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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

Earth Week Challenge

By Beaver Creek Reserve

Last year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day as we recognized dedicated environmentalists who strive to take care of our planet and educate others on the importance of sustainability. Back again this April, Beaver Creek Reserve invites individuals, families, and businesses to participate in our annual Earth Week Challenge! By registering for this challenge, you can earn points by completing “green” tasks where each point gets you closer to winning some sweet prizes. Prizes may include gift cards, ecofriendly household items, BCR merchandise, and so much more! Our goal is to encourage sustainable practices among citizens of the Chippewa Valley. The activities in the challenge are designed to be easily integrated into most lifestyles and households so we can continue to be green all year round.

When you think of “going green,” what words come to mind? Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Three very important words that we rely on to be more ecofriendly. Environmental advancements have opened the door to more sustainable and affordable opportunities, such as accessible recycling options, preferring reusable water bottles, and opting out of using plastic straws. Even though these actions are great ways to be green, we need to dig a little deeper and see how our actions affect the environment, otherwise known as our carbon footprint.

A carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas emissions brought on by a person, a business, an event, or service. For example, if you go for a walk on the beach, the footprints you leave behind in the sand are caused as a result of you walking. Well essentially, it’s the same as your carbon footprint. Driving your car, using electricity, turning on your heat when it’s cold outside, making dinner, even brushing your teeth all result in greenhouse gas emissions! Yes… we know, all these things are basic human activities and are necessary for most of our lifestyles. We all depend on these activities to survive, be healthy, and to properly do our jobs. We may not be able to cut them out completely, but we can limit less necessary actions to reduce our overall footprint.

How has COVID-19 affected our carbon footprint? For most of us, it’s less reducing and less reusing. You may be afraid to reuse items in your household with fear of spreading germs or viruses, which is completely understandable, but there are other ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Our Earth Week Challenge was restructured last year to be more COVID-19 conscious and has tasks designed to keep you and your families safe as you start your ecofriendly lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be hard, nor does it have to take much time at all. Many of the tasks are free to complete so you can support local businesses and be green on a budget.

Our Earth Week Challenge is a great way to get yourself and your families up and moving this spring as you find new ways to go green! Try growing your own produce by planting a garden, learn how to compost, move your desk towards a window to use natural light instead of turning on a lamp, or choose to walk or bike when you run errands. Participating in this challenge is a great way to learn more ecofriendly options and live a greener lifestyle even after Earth Week is over. First, try replacing one activity with a more sustainable option, and once you are comfortable with that option, try another! Now more than ever, our planet needs you. With greenhouse gas emissions rising every second, there’s no better time to be a steward for the Earth and reduce your carbon footprint than today! Participate in Beaver Creek Reserve’s Earth Week Challenge to learn more, and keep an eye out on their Facebook page for when 2021 registration opens.

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