Of all the holidays to grace our calendars, Earth Day is probably the most beloved among paddlers. After all, without the earth we’d have no water, and without the water we’d have no SUP. Celebrating Earth Day is about showing our appreciation for our beautiful environment and reminding ourselves never to take it for granted. With Earth Day taking place this weekend–Sunday, April 22 to be exact– we put together five ways for you celebrate by giving back to Mother Earth.–MM
1. Join an Earth Day Paddle Flotilla
Paddlers are among the most environmental breed of human, and also some of the most active celebrators of Earth Day. Whether to generate awareness, clean up the environment or simply to celebrate the earth and its waterways, paddling flotillas and gatherings are being organized both around the country and the globe for this weekend’s holiday.
You can join the community paddling through the glades of Cypress Basin, Texas, take the family out with friends in Deerfield Beach, Florida, paddle with environmental crusaders for a cleanup in Haw River, North Carolina or Google “Earth Day Paddle Events” in your town.
2. Participate in New Earth Day
New Earth Day is a new movement being introduced for 2018. Its purpose is to celebrate Earth Day with a collective effort to harness the power of the natural world. The goal is for individuals and groups alike to experience their own unique Earth Day ceremony, and to collectively influence positive change around the world. All you have to do is to bring yourself or a group of friends outdoors, have a positive conscious experience, and send that intention to those that influence awareness and action around the globe.
The New Earth Day Philosophy
In addition to consciously participating in your favorite outdoor activity and sharing it with your network, New Earth Day participants are encouraged to construct stone cairns symbolizing their collective efforts and the beauty of Mother Nature. For more information, find New Earth Day on Facebook and Instagram. #NewEarthDay
As paddlers are uniquely aware, plastic pollution is destroying some of the world’s most pristine beaches and waterways. Not only does paddling through a sea of trash take the allure out of a peaceful paddling session, but this debris is deadly to the diverse ecosystem of plants and animals living underwater.
That’s why one of the best ways to celebrate this year’s Earth Day is to support the End Plastic Pollution campaign. The organizers are working to use the platform to educate others and influence real change by working with government officials on a global level. You can help by signing their petition, taking a pledge against plastic and emailing them your best ideas to help combat this plastic epidemic.
Plastic is taking over our beaches. Photo: Jack Tevenson
4. Register for Your Local Beach Cleanup
Beach cleanups are being organized in locations across the West Coast, with myriad events in Oregon, the Bay Area and Southern California. San Francisco paddlers can take part in the massive event put on by the Pacifica Beach Coalition, which last year hosted more than 6,800 volunteers who removed nearly two tons of trash, half a ton of recyclable material and 15,422 cigarette filters along the coastline between Daly City and Half Moon Bay.
A full gamut of East Coast cleanup events will also take place on Earth Day, cleaning up the Atlantic shores from North Carolina’s Crystal Coast to MacArthur Beach, Florida. For the digital geeks out there, there’s even a Pokemon Go Earth Day Cleanup with events in 20 countries and more than 1,500 participants.
5. Earth Day Run Challenge
If paddling to celebrate Earth Day isn’t an option, or if you’re looking for a land-based counterpart to your celebration, The Earth Day Run Challenge is a great option for active outdoor enthusiasts worldwide. It’s a global movement aiming to make a big impact through a small but powerful effort to reduce carbon emission. This one-day event aims to generate awareness by challenging you to run as far as you can and minimize carbon emission at the same time.
With Earth Day Run Challenge you don't need to commute to the event place--you can run wherever you are--creating a movement of individuals acting communally to literally reduce carbon emissions. The best part: it's flexible. You can run at any time within the specified period, anywhere in the world, with your own running buddies!