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51 ideas to celebrate Earth Day

Planet Earth viewed from spaceOn April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans -- 10% of the U.S. population at the time -- took to the streets, college campuses, and hundreds of cities to protest environmental degradation and demand change for our planet going forward. Fifty-one years later Earth Day continues to be celebrated as a means to keep a focus on critical environmental issues facing humankind.

Earth Day is one of the largest civic events that takes place throughout the world, raising awareness of critical environment and health issues.

The theme of this year's Earth Day is "Restore our Earth" focusing on natural processes, emerging green technologies and innovative thinking that can restore the worlds' ecosystems.

To mark the 51-year anniversary, we offer 51 ideas to create a more sustainable Michigan and contribute to a healthier and cleaner planet.

  1. Build a birdhouse or bird feeder.
  2. Plant a pollinator garden.
  3. Go bird watching.
  4. Look out for invasive species (plant and aquatic)
  5. Become a Paddle Steward.
  6. Bees - beekeeping/pollinators.
  7. Butterflies - watch for/plant gardens, raingardens
  8. Clean up your neighborhood.
  9. Sign up for air quality alerts.
  10. Learn about dunes.
  11. Learn about wetlands.
  12. Visit a former brownfield site.
  13. Learn about Michigan's geology.
  14. Visit a Michigan brewery part of the recycling co-op (ages 21 and older).
  15. Become a shoreland steward.
  16. Maintain your septic system.
  17. Check out the Recycling Racoons and learn how to recycle right!
  18. Start composting.
  19. Take household hazardous waste to a collection event.
  20. Plant a tree.
  21. Collect electronic waste to recycle.
  22. Volunteer at an environmental event.
  23. Become a Clean Water Ambassador.
  24. Fix a Leak.
  25. Learn about environmental justice issues.
  26. Learn about climate change.
  27. Upgrade your most used bulbs to LED bulbs.
  28. Upgrade to a smart thermostat to manage your energy.
  29. Use smart power strips to reduce your energy usage.
  30. Activate sleep settings on all office machines.
  31. Recycle old refrigerator/freezer by contacting your electric utility about available rebate programs.
  32. Schedule an energy consultation or rebate with your utility.
  33. Recycle old books.
  34. Get rid of old medicine at a drug take back location.
  35. Learn about E-coli.
  36. Check out beach watch so you know where it's safe to swim this summer.
  37. Learn about old lithium batteries and why its important to recycle promptly.
  38. Learn about oil and gas wells in MI.
  39. Learn about Michigan's open burning requirements.
  40. Learn how landfills work.
  41. Check out the recycling directory to find locations nearby that recycle unique materials, like concrete, bricks, food waste, etc.
  42. Learn about asbestos.
  43. Learn how air quality is monitored.
  44. Learn how wastewater treatment plants work.
  45. Learn where your water comes from.
  46. Learn about Michigan's mineral mines.
  47. Learn about Michigan's metal mines.
  48. Learn about raingardens.
  49. Test your home for radon before summer.
  50. Learn what EGLE is doing to help build a charging network for electric vehicles.
  51. Learn about ozone.

Photo caption: Planet Earth viewed from space.

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