Earth Day may not be a holiday in the same ranks as Christmas or Easter, but it is an important holiday nonetheless! All of us share the Earth, and it is worth celebrating everyday, and on April 22 (Earth Day).

As a Catholic elementary school, BVM Darby, we would be remiss not to mention St. Francis of Assisi, who is known for his love for nature, animals and the environment, preaching about the beauty of God’s creation.

Furthermore, Pope Francis penned Laudato si’ (Praise Be to You), the second encyclical from him in 2015. In this encyclical, Pope Francis discussed the moral importance of protecting God’s creation and that we can work towards fixing it together. He further states his belief that much of the changes in our climate is man-made, and that we must find alternative solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Earth Day was first held on April 22, 1970, and has grown from there with various international events and local activities for communities to come together and honor the Earth. You can even do some activities as a family! Here are some ideas for ways to celebrate Earth Day that you can enjoy for years to come:

-Plant a tree. Trees improve air quality, provide shade and help reduce greenhouse gasses. Plus, trees will grow with your family as they get bigger each year!
-Plant a vegetable garden. Planting veggies from seeds does take time, research and attention, but once you grow your favorite veggies, you can enjoy them all summer long and can spend less at the grocery store. You’ll know exactly where your cucumbers or tomatoes came from and get to enjoy the time growing them together.
-Organize a neighborhood cleanup. This is a great way to get to know your neighbors and make your community a home. This will also ensure the proper disposal of trash and recyclables.
-Spend time in nature. Go hiking or for a walk. Take in all the Earth has to offer in all it’s natural beauty.
-Skip meat one day a week, or have a car-free day. Meat production and motor vehicles affect carbon dioxide which in turn affects air quality. Skipping both (if possible for you and your family) every now and then can help minimize this!
-Attend a local event.  You can find something in your community here.

Earth Day is a great way to spend time together as a family, and to take time to love and appreciate nature. It is a great way to celebrate God’s creation.