This Earth Day feels different. I know I don’t need to list the challenges we’re facing  — whether political, financial, social, spiritual, or personal  — because it would be a lengthy article in and of itself. Certain obstacles jump into my mind instantly, and certain others, I’m sure, jump out at you. 

Unfortunately, one of those challenges is environmental. Our planet is changing, as is everything else, and not entirely for the better; and not entirely on its own. We have a responsibility to admit our role in the deteriorating natural world and, like with any good and complete apology, resolve to improve. An assortment of Gallup Polls have been measuring the public’s opinion on the environment in 2021, and it’s not as upbeat as it could be. Now’s the time to turn things around.

Believe it or not, my goal isn’t to sadden you; actually, my goal is to encourage you by proposing small improvements that make a big difference, and will slowly but surely aid the efforts to heal the environment. Some of the ideas are even, dare I say, fun? 

So this Earth Day, let’s embrace the difference, embrace the change, and therefore embrace the hope by choosing a more environmentally friendly option when possible. Happy Earth Day! After reading this, go shamelessly hug a tree, okay? I promise you’ll feel a sweet endorphin kick. 

Think Greener by attending an awesome (virtual) event! Walk in the Wild: Reclaiming Human Nature invites you to explore your planet with open arms on the holiday at 4:00 PT. The inspiration for this event is the new book Full Ecology: Repairing Our Relationship with the Natural World (Heyday), published on April 20, by social scientist Mary M. Clare and bestselling nature writer Gary Ferguson. 

After an introduction by the venerable Sister Helen Prejean, herself an internationally acclaimed author, the authors of Full Ecology host an opportunity to “reclaim a truth we too easily forget: We Are Nature. The superpowers of the natural world are hardwired in us and hold the wisdom to healing our lives, our community, and our planet.” Dive into the wonders of the earth and reexamine your own place within this ecosystem, both intrinsically and externally. This event will breathe new life into your goals; it’s also a lovely occasion for springtime reflection and renewal. 

Live Greener with the practice of sustainable minimalism after trying the groundbreaking Sustainable Minimalism: Embrace Zero Waste, Build Sustainability Habits That Last, and Become a Minimalist without Sacrificing the Planet by Stephanie Marie Sepherian. Have you ever heard of minimalism? I bet you have because it’s catching on quickly. Living life with less can be crucial to environmental health. This book is “The Aspiring Minimalist’s Guide to Living Consciously and Contributing to a ‘Greener’ Tomorrow,” so if you’re looking to know that you’re making a daily difference, open this practical guide. 

Clutter is more than just irritating; it’s taking a significant toll on the planet. Manufacturing industries aren’t exactly the most eco-friendly corporations, and we egg them on with our endless appetite for excess. Eventually, most of it, barely used, becomes trash and heads to the landfills. From there, our fads are on the fast track to … absolutely nothing. They instead slowly poison the air we breathe and the ground we walk on. Does this sound unappealing? “Empower yourself to incrementally incorporate the tenets of sustainable minimalism into your home and life. Learn to master the easiest tasks first and build upon your successes―a practical and stress-free process. Now that’s sustainable!”

Eat Greener with the help of The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World by John Robbins and join  “A revolution in food politics.” The first version of this book was published in 1987 and served as an eye-opening manifesto that revealed the negative direction that America was heading with its food habits. For example, Robbins identified the reliance on animal products of the average consumer. Now there’s an updated version of the book which brings more awareness of how our current choices create a drain on the environment. 

The Food Revolution pairs useful health information with overarching environmental concerns but offers it in an accessible and readable package. Robbins’s extensive research shines and summons you to bear arms in the battle for our planet’s wellbeing. It doesn’t hurt that you’ll be boosting your own wellbeing, too!

