originally published April 18, 2021 in the Chillicothe Gazette

by Kelsey Holmes

After a year of chaos and confusion, Earth Day, celebrated April 22 this year, is a great reminder of something we all have in common: this planet we all call home. No matter our race, religion, marital status, or political affiliation, we have Mother Earth in common. It’s a mind-blowing thought that this precious, life-sustaining planet connects us all in a great circle of life. (Ok, I had to quote The Lion King here. Who doesn’t love belting out “Circle of Life” at the top of their lungs?)

Earth deserves to be celebrated. Surviving the ongoing pandemic, and still rotating around the sun is quite an accomplishment! To recognize the earth and all of her amazingness this year, I’ve curated a list of things that you can do to honor the third rock from the sun.

1. Plant a tree. I know this seems like such an obvious way to celebrate Earth Day, but it really is a small thing you can do to help. Trees not only provide oxygen, they also help to cool things down, provide shade, and clean the air. A great place to check which trees are suitable in your hardiness zone is www.arborday.org

2. Unsubscribe to snail-mailed catalogs. Printed catalogs contribute to almost 100 million trees being cut down each year. This not only causes massive deforestation, but think of all the pollution that is required to cut and manufacture the paper. Most catalogs are now available online or through email. Check out www.catalogchoice.org to help get your name removed from mailing lists.

3. Recycle. Nothing feels better than my weekly trip to the recycling bin knowing that it’s one small step I can take to eliminate waste. Rumpke offers recycling bins throughout Ross County if you’re not in the city and do not have curbside pickup. My local recycling bin is at Huntington Local Schools but there are several other locations. Visit www.rphfsolidwastedistrict.com/services/ross.html to find the recycling bin nearest to you.

4. Buy brands that make items from recycled materials. There are several brands that make their items from entirely recycled materials. From toys, shoes, watches, clothing and other accessories, buying recycled has never been as easy or readily available to the consumer. A simple Google search of “recycled materials new product” brings up a myriad of options for sustainable shopping.

5. Clean up our outdoor spaces. Cleaning up trash and collecting recyclables in our outdoor spaces is such an easy and effective way to toast to Mother Earth. Head to your local park or any public outdoor area with a couple of trash bags and some gloves. Not only does this help keep the outdoors looking great, it is a good way to get out and get some exercise while enjoying beautiful Earth.

I hope this list provides you with some fun ideas to commemorate Earth Day. A big plus is that all of the above ideas can be done while still socially distancing. This Earth Day, help spread a little kindness and give some TLC to this orb we call home.


Kelsey Holmes is a Youth Services Assistant at the Main Library. You can find her in the library by following the trail of (biodegradable!) glitter she leaves behind from her many crafting adventures.