Every April, Earth Day celebrations mark a time to reflect on how we can protect and preserve our environment. Below are several fun ways you and your family can participate – right in your own backyard – and celebrate all year long.

Grow Your Green Thumb
Plants play an incredibly important role in sustaining our ecosystems, so what better way to commemorate Earth Day than by spending time in your garden? Whether you’re planting flowers, trees or anything in between, Erin Givens, OUC Vegetation Specialist, shares what you need to know before you grow.

Plan before you plant. This can be as simple as sketching your planting space on a piece of paper or using pin flags to visualize where each plant will go.

Select the right plants for your space. Think about factors like amount of sunlight, soil conditions, and the nearest water source.

Conserve natural resources by following the rules of xeriscaping (landscaping that uses slow-growing, drought-tolerant plants to conserve water) or Florida-Friendly Landscaping.

And as always, remember to call 8-1-1 before you dig to have your property marked for underground utility lines.

Compost in Your Yard
Take it a step further and consider composting, says Natalia Paredes, Corporate Sustainability Coordinator. While you’re spending more time at home, you’re probably noticing the amount of food scraps from fruits and vegetables. Before tossing these into the trash, use them to enrich your garden. It’s also a great way to help reduce your carbon footprint, with many easy ways to build your own bin.

Grow Your Own Fruits & Veggies
Start a fruit or vegetable garden. It’s a great way for little ones to see where their food comes from and you may have less dinner battles when it comes to finishing all the veggies on your plate.

Paredes’ advice: start small with seeds you already have and go from there, and check out Orlando’s Fleet Farming for more tips. Givens notes that April is the perfect time to plant warm-season crops, so try growing foods like corn, watermelon or sweet potatoes.

How are you celebrating Earth Day this year? Visit us on social media to let us know!

Facebook: @oucthereliableone

Twitter: @OUCreliableone

Check out OUC’s Reliably Green page to learn more ways to stay green all year long.