Blog > Earth Day 2021

Posted April 8, 2021

Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin proposed in 1969 to have annual national “teach-ins.” Patterned after the 1960’s Vietnam War teach-ins, they were a forum to promote awareness of our growing ecological crisis. About twenty million Americans nationwide participated in the first Earth Day in 1970, and today it engages close to a billion people in over 190 countries around the world, according to¹  It has become a truly international day, and fifty-one years later it’s still as relevant as ever.

Here are some ways you can help protect the environment and promote conservation: 

  • Whatever type of shopping bag you use, reuse it as many times as possible.²
  • Instead of buying water in plastic bottles, invest in a reusable water bottle, preferably stainless steel rather than plastic. 
  • Buy household products and groceries that come in recyclable containers. 
  • Plant a garden. Take a gardening class or get some gardening books or DVDs at the library and learn to garden without chemicals. Use plants that are native and/or drought-resistant that will need less water.
  • Learn how to compost. Compost uses up yard waste as well as vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, etc., which provide organic matter that enriches the soil. 
  • Plant a tree to keep your house cooler in summer, add oxygen to the air, absorb carbon dioxide, and benefit wildlife. North Carolina State University found that a single large tree can produce enough oxygen for one day for up to four people.³ The U.S. Forest Service stated that trees in Chicago remove more than 18,000 tons of air pollution each year.⁴
  • Install a rain barrel to collect rainwater from the downspout to water your flowers and garden. The sump hose out on your lawn can do more than water your lawn: collect it in a pail and water your garden with it, too.  
  • Use adjustable sprinklers, if you use a water sprinkler, to direct the water to where it is needed and prevent wasting of water.
  • The time of day that you water makes a difference: times of least sunlight allow more water to soak in and less to evaporate.
  • Install water-saving faucets, toilets, and showerheads as well as energy-saving appliances and LED bulbs in your home. 
  • Take shorter showers, and don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing dishes.
  • Instead of throwing out items you no longer need, donate them to a charitable organization that will either resell them to benefit others or give them to people in need. 

Don’t Forget About Our Earth Day 2021 Event
Thursday, April 22
The Library has prepared some Earth Day curbside kits with seeds and information on how YOU can do your part everyday to help with our environment. Bags will be available while supplies last. Please call the library for pick up at 708-748-4431.

Sources and Further Information:

¹Earth Day

²”Sustainable Shopping–Which Bag is Best?” (National Geographic)

³“Trees of Strength.” (North Carolina State University)

⁴“Benefits of Trees.” U.S. Forest Service