An estimated 1 billion people in nearly 200 countries take part through civic and political action events on Earth Day, April 22. This movement started in 1970 with Gaylord Nelson, a senator and former Wisconsin governor, whose efforts also contributed to the creation of the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and the Environmental Protection Act.
The Earth Day Network chose plastic as this year’s theme. According to EDN, 300 million tons of plastic are produced every year in the form of bottles, packages, bags and other products, but only 10 percent of that is recycled and reused.
What happens to the rest? “Best-case” scenario, it ends up in landfills. Much of it, however, is scattered as litter that leaches chemicals into soil and water.
An easy way to celebrate Earth Day this year is by stocking up on reusable shopping bags (and not forgetting them at home!) and minimizing use of disposable everything. Here are some ideas for getting out of the house and showing your love for Mother Earth.
Teach kids environmental appreciation through a fun outdoor adventure.
Go to a park. Earth Day is one of the 12 times a year when you don’t need a Discover Pass to visit the state parks. In addition to the roughly half-dozen state parks, West Sound has several dozen local and county parks.
Visit IslandWood on Bainbridge Island for Afternoon on the Trails, an open trail walk event that includes hiking in the 255-acre woods and a special family activity. islandwood.org/event/afternoon-trails-2
Plant a tree
While Arbor Day is a separate movement, it happens to fall in April and its mission is apropos. The Gig Harbor Arbor Day Organization sponsors an annual event at the Gig Harbor Civic Center that includes interactive environmental booths, kids activities and even live entertainment. All visitors to the free event — 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 28 — receive a free tree to plant. gigharborarbor.org
Roll up your sleeves
Join a work party at one of the local parks to help prepare them for the season and maintain them for public use: Newberry Heritage Park in Silverdale on Saturday, April 21, or Silverdale Dog Park on Saturday, April 28, are some options. kitsapgov.com (check events calendar)
Turn your trash into wearable treasures, or come see the ingenuity of other “trash designers.” You never know what the models will be wearing at the popular Trashion Show at IslandWood — anything from discarded juice pouches to corks can be turned into fashions. Preregistration is required for the April 29 show; call for designers ends on March 15.