A century ago, what we now know as Earth Day was called Arbor Day. The day was celebrated by planting trees, and in Denver especially, Mayor Speer would give out hundreds of trees, and children would plant trees in City Park. Most schools had Arbor Day celebrations or ceremonies; in fact, you can read about them in the historic Biennial Reports of Superintendents of Public Instruction, available from our library.
Today, we celebrate Earth Day by not just focusing on trees, but on recycling, sustainability, and the environment. If you are looking for small ways to help the planet — every day, not just today — the State of Colorado agencies have a few ideas:
- Adopt-a-Highway: The Colorado Department of Transportation sponsors this program through which volunteers help pick up trash from roadsides.
- Eat at a restaurant that uses locally-produced ingredients. Check the Colorado Proud Restaurant Guide to find out where.
- Teach your kids about the environment. See the Colorado Department of Education’s Environmental Education Plan.
- Learn about energy efficient construction from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.
- Volunteer at a State Park.
- Find a Recycler: View the map and information provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
- Learn about Urban Agriculture from Colorado State University. Shop at farmers’ markets, raise your own chickens and goats, and more.