Celebrate Earth Day with the Earth Month Pledge!

This month, Friends of the San Juans and the Stewardship Network of the San Juans are partnering to bring you the “San Juan Islands Earth Month Pledge.” Join us to create digital community solidarity for the health of the planet! We are not advocating that you go far from home – we just wanted to figure out a way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day together.

Pledge to take action to recognize Earth Day all month – examples include:

  • Pick up trash on the road near your house or on your next beach walk; it is a good idea to bring a bag and gloves with you.
  • Commit to reduce electricity use at home where you can, like shorter showers and making sure lights are turned off.
  • Plant a veggie garden, start a compost bin, and simply enjoy time outside in your yard every day.
  • And of course, be responsible for the earth and your community by following social and spatial distancing guidelines.

Post your pledge or picture of you doing your action on social media with the hashtag #EarthMonthPledge. You can email us pictures if you are not on social media and we will share them on the Friends of the San Juans’ Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as on our website.

This month-long pledge is in place partly because the spring Great Islands Clean-up has been cancelleddue to health concerns. If you decide to collect litter for your Earth Month Pledge, remember that road and beach litter can be disposed of free of charge at the Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan transfer stations – and we suggest holding on to your bag of litter and doing that when Governor Inslee’s “Stay at Home” order is lifted.

Mother Earth deserves to be treated better than ever for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. This pandemic has shown us that rapid change is possible and that a slow-down of human activity has positive effects on the environment. Across the world people have been taking notice; an improvement in good air quality days in China and many other places, less turbid waters in Venice (where Swans are coming back and fish are now seen in the canals), and a reduction in climate change-causing greenhouse gasses.

In this time when most of us are at home and dealing with overwhelming news, it is important to remember the strength that we have in our communities. We look forward to seeing you virtually or online this month as we join together to create positive change for our islands!

We believe that our property is more valuable if we and our neighbors protect the shoreline. Orcas need salmon. Salmon need forage fish. Salmon and forage fish need the protection of eelgrass and kelp. Eelgrass and kelp need clean water. Shoreline protections are good for ecosystems and for the long-term economy of these lovely islands.

Val and Leslie Veirs

members, San Juan Island