Each year on April 22nd, teams of eco-friendly individuals and community members combine efforts to support Mother Earth. April 22nd is Earth Day; a day known globally as International Mother Earth Day across the world. Earth Day is celebrated in more than 192 countries every year.
Locally, several organizations, businesses, and people are doing their best to take care of our environment. We’re put together a list of ways to honor Earth Day in the Ocean City, Berlin, and Salisbury areas. Check out these things to do to give back to the environment:
Participate in a community clean up
The Maryland Coastal Bays Program, OC Surfrider Foundation, and the Town of Ocean City will bring community members together on Saturday, April 13th to pick up trash in OC in honor of Earth Day. Trash bags, gloves, and commemorative tee shirts will be distributed at 10 am at Town Hall on 3rd Street. Contact Sandi Smith, of the MCBP with questions about how you can help: 410-213-2297.
Plant a tree
April is a great time to plant new trees or transplant existing trees and shrubs. Stake newly planted trees if it is windy or if the soil is highly saturated to prevent them from leaning. Do not prune newly planted trees and water them regularly.
Start a compost pile
Take your table scraps, grass clippings, and leaves and turn them into an organic fertilizer for your garden! Several local companies recycle yard waste and commercial food waster to turn it into organic compost. Use this ShoreBread tutorial to do-it-yourself: Making Your Own Compost Pile.
Plant a vegetable garden
Box gardens are perfect for those who have little space or little time to care for a full-scale garden. There is no need to till or dig, and only occasional weeding when it comes to box gardens. If cared for well, a little box garden can harvest up to 5 times more produce than a conventional garden.
Ride your bike to school or work
The Eastern Shore offers thousands of acres of public open space with the potential to support natural surface trails. Biking and pedestrian trail networks provide environmentally sustainable, healthy transportation, and recreation alternatives. Natural bike and hike trails also provide an opportunity to promote local tourism. Recently, a large push has been made to increase interest in biking and hiking trails on the shore. To read more about the local trail initiative, check out this ShoreBread article: Biking & Hiking Trail Possibilities on the Eastern Shore.
Recycling not only protects the environment, it strengthens our community. The simple act of recycling creates the impetus for innovation and industry and fosters green jobs. Ultimately, recycling improves a community’s cohesion and impacts the local quality of life.
The weather is really warming up and eating outside is a fantastic idea. Head to the beach with a picnic basket, grill dinner outside, or visit a park while on your lunch break and enjoy the April weather while appreciating Mother Nature. Check out the ShoreBread Bread Box for some great recipes: Local Recipes.
Reuse shopping bags
Make an eco-friendly fashion forward statement by using a reusable shopping bag. Having a sturdy, reusable bag to carry your purchases around will make you look and feel good. Grow Berlin Green has distributed some reusable shopping bags in the past. If you’re lucky, you might be able to snag one from a GBG representative at the Berlin Farmer’s Market.
Donate your old clothing
Quality clothing items that you’ve grown tired of wearing can be consigned or donated to a local charity. All donated items should be freshly laundered, clean, and in good condition. Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other local thrift shops resell the items to profit their organization, charities, or the community.
Replace your light bulbs with energy-efficient ones
Replace older light bulbs with newer bulbs specifically designed to use less energy. Make sure all bulbs are installed correctly. Consider an energy audit? Flexera offers energy audits as one of their services for a fee. Figure out where all of your home’s energy is vanishing to.
Join a CSA
Community Supported Agricultural groups are becoming popular. People can join CSA’s if they’d like to receive fresh vegetables on a regular basis; they pay a set amount and receive a box of vegetables. Locally, The Good Farm offers farm volunteers vegetables in exchange for their time. Contact Christie McDowll (410-713-8803) of the Good Farm for more information.
Plant native flowers
Native plants occur naturally in the region in which they evolved. They have adapted to local soil, rainfall, and temperatures. Native plants require minimal watering, fertilizers, and pesticides. Using native plants in your yards and gardens helps preserve the balance of beauty and natural ecosystems. The Lower Shore Land Trust will be holding their annual plant sale on May 11th at the Ward Museum in Salisbury, MD. For more information, check out this ShoreBread article: Lower Shore Land Trust Annual Native Plant Sale.