Travel Greener with Kind Traveler, and stay in one of their sustainable hotels that do a whole lot of good. Plus, feel even better about your choice because this is a veteran and woman-owned company that practices socially conscious Give + Get hotel booking, as well as an eco-friendly travel education platform. When someone uses the platform they earn exclusive rates and perks thanks to a $10 nightly donation to an applicable charity. “All of Kind Traveler’s impact goals are aligned with the United Nations’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development which largely center around fighting poverty, advancing environmental sustainability, and reducing inequality.”

The founder, Jessica Blotter, has many achievements to her name including the 2020 Travel +Leisure Global Vision Award and her spot on the Board of Directors for the Center for Responsible Travel. Kind Traveler aims to “inspire travelers to travel kindly and empowers them to become heroes to feed the hungry, voices for animals, givers of clean water, change-makers for a healthy generation, and fighters for equality.” Interested? Check out this video, which will certainly compel you to pack your bags. 

Come Together Greener after reading Climate Courage: How Tackling Climate Change Can Build Community, Transform the Economy, and Bridge the Political Divide in America (Beacon Press) by Andreas Karelas. Karelas’s book is cleverly constructed to highlight the hope. He focuses on how the recent and rapid rise in clean-energy jobs proves our shared values of wanting to protect the environment while also helping the economy through well-intentioned local efforts. Many statistics point in a good direction and suggest that we’re taking sure steps towards 100% clean energy commitments by local elected officials.

There are many ways to learn more about the author and his work. First of all, you can watch BookTrib’s Facebook Live Author Interview with Mr. Karelas, available to watch at your convenience if you miss the event in real-time. Also, the author is one of the 3 interviewees in this (almost) hour-long episode that was recently taped for The Commonwealth Club of California’s Climate One podcast, and he spoke recently on “The Impact of Going Solar” for The Rick Ungar Show. Lastly, for a sneak peek at the book you can read BookTrib’s review of the impactful and insightful guide. 

Educate Greener with Bill Nye, ‘the science teacher you wish you had” according to the 2017 documentary on his life and work. The film, Bill Nye: Science Guy, features the star of the 90’s kid’s TV show of the same name. A description of the film describes Nye as “a man on a mission: to stop the spread of anti-scientific thinking across the world.” Nye has been very vocal in recent years about climate change and the impact it will have on future generations. 

Now the CEO of The Planetary Society, Nye has been a staunch advocate for “science, research, and discovery.” Nye challenges policymakers and others on evolution, climate change and scientific research. In addition to exclusive interviews with Nye, directors David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg also interviewed Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ann Druyan, and others in the scientific community. The film also shows Nye as he engages with those who deny climate change; his goal is not to change their minds but to influence their supporters who may be willing to see a different point of view. As they acknowledge, science “isn’t perfect, but it’s the best we got.” Learn more about the documentary here: https://billnye.com/documentary, and watch on Netflix

Grow Greener with The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden, by Rick Darke and Douglas W. Tallamy (Timber Press). Millions of people across the world enjoy festooning their homes with gardens, but how many of them see their growing spaces as part of a larger landscape that’s made up of multiple living layers?

In this book, authors Darke and Tallamy, two important voices in the fields of sustainability and horticulture, give the reader insight into how to design a beautiful, biodiverse home garden. They explain what role your garden can play in the surrounding environment, and then put that information to use in helping you design a unique garden for your region. This gorgeously and joyfully illustrated volume will help both the novice and experienced gardener create areas that contribute to a home’s beauty and to the world around it.

Reread Greener because hey, isn’t it a form of recycling? Last year we also published an Earth Day compilation. Those curated books were wonderful reads for that extra-special 50th anniversary of the holiday, and they are all still great choices well worth another look. To rediscover the nature-loving and environmentally friendly reads check out “Nine Perfect Books For Your 50th Earth Day Celebration.” Spoiler Alert: activist Greta Thunberg makes the cut. Finally, be sure to read our new list of curated Earth Day children’s books. Share one with a special kid in your life today and cultivate an appreciation for the planet in the next generation.  

Thanks for celebrating this holiday with us at BookTrib! To learn more about Earth Day, visit earthday.org