Earth Day is quickly becoming one of the most popular holidays to celebrate and for good reason. As we continually learn more about our environment, spend our days stuck inside four walls, and lose appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us we crave the ability to return to the simplicity nature provides.
So if you are an angler and want to celebrate Earth Day by doing some good for the environment while getting outside and enjoying nature – follow the suggestions below for ideas on what you can do this Earth Day!
1. Attend a UFWS Virtual Event
If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us one thing, it is how to attend an event virtually. Because you can’t do it any other way.
The United States Fish & Wildlife Service is a great source to find tons of events being offered virtually from around the globe. If you are a real fishing enthusiast, they have a list of activities which include a variety of kid-friendly ones at this website. But they also offer a wide variety of other lectures, events, tours, and other virtual offerings to get your fix this Earth Day.
If you would like a more local approach, look up your state government’s wildlife management website to see what offerings they may have. Local governments also have Parks & Recreation departments that often have various Earth Day offerings available for all age groups. Or even try your favorite nonprofit to see if they have some events you can attend.
Earth Day is growing in popularity, which means government agencies and nonprofits love to take advantage of the publicity to offer (sometimes free) classes or activities. Take advantage of it!
2. Take a trash bag to your local lake or river
If you’ve read this article you know there is one thing we all can do to protect our own local fisheries, and that is clean up our trash.
Plastic and other litter left at ponds, lakes, and riverbanks is harmful for many reasons. Plastic does not degrade even after hundreds of years and can leach toxins into water supplies. Many animals will even eat plastics and not be able to digest them, leading to fatal consequences in many cases. Other litter like aluminum cans can cut animals and hurt them, leading to infection and sometimes death.
So instead of taking a pole to the riverbank on Earth Day, take a trash bag and a pair of gloves. Pick up the trash on the bank and do what you can to help the environment and all the things that live in it. It’s a very simple activity that you can even do with a group of friends or family.
As silly as it may sound, this is a little like a date night for my wife and I. It’s almost like a walk in nature except you’re picking up trash along the way. It may not sound romantic, but it is quality time with another and you’ll both enjoy feeling like you made a difference this Earth Day.
3. Replace your fishing tackle with more sustainable options.
Maybe you want to take a little shopping trip or re-organize your fishing gear this Earth Day. Thankfully, you can do that while still being eco-friendly.
Read this article to find the 3 things you can buy this Earth Day to add to your fishing arsenal which are also eco-friendly. Or just go out to your local bait shop and seek out any environmentally friendly tackle they may have. You’ll be surprised what you may find.
Chiefly, this means avoiding plastic lures and lead weights. Some companies offer various other materials other than plastic for baits and you can find tin or brass sinkers to replace the lead ones in your tackle box.
Who doesn’t love a trip to the tackle store and being more eco-friendly at the same time on Earth Day?
4. Donate or volunteer at your favorite conservation focused nonprofit
Maybe you’re going to be extremely busy this Earth Day and can’t take time to attend an event or go pick up trash at your lake. Or you have no one to go with and want like-minded individuals to celebrate Earth Day with. Then you can always consider a small donation to a conservation focused nonprofit of your choice or volunteering for them.
We have learned more about the environment within the last few decades than we have over most of human history. This is due to the various nonprofits and government agencies which fund research into determining what we can do to keep our environment safe and stable for years to come. And they provide the manpower to clean up entire water systems.
It’s not easy though. Research takes funding. Cleaning up litter takes volunteers. Almost all nonprofits are in constant need of more donations and volunteers to assist them. Donations are tax-deductible and they will all provide you with the necessary forms to keep for tax season. Volunteering with nonprofits is also a great way to meet people as well as feel better knowing you are providing a benefit for the environment.
If you don’t know of a nonprofit close to you, check out guidestar.org. This website has information on almost every nonprofit in the United States including financial statements. You can quite literally see if their money is where their mouth is before donating your own cash or time.
5. Read a book about environmentally safe fishing practices
If you are more of a curl up in a lawn chair and soak in nature type of person – then consider reading a book this Earth Day about fisheries and their environmental impact.
If you want a suggestion, I have found this book extremely interesting. Fishing Grounds is a great synopsis of the many struggles we face managing fisheries properly. It includes the perspectives of every side and does a great job of explaining it simply to the reader. It is on my reading list for this year.
6. Go Fishing
I mean, what else are you going to do if you are an angler? Just go fishing!
Maybe the best part of Earth Day is that it encourages everyone to appreciate something that is available but often forgotten every single day of the year. So take a trip out to your local pond and just enjoy your time in the most peaceful place on earth. A bank with a fishing pole in your hand.
But don’t just go yourself – take your children, friends, or other family members. Maybe the only thing more rewarding than catching a fish is teaching someone else how to. And seeing them catch “the bug” that we all have.
Earth Day is a time to appreciate nature as well as share that appreciation with others. To make Earth Day special, take someone special to you fishing and you could make the memory of a lifetime.
If you have another great Earth Day event you’re planning for 2021 please leave it below so we all can have more ideas for how we want to celebrate. After a pandemic year where we were forced inside, the ability to go into nature and enjoy Earth Day is extremely exciting for most of us. I hope you have a wonderful Earth Day with those closest to you and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.