In a time when we’re relying heavily on technology and electronic entertainment to get us through the COVID-19 isolation, turning off electronics and power for 1 hour (or the whole day) has much more meaning this time around.

Many of us during isolation are already thinking about what is truly important in life, what we are doing with our lives and what purpose we have on this planet. Many more people are taking notice to the impact we are having on this planet and seeing the results of stopping certain actions like driving fossil fuel vehicles.

While I understand the safety recommendations issued to the public, most of us are aware that getting outside in nature (while staying away from people) is what is keeping us sane. So while keeping our social distancing measures in place there are actually a lot

15 Outdoor Earth Day 2020 Activities

Earth Day 2020 Activities
  1. Bike rides.
  2. Hiking through forests or mountain sides.
  3. Plant trees, lots of them (many home improvement centers are still open which carry plants and trees).
  4. Donate to an organization like the Arbor Day Foundation or #teamtrees who plants millions of trees.
  5. Create a home garden or food garden.
  6. Create an accountable action plan for the environment to do when the pandemic is over.
  7. Foraging for berries or other foods.
  8. Playing Frisbee or other outdoor games with your quarantine buddy.
  9. Swimming.
  10. Outdoor yoga or workouts.
  11. Outdoor meditation.
  12. Create something environmentally meaningful like Eco Art, zero waste kits or and environmental message for all to see.
  13. Picnics in Nature in combination with any of these activities.
  14. Up-cycling materials around the house to make other useful things like pillows, blankets or aprons (for all that quarantine cooking). Turn this one into a picnic activity.
  15. Outdoor Photography.

While picking up the large amounts of trash that have come from this pandemic isn’t quite safe to do right now (even with gloves and face masks) it would be safer to make note of the pollution areas you can find. This way when the pandemic is over we can safely and responsibly clean up the mess that our species is making.

While your doing your outdoor activities on Earth Day 2020 make a conscious effort to notice the trash that you find around your city or town. Here in Vancouver, BC, I’m noticing some plastic gloves, face masks, plastic bags and plastic sanitizer bottles in random areas where this wasn’t an issue before.

We either need to be more conscious of what it is we are doing with the safety items like gloves, masks and packaging required to get through our isolation or hold ourselves accountable to clean up our collective trash pollution when this pandemic is over. The general rules we all follow in order to take care of our planet don’t get thrown out simply because there is an outbreak. This is in reference to the recent actions of the EPA where they repealed laws protecting the environment so that corporations could skirt procedures.

We don’t repeal environmentally responsible laws/rules (that are in place for a reason) because the public is looking the other way right now. In the same way we don’t dump our trash around the neighborhood at the expense of our neighbors. In response to the pandemic a reusable shopping bags ban has taken place in many areas around the world and plastic bag usage has gone up exponentially. If were going to use plastic bags (since we don’t have much of a choice) we have to make sure these bags get recycled and properly disposed of when we’re done using them.

Regardless of what happens in society and exceptional rules we have to follow it is our responsibility as humans to take care of the planet we live on, always. So this Earth Day lets hold each other (and government organizations like the EPA) accountable. Make notes of what places we can clean up when its safe to do so and pay attention to laws that have to be put back in place. Then take action. We can get through a global heath crisis and not lose sight of protecting Earth from the damage we cause. Ironically, if we held the protection of the Earth and it’s creatures above our own selfish desires and greed… the COVID-19 outbreak may have never happened. Its as if Earth and Nature have built in mechanisms for when a species “overreaches” and has lost it’s connection to Nature. That sounds a lot like the path that humanity was on before our actions were corrected by these mechanisms. But I digress.

There’s a pandemic but the reason we will get through this is because we get through it together. If humanity can come together to stop a deadly virus, we can come together to take care of our planet. Pollution and climate change, just like a deadly virus, affects everyone’s lives and health.

There was a post on social media that said something along the lines of

“we can’t go back to the way thing were, because the way things were is what got us here”.

Anonymous

That was a powerful message that put things into perspective. As we all take time to think about what is important to us, think about how important the planet and the environment is to our everyday lives. I for one am very grateful to live in a place that has a beautiful environment to provide clean air, clean water and a landscape where nature flourishes. Being able to walk outside and enjoy nature is something many of us take for granted. If we “go back to the way thing were” after this isolation lock down, the environment we enjoy and the many things it provides may not be around much longer. This is one of those moments in history where we should be listening to the thing that is warning us. Something that is bigger than all of us. Something that we are all a part of. Nature rarely gives second chances.

If there was a time where humanity can come out of the gates running and taking action collectively to make this planet a cleaner healthier place to live for generations to come, its now. Get ready. Because when this pandemic and isolation is over, I think the world is going to see a lot of change makers. You can be one of them.

Happy Earth Day 2020! Wishing you all health and safety.

Tags: