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How to (Sustainably) Celebrate Earth Day

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UVA chapter.

It’s every trendy Instagram girl’s favorite “holiday”. The only day you get the excuse to post a photo dump of your artsy nature pics without being judged by the general population (ironic as I am obviously judging regardless). Earth Day is an important day to raise awareness and appreciation for our Earth that gives us everything we need to be present. Instead of posting a photo dump of pictures from your vacations this year for Earth Day, instead step outside and be present, raise awareness, and celebrate our Earth. 

Donate your clothes

An easy way to sustainably celebrate Earth Day this year is to spend the day packing up some clothes you don’t mind donating to be redistributed to other people who actually need your old clothes. This keeps clothes made by our Earth from going to the landfill and it also gives someone else access to clothing. 

Where should I donate my clothes?

The most ethical way to donate clothes would be to network in your community and see if there is actually anyone truly in need of some clothes currently. If not, your next best option would be to donate your clothes to a Goodwill or Salvation Army. 

There is an organization known as Free The Girls that accepts donations of old bras and redistributes them to survivors of sex trafficking, typically in South America. This is a wonderful opportunity to renew bras (which are very hard to keep from going to the landfill) and aid a sex-trafficking victim on the route to recovery. 

Go Clean Something (please)

There are many organizations that you can find locally that are hosting clean up events on Earth Day. However, the Great Global Cleanup is an organization that has registered clean up events globally, and you can even register your own! This is a great resource to find clean-ups, but to organize your own clean-up event. Not only is this reducing the amount of trash in our communities, but it is an amazing opportunity to meet new people. I highly recommend signing up for a group clean-up (it is easier to manage) and you can meet others! But if you’re not interested in going in a group, you can register an individual clean up. 

Read a book, watch a documentary, educate yourself!

Did you know that scientists are predicting the next mass extinction to occur in the next 200 years due to human activity? Probably not. I only recently learned this myself. 

I think a great way to celebrate Earth Day is to spend the day educating yourself on the reality of our environment, and the steps we need to take to limit the rate of climate change. The little era we had trying to ban straws and plastic was cute, but in reality, most environmental scientists can agree that that is only a small fraction of the problem. The biggest problem we have is the corporations, and their irresponsible use of plastic, harmful gases, and other detrimental products. Just 100 of all the companies in the world are responsible for 71% of the global greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. 

So, read up. I recommend getting a book on a technological device via Kindle (sustainability people). My biggest recommendation would be This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, by Naomi Klein, if you’re interested in corporations and climate. 

Or, get a group together and watch a documentary about the Earth (preferably outside if the weather is nice)! There’s at least ten Earth documentaries on Netflix. Go crazy, and hug a tree. 

UVA Contributer Account
Nikki is a fourth year and a Biology major at the University of Virginia. Her loves in life include reading, animals, and cookies! Writing is one of her creative outlets and she hopes you enjoy her articles as much as she enjoys writing them!