Did you know that Earth Day is the largest secular observance in the world? This year, several chapters of the American Humanist Association are celebrating Earth Day by participating in direct action and by reminding individuals about the importance of protecting our environment.
For the second year in a row, the Central New York (CNY) Humanists and Secular and Social CNY Families will participate in the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency’s county-wide Earth Day Litter Cleanup, happening tomorrow, April 23 . Adults will rake and pick up trash while the kids, using big wooden “trash pickers,” will clear the park of sticks and trash. The best part of the event is that the City of Syracuse will provide the tools and bags and will even come and collect the trash after the event.
Humanists Doing Good of Grand Junction, Colorado, got an early start on Earth Day this year by going out on April 10 to a Colorado Riverfront Trail and cleaning up trash, dog waste, and tires from the area. Throughout their clean-up, members of the group we were thanked by numerous people who were walking and fishing along the trail. The humanist volunteers even received an unexpected donation from a passerby who appreciated their actions.
The Omaha Metro Area Humanist Association (OMAHA) ran a booth for the second year in a row at their city’s Earth Day event on April 16 in Elmwood Park, which is the city’s largest ecological showcase. In an effort to show individuals how they can easily help the planet and conserve energy resources, OMAHA members showed visitors how to create seed pots from old newspapers. They gave individuals the option to “make their seed pot on the spot” or handed them take-home instructions if they wanted to complete the task at home. Check out the helpful video they made that walks you through the process!
This Saturday, April 23, Humanists Doing Good from Grand Junction, Colorado, and the Humanist Forum from South Bend, Indiana, are having booths at their local Earth Day and Arbor Fest, respectively. Humanists Doing Good will distribute iris plants to individuals who make donations to their group.
The Humanists of Minnesota are celebrating Earth Day by enjoying the beautiful Kroening Interpretive Center and the surrounding North Mississippi Regional Park. At this family-friendly event, individuals will learn how to appreciate local birds, trees, and water with the help of the center’s backpack kits. At the end of the day, there will be an opportunity to participate in an “Earth Day Photo Challenge.”
One humanist group has even designed a unique month-long experiment to commemorate Earth Day. The Humanist Community of the Space Coast in Florida decided to bring attention to the impact of overconsumption of meat on the environment. Members could choose to participate in the “Veggie Challenge” which began on March 20, 2016 (Spring Equinox), and lasts until Earth Day, today. The Veggie Challenge was “a month-long, self-imposed fast, where meat-eating members tally up their meatless days and meals in an attempt to limit the overall amount of meat consumed during the challenge.” The Humanist Community of the Space Coast saw this challenge as an opportunity “to engage their vegan and vegetarian members and have them share valuable information about how to maintain a healthy diet without meat” as well as a learning experience for meat-eating members. This coming Sunday they will host an Earth Day picnic and announce the winner of the Veggie Challenge.
How do you plan to celebrate Earth Day? Please let us know in the comments below.