How to celebrate Earth Day in your new normal
While this particular Earth Day won't be filled with beach cleanups, and school field trips to plant trees, fear not: when there's a will to honor the environment, there's a way.
on 22 April 2020
What a time for a golden anniversary. Celebrated annually since 1970, Earth Day commemorates its 50th year of existence as the world faces an unprecedented global crisis. While this particular Earth Day won't be filled with beach cleanups, and school field trips to plant trees, fear not: when there's a will to honor the environment, there's a way. There are many virtual Earth Day activities this year—think virtual runs, fundraising challenges, and games for kids. If added screen time isn't your thing, we recommend giving the plants in your home some extra love, starting a small home-based garden (planting basil seeds in a tiny container counts!), and of course, inspiring your inner environmentalist by listening to some of our favorite earth-loving audio for listeners of all ages.
1As a botanist and professor of plant ecology, Robin Wall Kimmerer has spent a career learning how to ask questions of nature using the tools of science. As a Potawatomi woman, she learned from elders, family, and history that the Potawatomi, as well as a majority of other cultures indigenous to this land, consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers.
In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowing together to reveal what it means to see humans as "the younger brothers of creation". As she explores these themes, she circles toward a central argument: The awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgement and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the world.
2Trina plants trees with her class. She forms an Earth Day club with her friends. What can you do to make every day Earth Day? Do your part to be a planet protector! Discover how to reduce, reuse, recycle, and more with Tyler and Trina in the Planet Protectors series, part of the Cloverleaf Books™ collection.
3Conservationist Rachel Carson spent over six years documenting the effects on DDT, a synthetic organic compound used as an insecticide, on numerous communities. Her analysis revealed that such powerful, persistent chemical pesticides have been used without a full understanding of the extent of their potential harm to the whole biota, including the damage they've caused to wildlife, birds, bees, agricultural animals, domestic pets, and even humans. In this book, Carson discusses her findings and expresses passionate concern for the future of the planet and all the life inhabiting it, calling on us all to act responsibly, carefully, and as stewards of the living earth.
4Unrivalled gardening wisdom from Monty Don, including essential tips, knowledge and musings from his 50 years of gardening experience.
Discover Monty's thoughts and garden ideas around nature, seasons, colour, design, pests, flowering shrubs, containers and much more. Hear about the month-by-month jobs he does in his own garden that he hopes are relevant to you.
Monty's warm voice brings this most intimate book to life - an enriching listen for any gardener.
5Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers' genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship.
In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind's most basic yearnings. And just as we've benefited from these plants, the plants have also benefited at least as much from their association with us. So who is really domesticating whom?
6In The Big Melt, Rolling Stone contributing editor and leading environmental journalist Jeff Goodell takes the listener up close and personal to one of the world’s most remote locations—Western Antarctica—and to the foot of the staggeringly important Thwaites Glacier.
Join Goodell aboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer, an ice-capable research ship, on its unprecedented journey to study the effects of climate change on the Thwaites Glacier. Get to know why scientists are studying this glacier and discover the chilling facts that make this sheet of ice a real ticking time bomb of climate change—no matter where you live on the planet.
7Enchantment. By Dr. Sharon Blackie’s definition, a vivid sense of belongingness to a rich and many-layered world, a profound and whole-hearted participation in the adventure of life. Enchantment is a natural, spontaneous human tendency - one we possess as children, but lose, through social and cultural pressures, as we grow older. It is an attitude of mind which can be cultivated: the enchanted life is possible for anyone. It is intuitive, embraces wonder, and fully engages the mythic imagination - but it is also deeply embodied in ecology, grounded in place and community.
Taking as her starting point the inspiration and wisdom that can be derived from myth, fairytales, and folk culture, Dr. Sharon Blackie offers a set of practical and grounded tools for enchanting our lives and the places we live, so leading to a greater sense of meaning and of belonging to the world. To live this way is to be challenged, to be awakened, to be gripped and shaken to the core by the extraordinary which lies at the heart of the ordinary.
This post is an extract from the article that first appeared in the Audible Blog