As we kicked off the third season of our urban, organic flower farm in the Bronx the other day, I was reminded of the tremendous impact we can have on the earth through our actions. Small deeds such as cleaning up a neglected lot or park, planting a few organic flowers, convincing a few friends or neighbors to start collecting food scraps, or building a bird house can make all of the difference. These small gestures inspire others to do the same, which in turn can have a huge impact on our environment. Earth Day is swiftly approaching, so let’s look at some ways that we can honor our planet on, before, or after April 22.
Planting one tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and add as much as 260 pounds of oxygen to the atmosphere each year, according to the conservation nonprofit American Forests. There are many organizations around in North America that support people in planting trees, such as the Arbor Day Foundation.
Bees are dying because of colony collapse, and many of the scientists who are studying this are blaming the death of bees on neonicotinoids, a harmful chemical pesticide that is sprayed en masse. Planting USDA certified organic flowers can save the bee population. There are 15 different varieties of flowers that are known for their ability to attract bees. If you are going to plant any of these flowers, or any flowers at all, please make sure that you are buying them from a USDA Certified Organic seed supplier.
Water conservation is also a big issue that you could make a difference in on Earth Day. Organizations like Americanrivers.org are looking for people to organize and volunteer at local river clean-ups.
There are so many ways that you can contribute on this glorious day. Our planet is in need of your time, energy, and effort, and what better day to offer your gifts to the planet than on Earth Day. The Nature Conservancy has a list of activities in your local area that you take partake in on Wednesday, April 22. Every action we take, no matter how small, makes a big difference.
Photo by Ali Kaukas for Wanderlust Festival.
Michael Forman is a native of Bronx, New York, and has lived in New York City for almost his entire life. He is the executive farm director of Pure Love Organic Farms, an organic, urban farm that he and three other friends created in 2012 from a former garbage dump site. Michael also works as the North American account manager for Totally Green in the sustainable technologies field.