Mark 50th anniversary of Earth Day Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Apr. 23, 2020 -- 12:00 AM

This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day founded by Wisconsin’s own Senator Gaylord Nelson.

Earth Day is on April 22, but I think we can observe it throughout the month of April or all year for that matter. In this year of the coronavirus pandemic, group activities may not be appropriate now. But there are plenty of ways to mark the anniversary, especially for children and parents-turned-at-home-educators.

Here are some suggestions I found on the Houston Chronicle website (

• Attend — or host — a virtual teach-in: Earth Day Network’s Lindsay Steinberg suggests youth livestream a nature walk or backyard exploration. They can also ask viewers to find what species live in their backyard and explore how they can protect local habitats.

• Pick up litter: Grab a bag and some gloves and spend some time picking up trash around your neighborhood. This is a simple way to empower budding environmentalists, or anyone who cares for a cleaner neighborhood or community. To make a bigger impact, youth could write down what kinds of trash they pick up and where. Analyze the data together to pinpoint patterns and explore solutions to stop the trash at the source.

• Make signs for the home: Sometimes we just need a little reminder to help us change our habits. For instance, have youth make a sign reminding family members to turn off the lights and tack it up next to the switch.

• Make a plan to cut down on plastic pollution: Earth Day Network suggests sending your child on an environmentally conscious quest to audit your plastic use at home by counting how many plastic containers, wraps, bottles, and bags you purchase. Encourage them to research more sustainable products.

• Plant a tree: Earth Day Network has a goal of planting 7.8 billion trees — one tree for every person on earth — in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.