Whether you’ve never heard of Earth Day before, or you’re keeping all of your waste for the year in a single jar, everyone can do their bit to help our planet. Earth Day takes place this year on the 21st of April and, as ever, New York City has a whole host of different ways to get involved. This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the event, so there’s more reason than ever to find out what all the fuss is about. From organized events to a full do-it-yourself day, you can make a pledge to yourself to play your part in making our planet a happier place this April.
The series of webinars organized by the New York Botanical Gardens will leave you feeling more connected to the Earth than ever before.
The New York Botanical Garden is one of the places that truly exudes the spirit of New York. As they’re asking people not to visit the garden in person this Earth Day, they have organized a series of webinars that anyone can view from home. One of the most exciting ones will be presented by Daniel Atha, the Director of Conservation Outreach at the NYBG. His talk will center on how we can all work together to record and document the plants around us. Using tools such as iNaturalist and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, a project called the New York City EcoFlora project has been founded. This project aims to collate data on all of the flora that can be found across the city, and the most exciting part is that you can help out. In order to join in on this fascinating webinar, all you need to do is register your interest on the website. You could end up helping out in one of the biggest plant data collecting efforts of all time!
Once you’ve finished the NYBG webinar, you might be feeling like escaping the house for a bit and getting immersed in all of that nature you’ve just been learning about. Well, taking your bike out for a ride instead of driving is a brilliant way of lessening your carbon footprint. Whether you’re working as part of a company, or just on your own, making changes to your mode of transport is great for both your own health and the planet. Leading companies in the iGaming sector have been participating actively in Earth Day for years, from installing secure parking for employee’s bicycles alongside their electric car charging ports, to multi-year campaigns to end plastic pollution worldwide. Small changes can have enormous positive consequences. If you’d love to make use of all of those bicycle parking spaces, but don’t have a bicycle then don’t panic, walking is great too! On Earth Day itself, a 5-kilometer walking tour of the city has been planned by the Earth Day 5k Green Tour. You’re invited to walk around the West Village and Chelsea districts and you’ll even get an eco-friendly lunch; no bike necessary.
For those who really want to tackle the issue of sustainability physically, there’s no better way than getting your hands dirty. On Saturday 17th of April, you can join a team of volunteers to help clean up the Clay Pit Ponds State Park. You’ll be doing plenty of litter picking and a little weed clearing to ensure that the park ends up clean and green. You’re encouraged to bring gloves that you can work in, to keep your hands safe from any thorny plants. Those who bring their own trash pickers will earn extra brownie points, but those who don’t will be lent one by the team. This clean-up effort is only a small one, so spaces are limited and must be booked in advance, but for those who don’t secure a spot, the Pitch in for Parks initiative organizes frequent litter picks around all of the city’s parks. The other option, of course, is to organize your own local litter pick. Whilst tackling issues like climate change and plant biodiversity is important, cultivating a sense of pride in your surroundings can be a brilliant way to galvanize enthusiasm from your friends and neighbors. The only way that Earth Day can continue to make such great changes is if we continue to inspire people to love the world around them.