Ways to Bring Earth Day Home

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April 22 is Earth Day, and while your community probably has some sort of event planned, there are plenty of ways you can celebrate at home.

Plant a tree. Warren Buffett, one of the most successful investors of all time, famously said this: “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.“ While his area of expertise is investing, the literal meaning of this quote also holds true.

 Start a compost pile. Soil is a living, life-giving thing. Without it, we’d have nothing to eat. In light of that, Earth Day is the perfect excuse to start a backyard compost pile. Composting your food scraps and yard trimmings instead of landfilling them reduces methane emissions. It also leaves you with a wonderful soil amendment for your garden, or even your houseplants. If you already have a compost bin, today’s a great day to tend your pile: Turn it, water it or harvest your compost, if it’s ready.
If starting your own pile is not possible, be sure you’re taking full advantage of your curbside organics collection program by looking at your city’s or garbage hauler’s web page. Your provider usually has a hotline with an operator who can tell you which items are accepted. Many programs now accept food and food-soiled paper as well as leaves and grass clippings.

Encourage pollinators. Bees and other pollinating species play an essential role in any garden but especially ones with fruit trees, berries or squash. Bees have been having a rough time the last few years, with some species’ populations crashing dramatically. You can do the bees and your garden a favor by adding plants they find especially attractive. Lavender, white clover, heather, bellflower and yellow mustard are among the many options.

Alix Flamm is an interior designer working in the Newport Beach, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, and Tustin area of Orange County, California.