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Denver has always been a place outdoor enthusiasts flock to – and it’s obvious why. With the Rockies as a playground, getting outside is a way of life here, especially last year as social distancing has given us even more appreciation for our easy access to the great outdoors. With Earth Day approaching April 22nd, this is the perfect opportunity to find ways in which you can use your time and skills to make a difference in this year’s Earth Day mission to restore our earth. From webinars to cleanups, there are tons of ways to take action as we all come together to fight climate change and keep Colorado’s outdoor spaces beautiful for generations to come.

a man holding a kite while standing in the grass

© photo courtesy of Keep America Beautiful

For those who want to help clean up

Make an instant impression on Earth Day by going outside and helping clear out trash in some of the most visited outdoor areas in the area. On Saturday April 17th, the city of Wheat Ridge, Sustainable Wheat Ridge, Localworks and the Institute for Environmental Solutions will join forces Clear Creek cleanup event. The Poudre River is a favorite for summer kayaking and tubing in Fort Collins. You can team up with the coalition for Poudre River Watershed & Odell Brewing to make it look pretty for the season Cleanup event on Sunday April 18th. In Denver on Saturday, April 24th, join fellow LoDo community members at the Downtown Children’s Playground at Speer and Wynkoop Cleaning day Downtown.

You can also tidy up green spaces in your neighborhood individually at any time – check out Keep the tips from Denver Beautiful how to safely help get rid of trash in Mile High City. Or organize an event as part of the 23rd Annual Great American Cleanup anytime before June 20th.

For tree lovers

Several schools in the region have partnered with them Tree plenish, a non-profit organization that works to offset paper consumption in schools by planting trees in the surrounding neighborhoods. There are three ways to help: Volunteers to plant trees with students at events like the one organized by South High School On April 24th, ask for a tree to be planted in your yard or donate $ 5 to help fund these new neighborhood trees.

In addition to checking out the local tree planting efforts, check out The Green Team Academy too 3rd annual earth week summit which focuses on the topic “Teams and Trees”. In addition to live workshops, Q&A, and a lot more with information on how to make a bigger impact on the environment, they have also partnered with the Mabinju Power House Youth Group to fund tree planting in Kenya. For $ 39, get access to two Climate Change Challenge e-books and sponsor 20 trees for the 1,000 tree goal by April 30th.

a tiger walking through a forest

© photo courtesy of The Wild Animal Sanctuary

For animal lovers

The Wildlife Sanctuary in Keenesburg is home to 520 large predators that roam the 10,500 acre property. It’s a place that specializes in providing safe, spacious homes for animals in need of care and rehabilitation. On this Earth Day they hold their own celebration, Wild Earth Day. Support this facility by bringing a tree or bush to donate on Thursday April 22nd and getting free entry to the elevated walkway where you can see lions, tigers, bears (oh my god!) And more that are call this place home.

For everyone who wants to learn more virtually

The official Earth Day event this year includes three days of virtual summit From April 20-22 with world climate leaders, grassroots activists, nonprofit innovators, thought leaders, industry leaders, artists, musicians, influencers and more all to watch for free. Check the on-site Golden Earth Week Festival Here you can find online sessions on topics such as zero waste and renewable energy. The Longmont Earth Day celebration will take place on April 24th with a day of virtual conversations focusing on youth, education and fair climate action. You can also sign up for the free Earth Day at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science Webinar The host is the Denver 7 meteorologist Mike Nelson, who deals with the topic “Seeing differently: The art of communicating climate change”.

© Courtesy of Denver Public Schools

For gardeners

Did you know that 30 soccer fields of fertile soil are lost every minute in the US? You can help maintain fertile soil in the USA starting in your own garden. You can join one for $ 5 April 23 online workshop At the invitation of Nick and Shannon at Arvadas Hugelrado Farms, learn about the science behind soil health and ways to increase soil nutrients, including composting techniques and land management practices. Not only do you help the earth, but you also get an important personal bonus: more and healthier fresh garden produce to enjoy all summer long.

Even if you don’t enjoy gardening, you should exercise your green thumb by volunteering at a local school garden. You can contact Chris Woodburn Denver Public School gardening specialist, to find out more about opportunities at schools in your area.

For everyone who wants to shop smarter

As consumers who we spend our money with, we have a lot of power which is why you should consider helping local businesses that really step up when it comes to addressing climate change and their businesses’ environmental impact. Lakewood based Natural grocer is an example with their 2021 Earth Day partnership with Beyond pesticides for the “Ladybug Love Your Neighborhoods” campaign aimed at converting local parks and public spaces to pesticide-free management. Along with their goal of raising $ 250,000 in April, so will they Celebrate earth day in their stores with discounts on eco-friendly products, free limited edition reusable tote bags, and sweepstakes for prizes such as 40-ounce hydro bottles and gift cards for natural grocers.

Based in Bellevue, northwest of Fort Collins, Noosa yogurt is working to remove plastic lids from its range of single serving yogurts, removing more than 70 tons of plastic annually. Along with these recent efforts, the company is also reclaiming and reusing water on its farm, reusing and recycling its cardboard packaging, supporting honeybees with donations to the Bee-friendly agriculture Certification program and their work with the Pollinator Partnership and donates $ 20,000 (or 3,000 trees that produce half a million peaches) Talbott Farms who lost most of their 2020 crop to spring frost. If you want to spend money on things like groceries, you should support companies like this so they can keep doing good in the world.

For everyone who wants to travel smarter

Enjoying all of Colorado is one of the best things to do about living in Denver, but we can all do more to reduce our impact as we travel away from Mile High City. The Colorado Tourism Office is the first US travel agency is developing a plan to help travelers reduce their carbon footprint. Check out theirs Colo Road Trips Microsite showcasing many ideas for less-visited destinations across the state, including multi-day itineraries with sustainability activities for each destination. Both Aspen and Glenwood Springs are 100% renewable energy. This makes them ideal destinations for anyone looking to get out of the city with a low carbon footprint.

a person throwing a frisbee

© photo courtesy of Protect Our Winters

For outdoor lovers

Since we’re in Denver it’s pretty safe to assume that we’re all outdoor enthusiasts. And no matter how careful you are when it comes to tenants, like “packing, unpacking,” you are impacting the environment every time you go outside. Based in Boulder, Protect our winters was founded in 2007 by professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones and is working on guidelines that will help achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, with an emphasis on realizing your own impact and becoming a climate advocate. The organization offers a variety of volunteer opportunities at any time of the year, from making phone calls to contacting officials, exchanging campaigns and much more. Likewise, boulder-based basic website Boulder.Earth works with over 100 environmental organizations in the Boulder area to jointly influence climate change and connect you with them Volunteer opportunities with a variety of organizations.

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Molly Martin is a Denver-based freelance writer. Follow her @mollydbu on Instagram and Twitter for more information on life on Mile High.

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