10 ways to celebrate Earth Day featuring actions you can take in Birmingham

kids in the gardens
kids in the gardens
Photo courtesy of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

“Think Globally and Act Locally”  

For most of us, that bumper sticker slogan best represents Earth Day.  We all want to know…

What can I do personally to protect and preserve my little piece of the planet right here in Birmingham?

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, I’ve compiled some of my favorite Bham Now earth-friendly stories featuring planet saving actions you can take right here in the Magic City.

Let’s check them out. 

Birmingham’s Garden of Eden

flowers
Photo courtesy of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Just last week, Bham Now’s Beth Cunningham gave our readers a virtual tour of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. 

Take a walk through Birmingham Botanical Gardens—virtually, of course!

The gardens are truly one of our most cherished community treasures. Not only are they beautiful, the Friends of  Birmingham Botanical Gardens provides nature based workshops and educational opportunities year-round.  Joining the Friends of  BBG is invaluable – and that includes membership perks for their Native Plant sales!

You Are What You Eat

Birmingham, West Homewood Farmer's Market, Birmingham Farmer's Markets
Photo via West Homewood Farmer’s Market.

Food from local farms is more nutritious and eco-friendly. Period.  One of the best things you can do ecologically is support your local farmer.  Why buy fruits and vegetables from all over the world when most of it can come within a hundred mile radius.

17 ways you can get farm-fresh food via curbside or delivery in Birmingham now

In praise of Birmingham-area farmers + what you can do to help

Protect Our Pollinators!

Ruffner Mountain Birmingham Alabama

Did you know one southeastern blueberry bee can pollinate 6000 flowers in their lifetime. We need bees more than you can imagine.

The good folks at Birmingham-Southern College know it too.  That’s why they are promoting bee and pollinator gardens. Back in March they gave us some helpful tips on how to create your garden too.

BeeSC is buzzing—check out their pollinator gardens + learn how to make your own

Ruffner Mountain Birmingham Alabama
Favorite bee “condo” at Ruffner Mountain. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Ruffner Mountain’s Bee Condos

Be Like Julia Tutwiler

Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Late last year, Bham Now produced a series of stories about Alabama’s native plants and their importance to our landscape.  We provided loads of helpful tips and who knew Julia Tutwiler, one of Alabama’s most celebrated women in state history discovered one of the rarest plants in the world!

6 ways to become an Alabama native plant champion like Julia Tutwiler

Who’s bringing back native plants to the landscape of Alabama? Take a look and see.

How and Where to Plant Trees

Tree planting at East Lake Park on November 16, 2019. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Here is an April 22nd tip on tree planting.  In Alabama, April is NOT a good month to plant trees . Try December and January, and early February.  On April 1st of this year, we published a story about the best kinds of trees to plant in Birmingham. We also featured the work of the Nature Conservancy in Alabama and all the great urban forestry opportunities they are offering.

What you can do to protect Alabama’s natural health and beauty

Know What Is “In” Your Water Swim and Fish Guides

Coosa Riverkeeper
Coosa Riverkeeper’s Justinn Overton

When you go swimming in a lake, river or creek, do you know if it is safe to do so?  Thanks to the Coosa Riverkeeper they have led the “Right to Know” movement in Alabama.  A few years back they created the Swim and Fish Guides.  What are they? Simply put, the Coosa Riverkeeper monitors the waters and fish advisories in the Coosa Watershed and through a little bit of technology, they warn you when it is safe to eat fish and swim.  Important stuff.  

“We Dare to Defend Our Rights” – FISH GUIDE aims to protect the health and rights of Alabama fishermen and families

Need additional tips on how you can protect our rivers?  A few years ago, we produced a list of river advocates and their programs in and around Birmingham

Alabama’s rivers need you

Groups In and Around Birmingham – Bham Now Nonprofit Directory

Black Warrior Riverkeeper staff and Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School intern (center) investigate the Oak Grove Mine

Birmingham is blessed with a wide variety of groups working on behalf of planet earth.  

The Bham Now nonprofit directory has 14 conservations/nature organizations and the list keeps growing daily.  Is there a group missing on the list?  Urge them to sign up!

Found: 15, showing 5 per page

Entity Alabama Audubon
Focus Environment
Address 3720 4th Ave. S., 2nd Floor
City Birmingham
Facebook @alaudubon
Instagram @alaudubon
Notes We’re doing Facebook live birding videos and free online classes so you can learn more about the birds you love!
Donation URL alaudubon.org/give/

Entity Alabama Environmental Council
Focus Environment
Address P.O. Box 2114
City Birmingham
Facebook @aeconline
Instagram @aeconline
Notes Since 1967, the AEC has led wildness protection and recycling for five decades.

Entity Alabama Rivers Alliance
Focus Environment
Address 2014 6th Avenue North, Suite 200
City Birmingham
Facebook @alabama.rivers
Instagram @alabamarivers
Notes Alabama Rivers Alliance is a statewide network of groups working to protect and restore all of Alabama’s water resources through building partnerships, empowering citizens, and advocating for sound water policy and its enforcement.

Entity Alabama Scenic River Trail
Focus Environment
Address 1400 Louise Drive
City Jacksonville
Notes The Alabama Scenic River trail exists to promote water recreation, tourism, and education. We offer a reprieve from daily life, to extend joy and encourage exploration of our state's beautiful natural resources. Check out our website to find interactive trip-planning resources.

Entity Black Warrior Riverkeeper
Focus Environment
Address 712 37th Street South
City Birmingham
Notes Twitter: @bwriverkeeper

Dig In

Hope you enjoyed our journey of Bham Now earth-friendly stories that include tips and useful action items. 

My last words of advice this 50th Anniversary of Earth Day comes from the great poet and nature writer Gary Snyder.

“Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there.”

  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.