Photo by Robbi Behr

We are all doing our part to face the coronavirus enemy, whether isolating at home, sewing masks, or working on the front line. We are taking unprecedented, drastic action to “flatten the curve” and lower death rates, saving lives by accessing the best scientific data. Of course we are willing: We share the same planet, this crisis is worldwide, and we care for one another.

What if we took the same approach to the other coming global catastrophe science has clearly predicted, the climate crisis? We can and must be better prepared for the climate breakdown that threatens our economy, our democracy, our civil rights, and our very life support system. Let’s take advantage of ‘The Great Pause’ to create a better, more resilient world.

Here are a few ways to take action at home on the 50th Earth Day, April 22 – adapted for Chestertown from suggestions by Earth Day Network:

  • Switch to clean energy. In Maryland, you can access community solar power (with nothing on your roof). Sign up online for free, keep your utility provider, and save on your energy bills monthly. ForeFront Power: https://www.arcadia.com/forefront
  • Make your yard a haven for biodiversity. Many of our local nurseries are delivering now! Native plants create essential habitat and help clean our waterways. Tips to transform your yard of any size are on the ShoreRivers website, https://www.shorerivers.org/river-friendly-yards, and check out local plant expert Sabine Harvey’s (sharvey1@umd.edu)  daily Facebook posts: https://www.facebook.com/School-and-Community-Gardens-in-Kent-County- 134646973218491/?hc_ref=ARTX9MDV5Er1Khqu5w6FEFufeRJUrV_s1eGBeCZ1hLr0ygC1Z- Hy3X2CW7m_uI5itYA&fref=nf&__tn__=kC-R 
  • VOTE. And demand fair, accessible elections.
  • Cook and eat more plants. Sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share. Shorten the supply chain, support a local farmer, and safely pick up fresh boxes of delicious veggies curbside all summer, no matter what the grocery store shelves have left. Oksana’s Produce Farm: https://oksanasproduce.com/ An alternative to the Farmers’ Market: Farmers Wagon online ordering: https://farmerswagon.org/
  • Do something for our community. Humans are part of the Earth, not separate from it. A gift to the Social Action Committee for Racial Justice’s effort to get wholesome food to neighbors is a perfect way to celebrate Earth Day. We are all in this together. https://garpost25.org/donate/ Kent County Food Pantry https://kentfoodpantry.org/
  • Reflect. What are the insights, recipes, conversations, and changes in routine you will carry forward from this time? What have you learned you can live without? What will you work to protect?The Chestertown Environmental Committee