Ok, so it’s been cold and rainy and just not very … well, spring-like lately. Regardless, it is spring and with the new season comes Earth Day – a good a reason as any we can think of to expend some TLC on this poor overused, abused and often ignored planet. You know, the same one that gives us the Gay Head cliffs, our beautiful sand beaches, and our crystal clear summer waters. Take the time this April (and every month of the year) to appreciate how lucky we are to have an Island as beautiful as the one we do, and give back to keep her that way for generations to come.
1. Beach Cleanup
Traditionally, the Vineyard Conservation Society organizes beach clean-up brigades on or around Earth Day which this year falls on Sunday, April 22. On Saturday, April 21, join up with the group of your choice or grab a recyclable bag and head out on your own or with friends. Assign each person a specific type of trash, paper, glass, metal and instantly sort your stash for later recycling. View this years schedule>
2. Go Green at Home
Love to shop? Honor Mother Earth by doing an inventory then replacing non eco-friendly products and routines with green alternatives. Beyond the obvious cleaning products, paper and plastic goods, consider acquiring a composter, setting up a home recycle area and changing out all your lightbulbs.
3. Let Go of Your Lawn
Invite friends over and make it a replanting party. Consider relinquishing some of your yard to nature, encouraging native plants or landscaping with self-tending ground cover or native grasses. Less lawn means less fertilizer leaching into the groundwater, less gasoline consumption in mowers, reduced water consumption and a more attractive environment for birds and other wildlife.
4. Bike , Walk or Bus to Work
You might find that the exercise is just what you need to get yourself energized and focused on the day ahead!
5. Plant a tree
Since mature trees can absorb roughly 48 pounds of CO2 a year and in turn release enough oxygen to sustain two human being, planting a tree on your property is a positive and ongoing ‘give-back’ to the environment. Stop by any of the Island’s nurseries for expert advice on the best tree for your property.
6. Work for Wildlife at Felix Neck
With the summer season so close at hand it’s all hands on deck at Felix Neck! Throughout the summer the Sanctuary offers all sorts of hands-on projects including tending the butterfly garden, rejuvenating the Sanctuary’s picnic tables and taming the wild stands of bittersweet. Currently they are seeking Citizen Science Volunteers for 2018 Season.
7. Family & Community Chores at the FARM Institute
Stop by at The FARM Institute to feed the animals, tend the land and contribute to sustainable, community agriculture. Check for volunteer opportunities as the season progresses.
8. Carry In, Carry Out
All summer long we enjoy our days out basking in the sun, the evening beach barbecues, and everything in between, but don’t forget the number one rule here on the Island: carry in, carry out. Make sure to collect all your belongings and trash so that the beaches stay pristine all year round.