Earth Day is a day to celebrate this wondrous planet on which we live. In Canada and the United State, Earth Day is always celebrated on April 22nd. It is a great day for you and your family to come up with sustainable activities that emphasize recycling and caring for the environment.
Consider these two fun ideas as a way to get started.
Make a Compost Pile
It’s easy to make a compost pile in your yard. You only need a space that is 3’ x 3’. While many people purchase a bin made especially for composting, if you set aside a space that is 3 square feet, that should be large enough for your compost pile to decompose.
The materials you will need are:
- “Brown materials that are rich in carbon such as fallen leaves, dead flowers, straw and shredded old newspaper.
- “Green” matter that is full of nitrogen such as plant-based kitchen waste (fruit rinds and vegetable peelings).
- One or two shovelfuls of rich garden soil.
How To Start It
- Make a layer several inches thick of dry brown material like leaves, dead flowers, and such
- Cover that with a layer of green material that is 1 inch high
- Now make another layer of brown stuff
- Cover that with a layer of green stuff
- Keep layering until your pile is three-feet high
- Cover with a thin layer of garden soil
- Add another layer of the brown material
- Moisten the pile
In a short while you will have rich mulch for your garden and trees.
Planting a Tree
The most important thing about planting a tree you buy in a pot from the plant nursery is the hole you dig for it. While planting your tree, consider this fact: the hole will be the tree’s home for its entire life.
You will need:
- A tree in a container
- A shovel
- Water Source
How to Plant It
The most common mistake that novice tree planters make is they dig a hole that is too narrow and too deep. When the hole is too deep, the roots cannot get the right amount of oxygen needed for proper tree growth. When the hole is too narrow, the root system cannot spread out enough to nourish the tree and anchor it correctly in the ground.
- Normally, a tree should be planted no deeper than the soil level in the container you bought it in. The width of the hole should be three times the diameter of the container.
- Once the hole is dug, make a small sloping elevation at the bottom for drainage and scrape the sides and bottom of the hole with a fork or other sharp tool. This stops the hole from “glazing,” which describes the hole as being too smooth and hard for water to penetrate.
- Remove the container completely from the tree, being careful not to damage the root system. Then, using your fingers, gently spread the root system apart – take care not to pull hard, you simply want to separate the roots, not tear them.
- Place the tree in the hole and backfill the hole with the soil you dug out. Be sure that you only put in enough soil to match the amount of soil in the container.
That’s it! All that is left is to water, fertilize, and mulch!
We hope these ideas will bring you and your family closer together on this wonderful holiday. Enjoy your Earth Day 2013!