead of throwing it away. If you don’t have the skills, look up tutorials online or find a local business that can help! Check out these five basic hand stitches for repairing your clothes or try making reusable bags, no-sew bags from T-shirts, napkins, or utensil holders.
- National Geographic Recycle Roundup game
- Environmental ed and recycling lesson plans/activities for grades preK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 from Republic Services
Earth Day Extra: Make an upcycled craft (projects for all ages and skill levels) – coasters, wall décor, pillows, and more!
Monday, April 20th: FOOD
- Learn how to best store your perishables and cook aging groceries with Save The Food.
- Recipes to stretch and use up old, wrinkled produce. These are actually helpful and unique - not just “freeze everything”!
- Plan and plant a garden of plants, flowers, and food! Check with your local garden store to see if they have online ordering options.
- Have you heard of Meatless Monday? Cook an intentionally meatless meal or a whole day’s worth if that’s more of a challenge! If you need inspiration, look at these recipe ideas.
- Keep your food waste out of the trash and sign up to participate in Richfield’s Organics Drop-off Program.
Earth Day Extra: Think Global, Act Local article: MN & Germany work together on sustainability efforts.