5 Earth Day Projects

By |2023-04-21T11:56:00-04:00April 14th, 2023|FFA New Horizons, Living to Serve, The Feed|

Since 1970, Earth Day has been an annual reminder of the ways agriculture and the environment depend on each other. Earth Day is observed April 22, and FFA members can pursue many environmentally focused community service activities on this day and throughout the year. Projects that focus on the environment not only allow you to invest in the future of your planet, but they are also wonderful ways to improve your local city or community.

Need some inspiration? Read on for Earth Day project ideas.

1. Organize a cleanup crew. Is there an area of your community with a waste or litter problem?  Earthday.org encourages groups everywhere to join The Great Global Cleanup, a volunteer program to remove litter from lands and waterways. Earthday.org even has a Cleanup Checklist to help you plan your event. Take before and after photos of the area you cleaned up and post them on social media using the hashtag #TrashTag to join the global movement.

2. Adopt a highway. Contact your state’s Department of Transportation to learn about volunteering to adopt a highway in your community. The Adopt-A-Highway program invites organizations to help remove litter from local roadways. Safety training, trash bags and vests are provided by many DOTs. Groups are typically asked to commit to adopt approximately two miles of roadway for one year and conduct at least four litter cleanups during the year. Many DOTs will post your group’s name on a recognition panel below the Adopt-A-Highway sign.

3. Start a compost bin. Unfortunately, food waste is common in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 30% to 40% of the food in America is wasted. You can help put food scraps in your community to good use by creating a community or school compost bin. Compost bins turn organic matter such as food waste into a useful by-product for landscapes and gardens while raising awareness for sustainability in the process. Contact your local city government to inquire about the need for permitting.

4. Host an e-waste drive. Our world runs largely on electronic devices, and many of those devices end up in landfills when they are no longer usable. When not disposed of or recycled properly, electronics expose toxic chemicals such as lead, lithium and mercury to our environment. Contact your local government to ask if a certified e-waste recycler exists in your community. Then hold an e-waste drive in your community and encourage people to drop off their used, broken and unwanted electronic devices to be recycled.

5. Plant trees. Not only do trees make your community more beautiful, they also filter pollutants, absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, provide homes for wildlife and help fight soil erosion. Tress are basically environmental superheroes! It’s no wonder tree planting is a popular Earth Day activity. When selecting trees to plant in your community, choose native species. Native plants require fewer pesticides and fertilizers, helps reforest natural habitats for local wildlife and can survive your region’s climate. Happy planting!

Find more community service ideas at ffa.org/livingtoserve.