50 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Join us in celebration of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary on April 22In light of the current stay-at-home order, we’ve got you covered with a roundup of 50 virtual opportunities you can do from anywhere to protect our environment. 

Help us honor Mother Earth by adopting the following sustainable tips, tuning in for an online event or webinar, or engaging your family in a green-friendly activity, all while observing current CDC guidelines.   

1. Register for Sustain Charlotte’s free Virtual Earth Day Celebration  hosted online at 5 p.m. on April 22. Plus, check out these  ten ways  you can live more sustainably during this time of social distancing.   

2. Review Duke Energy’s list of  10 easy ways to save energy while working from home.   

3. Order takeout from  this list of local restaurants and breweries  to receive free seedlings from TreesCharlotte. The program begins on April 20 and will continue until inventory runs out.  

4. Help students in need stay connected by donating used laptops to  E2D  (Eliminate the Digital Divide). E2D refurbishes computer donations in student-led technology labs then redistributes them to local families that don’t have access to technology.  

5. Go for a walk or bike ride on the Carolina Thread Trail.  Check a trail’s status, and if you’re worried about overcrowding at popular outdoor destinations, browse this  list of trails off the beaten path!  

6. Join  Earth Optimism CLT’s  live event organized by the  Carolina Raptor Center  for a healthy serving of hope and real solutions on what you can do in your homes and communities to combat climate change.   

7. Stop by the weekly farmers market at  Robinson Farms, open every Wednesday and Saturday9 a.m. – 3 p.m.   

8. Play Charlotte Solid Waste Services’  Waste Wizard Game  to learn how to sort your trash correctly. A fun way to educate the whole family!  

9. Stay connected to nature through  Anne Springs Close Greenway’s  online mini-lessons and video tutorials! Enjoy workshops covering gardening, nature experiences, backyard camping and more. Add a new row in your garden to support the Greenway’s  Plant-A-Row for the Hungry Garden  program.    

10. Help  Catawba Riverkeeper® Foundation  protect the quality of our local water by picking up litter before it runs off into nearby creeks and safely clearing your storm drains of debris to prevent flooding.    

11. Tune in to  Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services  free online presentation,  Water Wednesdays,  to learn how small actions from our community can prevent stormwater pollution in a big way! The event goes live every Wednesday at 10 a.m.  

12. Follow this Recycle Right Mini Guide and listen to this recorded webinar  for tips on how to recycle in Mecklenburg County. 

13. Review CATS‘ fact sheet on the effects of air pollution and how using public transit can help improve local air quality.   

14. Preserving green space and access to it is more important than ever. Catawba Lands Conservancy  is working hard to save more land to add to its current 17,000 acres and expand the Carolina Thread Trail beyond the 300 miles already completed. Make a gift today.    

15. Download this  Earth Day #STEAMSearch  provided by  Digi-Bridge.  

16. Do a science experiment with Discovery Place. They provide plenty of at-home lessons like how to build a bird beak, a virtual visit to a bee yard and a family maze building activity.   

17. Register for an eco-friendly  SkillPop Anywhere  class. Upcoming opportunities include  Watercolor Black-Eyed Susans,  DIY Hacks for Home Decor  (geared toward eco-friendly options) and Watercolor Fern Prints.   

18. Plan a picnic in the backyard with takeout from your  favorite local restaurant.  

19. Adopt a city street  to keep our roadways litter-free. Participants receive two branded signs along the adopted route.    

20. Calling 311 to report pollution, taking unwanted hazardous chemicals to a local recycling center lawn and picking up after your pet are other easy ways to prevent stormwater contamination.  

21. Take Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Nature Centers’  Social Distancing Nature Challenge  or join its  5th Annual City Nature Challenge 2020  by documenting all the species you can find in your community!   

22. Volunteer  from home. Create bookmarks, appreciation letters and bookworm buddies for Promising Pages.  

23. Knock out your spring cleaning! Follow these  eco-friendly cleaning tips  and set aside any unwanted household, clothing or digital items to donate to  Goodwill.   

