Earth Day in Our Gardens – Plants, Planet & Plastics

By Linda Wiggen Kraft,
Healthy Planet Green & Growing Editor

Earth Day 2024 takes place on April 22nd. It has been the same day every year since 1970 when Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson inaugurated the first Earth Day. In 1970, over 20 million people from around the country gathered in schools and communities to celebrate our earth and to take action. Earth Day has been celebrated for fifty-three years since.

Earth day is always a celebration, an awakening and a call to action. Let this April 22nd be a time to celebrate and learn more. The two-day celebration in Forest Park is on April 20th and 21st. It is a fun way to find information and others who share in the joy and love of Mother Earth.

For gardeners every day is earth day, not just April 22nd. How gardens grow has changed for the better since 1970. There has been an awakening that our gardens are habitats, not just pretty pictures. Vegetable gardens are part of many home gardens so food has the shortest trip from garden to table possible. Farmer markets share locally grown and prepared foods.

There is still more to be done as gardeners to help our Mother Earth though. As artist Claude Monet with his famous gardens and paintings once said “I must have flowers, always and always”. More and more flowering plants need to be grown, especially native plants. These can be flowering trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. Insects, birds and bats need the nectar and pollen from flowers for their survival.

The 2024 global theme of Earth Day is “Planet vs. Plastics”. This overall theme is for less plastics throughout the world. As gardeners there are some things we can do. The gardening industry uses and discards way too many plastics. We can reuse some of these 6-packs and pots if we start seeds indoors. Plant seeds in the ground, bypassing the plastic pot altogether. Big box stores that sell plants may recycle plastic pots. Some stores have areas where used pots can be dropped off. These stores don’t recycle them, the growers who deliver the plants do, they may take and recycle the pots. Ask a manager who would know.

University in Bloom has a plant sale every spring. Used 4” size pots and larger are welcomed at their 6860 Vernon Ave, University City, MO 63130 location anytime. Drop them off by the fence where other pots are stored. Donated plants are potted up in the used pots and sold at the upcoming April 27th and 28th sale.

Remember that Earth Day is every day, especially in our gardens.

Linda Wiggen Kraft is a landscape designer of holistic/organic gardens. She is an artist and creativity workshop leader. Her ceramic jewelry and pottery are available online. Check her website for details. Find out more, subscribe to her blog and Instagram at www.CreativityForTheSoul.com, Call her at 314 504-4266.