Earth Day has grown into Earth Week and Earth Month. But the battle to reinvent our economy to prevent severe climate change, reduce waste, and improve recycling is a year-round challenge.

Humanity’s project for the 2020s is simple, and also the hardest thing we have ever done. We must reinvent our society and bring it into harmony with the planet’s ecosystems. Humans face decades of growing climate disruption, which we can slow and someday start to reverse if we work together. The solution will not come as a single silver bullet that stops CO2 emissions and restores the environment; instead, it will take millions of small and large actions to turn our species away from self-destruction. We need a global discussion about practical steps and personal improvements to set a new course toward health and prosperity for our species and to restore biodiversity for other animals on the planet.

Together we can make leaps into a sustainable future. But too often, we are told to shuffle along and keep things the way they are; that’s how we got the atmosphere into such a mess. It is time to take action, from making your own smart choices to working and sharing your knowledge with others to helping society change for the better. Make this Earth Day the one you decide to make the transition to a healthy, sustainable life.

How You Can Participate at Earth911

We’ve helped people learn how to recycle and where to recycle for decades. This Earth Day, we invite you to join the effort to spread recycling and sustainable living knowledge, so that everyone has the information they need to act in the best interest of the planet, the atmosphere, and our many fellow species on the Earth.

Recycling by itself won’t cure climate change. But more effective recycling can help reduce the impact of extracting ores and minerals from the ground and lower the CO2 emissions associated with making all the products we throw away after a single use. Making informed decisions about the environmental impact of the products, food, and services you purchase can lead to the end of a wide range of planet-harming behaviors, ultimately leading society to a climate positive future. All these things are the makings of a sustainable, circular economy — if we learn together how to support a healthy planet, we can change the course of history.

Earth911 is a 30-year-old resource for recycling information and environmentally aware living, working, and shopping. We add more information and articles to the global conversation about sustainability and climate change every day. And you can participate in a variety of ways. We want to help you share your green ideas, sustainable shopping information, and the steps you take to reduce your environmental footprint. Information is power, especially when humanity faces so many practical challenges.

Four Ways To Act

Help analyze and improve the recycling system.

For decades, the Earth911 team has documented what can be recycled in local curbside and transfer station programs, as well as what retailers and private recycling companies will accept in thousands of localities around the U.S. We’re incredibly fortunate to be supported by more than 2,500 volunteers around the country who contribute to the Earth911 recycling database. Would you like to help make local recycling information more accessible? Register to be part of our volunteer team and add local recycling options for others to find.

If you are a public employee or work for a company that offers recycling, we welcome you to add your recycling listing for free. Just create an Earth911 account to get started. If you offer a recycling service but are too busy to add it to our database, contact us to have your listing added for a modest fee that also helps support our database all year long.

Reduce CO2 emissions.

Earth911 publishes ideas to help our readers and listeners lower their environmental footprint, and we’re always looking for new contributors. Are you interested in documenting the CO2 emissions created by the products and services we use as well as strategies to reduce the impact of everyday decisions? From shopping to travel and your work life, there are lessons to learn, share, and refine to address the specific issues in your region. We’ll work with you to develop your idea for publication. Just drop us an email with your idea to feedback@earth911.com or reach out on our Facebook page.

Prevent waste and improve recycling.

More ideas also mean less waste. Our contributors cover many recycling how-to issues. But there are literally hundreds of thousands of recycling projects that need attention — from how to separate and prepare plastics for recycling to the complexities of getting e-waste and packaging into the recycling stream. Do you have a convenient practice for keeping your recycling in order or are you working with your local government to make a change in recycling policy? Share your experience on Earth911. Email us at feedback@earth911.com or visit our Facebook page. We’ll help you tell your story.

Become an activist for environmental responsibility.

Knowledge is only as useful as its applications, and myriad environmental, economic, social, and personal challenges lie ahead. Please consider sharing your actions with the millions of visitors to Earth911 each year. Do you have a petition that needs signatures? Do you need partners in a local recycling solution or to help refurbish well-loved clothing, computers, and toys? Need help starting a local group to protest against an oil train or getting your city council to adopt a sustainable economic development plan? Do you want to restore the environment? We want to help. Reach out to feedback@earth911.com or visit our Facebook page. The Earth911 team will help you reach others to the best of our ability.

Let’s Move From Climate Anxiety to Celebration

Earth Day turned 51 years old today. Let’s make it a day to celebrate our successfully turning the corner to begin a new epoch of environmental responsibility by the time it reaches its 60th year. But none of us can just sit on the sidelines and expect others to solve all our problems. It’s time to make personal changes in consumption, community-wide changes in recycling and environmental protection policy, and global changes in the way products are made and delivered. Make a promise to act just once a day, and try new ideas every day. That’s the recipe for a revolution in humans’ role in our planet’s life.

We’ll be here every day, working to share ideas and keep the sustainability conversation growing. Happy Earth Day.

By Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch is the publisher at Earth911.com and the sustainability leader at Metaforce, a global marketing firm. A veteran tech journalist, Mitch is passionate about helping people understand sustainability and the impact of their buying decisions on the planet.