Beyond Playing With Dirt: Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

I distinctly remember the first time I planted a seed. While the dirt was a whole lot of fun to play with, I also started to realize the importance of caring for our Earth. I know that’s probably a little to sappy for an elementary school student, right? But I did have a lot of fun in the dirt.


Now that I am older, I recognize the positive and negative ways I can interact with the environment, and I work hard to choose the positive ways as often as I can. It’s also easy to slip up every so often when dealing with other daily responsibility. That’s why I have always loved Earth Day. Of course it’s a great universal excuse to play with dirt again, but Earth Day also brings people from across the globe together in order to actively pursue a greener world. This year, Wednesday, April 22, marks the 45th anniversary of the event with the theme, “It’s Our Turn to Lead.”

Some of the typical recommendations for celebrating Earth Day are great: plant a garden; attend an event near you; join an action campaign; reduce, reuse, recycle; or clean up your local beach or highway. I also think it’s exciting that we can make a difference with something as simple as what we choose to eat. Whether it’s just for Earth Day or all year, try taking on one or more of these Earth-saving food shifts:

1) Eat locally -

Eating food within 200 miles of where you live can significantly decrease the amount of fossil fuels used to get your food to you. Plus, farmers markets are a blast! Click here to find your local market.

2) Go organic -

While more expensive than conventional alternatives, organic food gives you quality you can’t beat. It’s inherently better for our environment because it does not create the gross chemical runoff prevalent in conventional farming.

3) Try out Meatless Mondays -

Meat comes from a resources-intensive industry, especially when it comes to factory farms, where the majority of our meat comes from. Reduce the impact by taking a day off. The great part is that you don’t have to stick to sad salads. Get creative with these recipes.

4) Use HowGood to shop more sustainably -

HowGood ratings help you find out which products are the least harmful to ourselves and our environment. Download our app or check out our online database to find out how sustainable your groceries are.

5) Make these fun and delicious cups o’ dirt -

Late July Organic Dark Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Zen Soy Almond Chocolate Pudding
Yummy Earth Organic Gummy Worms

Start by making the “dirt.” Process your cookies in a food process until they are find crumbs. Place a layer of the cookie “dirt” at the bottom of a clear plastic or glass cup. Then, place a nice thick layer of the pudding on top, followed by another layer of cookies. Top the cup off with a few worms and enjoy!
For an extra treat: Place a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready, open the can and scoop off the top hardened layer. Place the cream you just got in a deep bowl, and save the remaining liquid in the can to use in smoothies. Use a hand mixer to whip the cream, adding just a bit of sweetener (2-3 tsp) and vanilla extract (½ tsp). Place a dollop of this whipped cream on top of your cup o’ dirt.

Have a happy Earth Day!


Labeling Standards: The Fight for Food Transparency

What Does “Organic” Mean? And Do Other Labels Necessitate Organic Standards?