No Planet B: Celebrating Earth Day

April is a time to look outside and watch as thoughts of cold, blustery winter slip away, leading us toward burgeoning signs of spring. Every April we have the chance to celebrate Earth Day, which is a wonderful to time to remind us that if we don’t shape up, there is no Planet B option. This year, Earth Day falls on Saturday, April 22, 2023.

Earth Day is not one of those so-called “Hallmark Holidays”, but was instead started in 1970 as a day to honor the Earth. Honoring the Earth includes not only being thankful for the big, blue home we have, but also looking at ways we can protect the environment to keep this marble in space alive for years to come.

There are lots of great resources to check out if you are interested in more information on Earth Day. The website has information on not only the state of the Earth right now, but many suggestions for ways we can learn about helping and protecting the resources we have. There are so many things happening in the world today including drilling for oil, bees dying off at a heart wrenching pace, rainforests being demolished, out of control greenhouse gases, and sadly, so much more, and it can feel like there is no way out.

The good news is that while damaging things are happening all around us, there are ways we can help out. Remember, no matter how small an act, it is still an act of love for the Earth we call home. Some easy things we can do include planting trees or donating to places that can plant trees in bulk such as The Canopy Project, which helps replant trees all over the world to combat deforestation.

Another way to help out is saving bees and other natural pollinators. Michigan State University has wonderful resources that can help you create a pollinator attracting garden right in your own backyard. Pollinator gardens can attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other species that help spread pollen from plant to plant to encourage growth in healthy ecosystems.

If you are more of a “boots on the ground” person, there are some great events going on in our area on or near Earth Day including:

  • 52 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day from the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy which lists activities you can do and events in the area.
  • Visit the Earth Fair in St. Clair County for a fun weekend of Earth saving-activities. 
  • Join the Earth Day River Clean-up at Eliza Howell Park in Detroit on April 20, 2024. 
  • Michigan State University offers many classes and programs on gardening, pollinators, farming, and other earth-related topics. 

Canton Public Library also has many resources to help educate you, your friends and neighbors about ways we can add good to the world on Earth Day. Here are some great books to help get you started:

The Graphic Guide to Beekeeping – The author shares his beekeeping knowledge visually for those interested in learning about bees, bee culture, and beekeeping.

Grow a Living Wall – Make a beautiful, practical, environmentally-conscious garden, even in a small space. Grow up with a living wall!

Trash to Treasure – With easy step-by-step instructions, this book will help kids get creative and recycle and repurpose their trash into handmade treasures. All projects feature common everyday items to reuse in a fun new way. 

This Book is Not Garbage – Shares practical tips and project instructions for helping the environment by reducing waste, from avoiding straws and glitter to hosting a plastic-free birthday party.