5 Eco-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Animals on Earth Day
Since the 1970s, casual and diehard environmentalists alike have been celebrating Earth Day, a day devoted to increasing awareness and appreciation of planet Earth. In 1970, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson kicked off the movement by calling for an environmental teach-in on April 22. His idea was a hit—20 million people jumped on the bandwagon. Four decades later, the trend has truly become global, with more than 1 billion people participating worldwide.
There are plenty of ways to make a difference on Earth Day, from riding your bike to changing your eating habits. Here are five ways that will also make a difference in the lives of animals—the billions of individuals we share the planet with every day.
- Organize a dog park clean-up. In a perfect world, everyone would use a pooper scooper at the dog park and put trash where it belongs. But factory farming, puppy mills, and the fur trade are proof this isn’t a perfect world. For Earth Day, give your furry friend a clean place to play by organizing a dog park clean-up. Put up fliers outside the dog park to attract the support of fellow pooch lovers, or consider posting an event on an event-planning site like MeetUp.com. Remember to bring trash bags, scoops, and protective gloves!
- Give your animal companion a sustainable toy. Help your animal companions get into sustainability by giving them an eco-friendly toy or two. You’ll keep harmful chemicals out of the environment and out of your little pal. Get some organic and vegan fabric catnip toys or all-natural cork balls marinated in catnip (also vegan and organic) for your kitty. For dogs, try an organic plush squeaky toy or a 100 percent recyclable, nontoxic chew bone. For bunnies and hamsters, go DIY and make your own toys from cardboard boxes and toilet tissue rolls. It’s recycling at its finest!
- Go for a hike on dog-friendly trails. Dogs love the great outdoors as much as their bipedal friends. Hit the trails with your pup on Earth Day and enjoy nature together. Use the “Hike With Your Dog” tool to find tail-friendly trails near you.
- Host a vegan potluck. Any celebration calls for food, right? This Earth Day, have friends over for an environmentally friendly meal—vegan, of course! A vegan diet is good for the planet because it cuts down on water use, carbon-dioxide emissions, and methane in the atmosphere. Eating vegan will also keep your scaly, finned, furry, and feathered friends free from harm. For your omnivorous friends, PETA’s vegan/vegetarian starter kits make great party favors. Need recipe ideas? Check out our list of hundreds of free vegan and vegetarian recipes.
Happy #EarthDay! RT if you love our Earth & ALL of its creatures!
— PETA (@peta) April 22, 2015
- Spread the Earth Day love on Facebook and Twitter. The choices we make every day—from what we wear to what we eat—affect the environment and the animals who inhabit it. Let your friends, family, and coworkers know how their habits can help or hinder the planet by posting some eco-facts on your social networks. Share “The Truth About Eating Animals” or borrow some facts from “Vegetarianism and the Environment” to make your message ring loud and clear.