By Charmaine Peters, Farm Director at Arden
It is officially April, which means people around the world are gearing up to celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd. The holiday is dedicated to raising awareness about environmental issues, advocating for sustainability and eco-friendly practices, and taking action to restore our planet.
As temperatures are getting warmer more consistently, Earth Day presents an opportunity for you to get some fresh air and connect with the planet. If you are interested in lending a green thumb and a helping hand this year, here are some easy ways to seed some change.
Participate in an Environmental Clean Up
Whether you live near the beach or even just a public park, environmental beautification efforts can have a major impact in your community and the world around you. If you’re looking to take direct action this Earth Day, consider organizing a neighborhood clean-up, or volunteering with local environmental groups at parks and nature preserves to keep our community looking clean and beautiful.
To further support the local ecosystem, help plant some trees. Community Greening, a regional non-profit is working with residents and organizations throughout Southeast Florida to improve the environment and transform urban green spaces. Their online calendar at www.CommunityGreening.org lists many free ways that one can get involved.
Support Local Conservation Efforts
There are many organizations that support environmental and wildlife conservation in Wellington. Take advantage of your Saturday by visiting one of the many nature preserves in the area. The Wellington Environmental Preserve offers unique trails through a rainwater storage area; Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Reserve is one of the largest urban wildlife refuges in the country, spanning more than 145,000 acres; and the Peaceful Waters Sanctuary is a bird lover’s dream with its 1,500 feet of elevated boardwalks.
Organize an E-Waste Recycling Drive
If you have any old electronic devices, an e-waste recycling drive should be a stop on your Earth Day itinerary. These drives help collect and recycle electronic waste, like old computers, broken cell phones, TVs and other electronics that you no longer use, which may contain materials that are hazardous to the environment if not disposed of properly. The waste is collected and taken to a specialized facility to be broken down and repurposed.
If you can’t find a drive near you, you can organize your own collection site and encourage your community to responsibly dispose of their own electronics. Partner with local electronics stores and recycling centers to make sure the items are properly recycled.
Earth Day is an opportunity to bring awareness to the many ways we can keep our planet healthy, but protecting the environment and promoting sustainability is something we can and should do every day. Pick a place to start, enlist a few friends, and keep it going. Little efforts made consistently over time add up and are sure to create a greener, more beautiful, local landscape.
Charmaine Peters is the Farm Director at Arden, South Florida’s award-winning Agrihood community.