Earth Day. Established in 1970, this day of celebration reminds people to care for their planetary home. The focus is on education, action, advocacy, and what we as individuals can do to care better for the environment. As a Green Earth Witch, I also find Earth Day a day to honor the planet and who it is as a deity through a simple offering and ritual.
A Brief History
In 1969, during the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) conference in San Francisco, a man named John McConnell suggested setting aside a day to honor the Earth and focus on peace. The Spring Equinox was the suggested date. A month later, US Senator Gaylord Nelson suggested having a nationwide environmental education day instead, to be held on April 22, 1970.
Then, a man named Denis Hayes was appointed as the event coordinator. Interestingly, the United Auto Workers offered extensive financial support among other contributors. The important thing is the event was a success! Over time, Earth Day grew to include local events and activities throughout the United States. In 1990, Hayes introduced Earth Day overseas with events now held every year in 141 nations. And here we are, still celebrating today.
Earth Day Activities
Check out your local area for outdoor volunteer Earth Day opportunities. Join community cleanup days. But be smart, wear a mask, stay socially distant (even if you have been vaccinated) and wear gloves (especially if you are picking up trash).
If you want to be active but keep things in your own neighborhood, put on your mask, pick up a trash bag, and collect discarded plastic, cups, etc., from the side of the street, sidewalks, etc.
Is there a neighborhood garden where you can volunteer to do some upkeep? What about starting one? Maybe volunteer to plant trees.
Take the time to look at your own home and habits. Do you minimize waste? Do you recycle, reuse, reduce? How can you improve on those activities?
Look at your yard. Can you leave the wildflowers for the bees instead of mowing the grass right away? What about starting a compost pile to feed a garden, flower beds, to place around the bases of trees and bushes, etc.
Are you able to contribute financial support to clean water initiatives? How about other organizations that do work to protect the environment or endangered animals?
Watch a few documentaries to educate yourself on climate change, food insecurity, etc.
Take time to enjoy the Earth Day online summit.
Honor the Earth
As a Green Earth Witch, I am devoted to the Earth Deity. So, this is a day to spend time honoring them as the planet and primordial world soul. Weather permitting, I plan to spend time outside meditating, connecting to the Earth Deity, and making an offering of water. I will dig my fingers into the soil to plant seeds or seedlings dedicating them to their purpose.
Later in the day, I will lead a ritual to say prayers, offer incense, and give thanks to the Earth Deity, the Sun, the Moon, for all the mechanisms that allow us to live on this planetary sphere. I’ll thank the plant, tree, land, and element spirits who work with me in my witchcraft. This is a day to celebrate life and dedicate ourselves to the things which preserve and are for the Earth Deity. Our home.
There are plenty of things we can do to honor and care for the planet every day. Green Earth Witchcraft encourages living in an eco-friendly manner as much as we are able. Taking the responsibility as stewards of our world seriously and encouraging others to do so as well. April 22 is when we can do so with renewed purpose. We are reminded why it is important to care.