24. Sort through your old files and set aside any documents and take advantage of free, secure shredding at the Ballantyne Earth Day Event (date TBD). Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees and 7,000 gallons of water. View a list  of accepted items.  

25. Plant  native plants and trees. Native plants require less water, help prevent erosion, attract natural wildlife, support pollinators and do not require fertilizers.  

26. Adopt a furry friend with  South Charlotte Dog Rescue or  The Humane Society of Charlotte.   

27. Check out  Atrium Health’s Healthy Together 5210 program  that offers wellness tips, including family-friendly exercises and educational resources during this time of social distancing.   

28. Save on single-use plastic lawn bags by opting for  Leaf Burrito’s  environmentally friendly, reusable yard bags to collect grass clippings, leaves, hedge trimmings and weeds.  

29. Enjoy locally grown eggs, fruits, herbs, flowers and seasonal teas from  Strong Bird Farm.   

30. Take a  nature walk  to discover outdoor treasures in your neighborhood.   

31. Consider investing in  All American Gutter Protection  rain barrels to prevent water runoff that pollutes waterways with fertilizers, pesticides and other contaminants. Water collected can be used to irrigate your lawn, garden, or houseplants.  

32. Reserve a tee time April 20-23 and enjoy the green space at  The Golf Club at Ballantyne  for just $110 per two players. Walk the course for $30 per player Monday-Thursday or $40 per player Friday-Sunday.   

33. Schedule an at-home cleaning with  Ecoshine Car Care, a car detailing service that uses environmentally friendly rinse-free products and saves over 50 gallons of fresh water per wash.   

34. Use mulch in plant beds to help retain moisture.  

35. Check out the  YMCA of Greater Charlotte’svirtual spring break guide, where you can explore the world from the comfort of your home. Find more inspiration to keep your family engaged at the Y’s new  online resource center.   

36. Enjoy making sustainable crafts with your kids like building a  bug hotel, making a  wildflower bomb or a  peanut butter bird feeder.   

37. Get inspired by Ballantyne Magazine’s articles –  Garden Therapy,  Green Space Galore and  Blossoming Kitchen.  

38. With online shopping at an all-time high, be sure to break down and flatten all cardboard boxes before placing them in the recycling bin. It increases the efficiency of the recycling program.   

39. According to  ENERGY STAR®, using a dishwasher instead of handwashing dishes can save the average home about $111 in water and energy costs. Be sure to load it full and skip the heated-dry option to save more energy.   

40. Take the  American Heart Association’s  Kick Cabin Fever Challenge. The 10-day program is a great way to remain active while working from home and keep kids healthy during school closures. 

41. Put a stop  to unsolicited mail and pay bills online to cut back on paper waste.   

42. Purchase a  reusable water canteen  or tumbler  from Recover, a local, sustainable apparel company to eliminate the waste produced by bottled water. Studies show it takes 450 years for plastic beverage bottles to decompose in landfills!  

43. Learn about Northwood Office’s commitment to  environmental sustainability. Ballantyne tenants are encouraged to check out our  current recycling program  to help reduce commercial waste in local landfills.   

44. Book an  online Airbnb experience  to enjoy one-of-a-kind activities all around the world.  

45. Follow this  guide to composting at home  to keep organic matter such as yard trimmings and food scraps  out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas.  

46. Organize a community cleanup for your neighborhood using  Nextdoor.   

47. Stop buying  products that aren’t biodegradable. For example, Styrofoam never decomposes and is not recyclable.   

48. Eat seasonally.  

49. Show us how you’re celebrating Earth Day by tagging @goBallantyne and using hashtag #EarthDay2020 on your social media platforms.  

50. Stay connected to our community!  Contact us  to showcase your organization’s sustainable products, services or initiatives at the next Ballantyne Earth Day Event.   

As a reminder, the annual Ballantyne Earth Day Event has been postponed due to the unprecedented circumstances related to COVID-19. Please check back for updates.  

Thank you for doing your part to keep the environment and our community safe!     

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