April 22 marks the 5oth anniversary Earth Day, but for the staff and faculty of the Shi Center for Sustainability at Furman every day is an opportunity to celebrate protecting the planet and rethinking ways to make our lives more sustainable. Although the COVID-19 pandemic is keeping most people indoors or at a safe social distance, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate Earth Day. The Shi Center staff shares a few ideas below.
- Now that you’re working from home, consolidate your outlets and save electricity by plugging your chargers into power strips that can be switched off when you don’t need them.
- Unplug appliances when you are not using them to stop vampire power use.
- Set up a clothesline and hang your clothes out to dry instead of using a dryer.
- Reduce food waste and compost any food waste you do generate.
- Expand your cooking repertoire. Eat less meat and try some vegetarian or even vegan recipes.
- Start a backyard garden to grow food (or flowers). Ask around about places in your area that offer free seeds, like the Greenville County Seed Library.
Expand your horizon
- Watch environmentally focused documentaries on Netflix or other streaming services.
Contribute to citizen science. NASA has information about collecting precipitation data for a national network, National Geographic lists projects everyone can participate in, and Science Friday has suggestions for citizen science during the quarantine.
- Connect with your local area and learn your state’s history. The Smithsonian Channel has a free series, “Aerial America,” that highlights a beautiful aerial overview and history of each state.
Reduce and renew
- Pick up trash in your neighborhood (remember to wear gloves).
- Fix or repair broken items.
- Clean out your house or garage and donate, sell or recycle items you don’t want.