Earth Day has arrived; and in north Alabama, we find ourselves outside more, taking neighborhood walks (socially distant, of course), and watching flowers bloom.  

We have written about Earth Day before and explored its history. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and, perhaps appropriately, we are watching and learning how the Earth and its natural inhabitants react to a quieter, less mobile human population. Satellite imagery shows a dramatic reduction in pollution. Animals whose habitats have been taken over by development are beginning to emerge and roam new spaces. While no one wants to see the environment rebound at such a cost – at the expense of lives, jobs, mental health, and the economy – some scientists see this as a way for us to evaluate how sustainable our daily lives are. Transformation is more likely to occur if it’s fully understood and takes place during moments of widespread change. Undoubtedly, we are in that very moment.  

Sustainability works. It can have a large or small impact, depending on how each person approaches change. At Alabama Chanin, we have always advocated for a slower and sustainable way of living – and each of you has the opportunity to explore what that looks like for you. There is no better time. 

And for those who want to celebrate Earth Day in the time of COVID-19, there are organizations offering socially safe and virtual ways to help. NASA has created a site with information and activities for all age groups with the Earth Day 50th Anniversary Toolkit. The Earth Day Network, which oversees official activities, has organized a three-day livestream of digital events that include appearances from activists and celebrities. Visit their website for a schedule and more information. Other things you can do, if you are able:  

  • Spend time outside. Take a walk, go for a hike, or take a run in a safe place. Or simply open a window. Take in some fresh air and look up at the sky. 
  • Get a new house plant or work in your garden. It is time to plant a number of vegetables and transplant others. It always feels good to get your hands in the dirt.
  • Start a composting—there are both indoor and outdoor systems and methods to try. More people staying home means more food waste is created. Composting is a great way to create rich fertilizer sustainably and responsibly. 
  • Enjoy bird watching. For those who don’t know much about local wildlife, there will probably be more animals than ever to observe and learn about.  

Whatever you do, we urge you to think about what this change could mean for you, and for all of us, in the long run. Happy Earth Day. 

P.S.: Images from the lovely Rinne Allen, always capturing the natural world in beautiful and inspiring ways.  


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