It's the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a day that sprang from an environmental movement hitting the streets to demand a better tomorrow, but what's the best thing you can do? Stay the heck inside. Seriously, social distancing is really helping our city's fight against coronavirus—it could, ahem, also be helping the planet—so don't you stop now. Here's how to celebrate Earth Day, stay active in the fight for climate change and conservation, and pay homage to our planet from the comfort of your home in Houston.
Test your climate change knowledge.
Think you're all up to speed on the rate at which our planet's temperature has increased over the past century, and is projected to increase over the next one? Know the country that produces the most CO2? Head to earthday.org to take the climate change quiz and others like it, covering topics from whale conservation, to ocean plastics, and more. The website will also go live on Earth Day with a digital day of action, including tons of events, some even local, like the Houston Wilderness web cam and Galveston Bay Foundation's livestream (10 a.m.–3 p.m.) on how to help the bay.
Read some environmental classics.
From Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, the world of environmental lit has its classics. But if you don't want to read about land ethics or the horrors of DDT, there's likely still a book for you. Got kids? Try The Lorax. You're a foodie? Dive into Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver. Seeking adventure? Jon Krakauer's Into The Wild or Into Thin Air are engrossing. Actually enjoying life in solitude? Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire and Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek might be your jam.
Foster our pollinators.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science will launch its spring plant sale online today, April 22–28, with a slew of native pollinators to choose from, including a curated selection of butterfly host plants. Place your order through the Museum Store, and pick them up curbside on April 29–30. All proceeds benefit HMNS science education programming and the Cockrell Butterfly Center.
Go birding, virtually.
Houston Audubon has a very zen webcam set up at Bolivar Flats, with shore birds galore, making for a peaceful break. And its website offers tons of virtual fun—make a bird dripper for your yard, do a "CORVID-19" crossword puzzle (it's a bird thing), and find tons of educational activities for the kiddos. Also: Remember to turn your lights out at night for the billions of birds currently flying overhead on their spring migration south, until May 7. And if you don't know the difference between a birb, borb, and floof now is the time to learn.
Revel in the life's work of Dr. Jane Goodall.
Jane Goodall: The Hope, a new 2-hour documentary on the legendary primatologist, conservationist and peacemaker, premieres on Earth Day at 8 p.m. on National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild, and we absolutely can't wait.