Ways to Celebrate Earth Day/Week/Month

Caroline Griffith, NEC Executive Director

Alternative Transportation Adventure

According to the California Energy Commission, 50 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. Changing our transportation habits can be hard, but starting small and making it an adventure can be helpful. You can start out by declaring one day a week Alternative Transportation Day to test out what works best for you, whether it’s taking the bus, walking, biking, or hopping on one of those electric scooters that are randomly stationed around town. One key for a successful Alternative Transportation Day is planning; don’t schedule your first bus or bike adventure on a day when you have to rush from work to school and then to the grocery store. Set yourself up for success and enjoyment by keeping it simple at first and doing this on days when you have fewer obligations or more flexibility. Once you have a few Alternative Transportation Days under your belt and you know the bus schedule better, or how long it takes to walk to work, then it is less of a challenge to throw some errands into the mix or bring a kid along.

The Transit app is a great way to get to know local bus routes and schedules and see real-time arrival information. For those who are less inclined to download another app, bus routes and schedules can also be found on the Humboldt Transit Authority website at hta.org. One of the challenges of getting around by public transit in rural areas is that buses often don’t run late or very frequently, so be sure to check when the last bus runs so you don’t find yourself stranded. 

For biking around Humboldt Bay, check out the Humboldt County Association of Government’s (HCAOG) online bike map at hcaog.net/map. You can also find a pdf of the more-detailed Humboldt Bay Area Bike Map on the HCAOG website. In general, a good route-finding method for new cyclists is to take the side streets adjacent to the main roads that you would use if driving. That way you can avoid riding on high-traffic roads until you are more comfortable. An added bonus is that you can then explore areas of town that you might not normally see while going slow enough to enjoy the birds and flowers along the way.

Celebrate “Buy Nothing Day”

Buy Nothing Day is a reaction to the shopping frenzy of Black Friday, but just like Earth Day it can be celebrated every day. The retail industry, both brick and mortar stores and online outlets, creates an astronomical amount of waste, from vehicle emissions (the shopper’s or the delivery driver’s) to plastic packaging, not to mention all of the products that are bought on a whim and then discarded. According to the EPA, 82.2 million tons of packaging is discarded in the US every year. The Ellen McArthur Foundation reports that the fashion industry is responsible for up to 10 percent of global carbon emissions, and that worldwide, one truck-load of clothes is burned or ends up in the landfill every second. 

Much like driving, shopping has come to be associated with the American way of life, but this destructive habit can be broken. Taking a day (or week or even a month) off from shopping for anything but the essentials is good for the climate, good for the wallet, and can also be fun. Reuse parties, clothing exchanges and trading with friends are all ways to get the goods you need, and build community, without buying new products. Hosting a clothing exchange or repair party is a great way to celebrate Earth Day with friends. Or you can visit your local reuse art store and make something beautiful for your home rather than shopping online.

Watch the Birds

Here on the North Coast, we are blessed to live along the Pacific Flyway, the major north/south path that migratory birds take. This means that in the spring and fall, hundreds of bird species visit our area. Studies have shown that everyday encounters with birdlife are associated with long-term improvements to mental wellbeing. Simply by sitting in your backyard or visiting the local park (bonus points if you go by bus!) you can enjoy the health benefits of birdwatching and be reminded of why we celebrate this day in the first place.

Earth Month Events

For more events and details check out the Events Calendar at www.yournec.org.

Bike Justice Humboldt Kick-Off Ride

  • Hosted by: NEC, CRTP and Moon Cycles
  • Date: Saturday, April 22, 2023
  • Time: 12pm – 2pm
  • Location: Moon Cycles, 1905 Alliance Rd, Arcata
  • About: We will learn a basic bike safety routine, talk about route-finding and bike to the Mad River bridge for snacks and nature. There will be an option for a longer ride to McKinleyville along the Hammond Trail for those who are interested.

Zero Waste Market Fundraiser

  • Hosted by: Zero Waste Humboldt and Co-op
  • Date: Saturday, April 22, 2023
  • Time: 11am – 3pm
  • Location: Arcata Co-op parking lot

Decolonizing Economics Summit: The 4th Annual Post-Capitalism Conference

  • Hosted by: A growing network of partners. See page 18 for more information.
  • Date: April 20 – 22, 2023
  • Time: multiple sessions
  • Location: virtual and in-person

Earth Day Celebration

  • Hosted by: WRRAP
  • Date: Saturday, April 22, 2023
  • Time: TBD
  • Location: Moonstone Beach

Eureka Natural Foods Earth Day Extravaganza

  • Hosted by: Eureka Natural Foods
  • Date: Saturday, April 22, 2023 in Eureka
  • Date: Sunday, April 23, 2023 in Mckinleyville
  • Time: 11am-3p

Restoration of Body, Mind and Dunes

  • Hosted by: Friends of the Dunes
  • Date: Saturday, April 22, 2023
  • Time: 9am-12pm
  • Location: Humboldt Coastal Nature Center

Decolonizing Sustainability Speaker Series

  • Hosted by: Cal Poly Native American Studies
  • Dates: Wednesdays, April 5, 12, 19, 26, 2023
  • Time: 11:30am-1pm
  • Location: Zoom. Visit Native American Studies (humboldt.edu) for more information