Practicing Prosocial Propriety During Earth Month

The teacher climbs a neem tree to get proper signals on his phone for online classes By PTI, April 20, 2020 1 Photo credit – Canva

Perhaps because spring is so full of life and light that many religions have special celebrations of new hope and absolution, and environmentalists have so many activities going on.  Plus, it is a good time for planting and planning.

April’s Major Religious Holidays

Erich Toll is president of Diversity Resources, and put together this Interfaith Calendar 2023.  Regardless of the religion or environmental action, there is a universal call mend our greedy and selfish ways, and pay more attention to doing for others and for the earth.  One of these days, perhaps we will actually tip the balance towards community and constructive interaction, or follow the religious universal prosocial doctrine of “doing unto others as we would have done to ourselves.”

April 4Mahavir Jayanti’s Birthday. Jainism. Principles include nonviolence towards all living and even some nonliving (air, water) things, protecting one’s own soul by protecting the souls of all others. They practice truth, sexual restraint, non attachment, and non covetousness.  

April 5 to April 13Passover.  Judaism. This holiday spans 7-days.  It is meant to take the time and reflect on any peoples who struggle from oppression. Children are asked and answer four questions about food and eating rituals which commemorate a passage from slavery to freedom.

April 9Easter.  Christian. The most important holiday in Christianity celebrates the accomplishment of God’s mission, to save us from our sins and to restore his good creation which had been marred by sin, his Son’s life, death, and resurrection.

April 9 Vikat Sankashti Chaturthi  (monthly celebration). Hindu. Vikat (horrendous) and Sankashti (ridding of obstacles). The day is set aside to worship Lord Ganesha for blessings, happiness, prosperity, and other wishes.

April 14Vaisakhi. Sikh. Hindu Solar New Year and spring harvest.  Established in 1699 by the tenth and last Sikh Guru (Gobind Singh) when he proclaimed all humans have equality, and abolished the caste system.

April 16Feast of the Divine Mercy. Catholic. The Second Sunday of Easter celebration is based on the private revelations of St. Faustina Kowalska, born in 1905, canonized in 2000, to render unconditional and obligatory mercy to all our neighbours.

April 21 to April 22* – Eid al-Fitr. Islam. The holiday marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting to commemorate Muhammad’s first revelation, which was “to read,”  followed by 23 years of divinations recorded in what  is now known as the Quran.  He was appalled at the moral degeneration of his fellow humans.  

The Washington Spectator, October 1, 2012, by Janette D. Sherman and Joseph J. Mangano

April is Earth Month


In 1962, Rachel Carson created a turning point in environmental consciousness with the publication of her best selling and widely cited work “Silent Spring,”  raising awareness about the devastation to all life of pollution.  

In particular, she addressed the effects of synthetic pesticides on the earth, flora and fauna. As in every battle between (at best “selfish” and at worst “antisocial”) individuals and/or individual corporations, and those who care about the larger community, she had her share of both fierce opposition and supporters.

Fortunately, chemical companies didn’t entirely win, and some bans were put in place, although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency actually wasn’t formed until 1970.  

Like many other prosocial groups, it was the shock of reality and people who get it organizing that has brought about action.  A massive oil spill in Santa Barbara in January of 1969, which had the now common and predictable destructive environmental effects, inspired a senator from Wisconsin to mobilize students for to raise awareness for and become involved in ecological activism. People were annoyed with air pollution from automobiles, and abusive consumption of leaded gas.

Organizers started out with an initiative called Earth Day, first celebrated on April 4, 1970, but quickly turned into Earth Month.  

Benefits of Earth Month

Within 20 years, Earth Month had attracted 200 million participants from 141 countries.  This became of such global importance that the United Nations became actively involved in promoting the message as well.

This is a time to cooperate and collaborate in every possible way, now that we know that there are in fact climate solutions and ways to protect natural resources. We each can learn more to teach more, and “add our own little ounce of strength” to the movement.  (Richard Gilbert, who retired in 2005 after a total of 76 years serving the Unitarian Universalist Community, used to say this often.)

Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Council Pittsford, NY

Local Events – How to Participate in Earth Month

April 1 – April 30: RIT Earth Month Eco Challenge team

See featured events going on all month long.  Encourage and learn from the best students.  

April 19 May 24Wildlife Wednesdays Habitat Restoration Class

Led by AFH Board Member Jane McConnochie, Ph.D., Pittsford Recreation is hosting a course on local habitat restoration for budding ecologists aged 11 to 15.  

Through project-based learning activities, students will learn plant identification and basic horticulture skills. Plant trees and other native perennials, build wildlife shelters, and explore related topics based on your own interests

The first class on 4/19 will be held classroom style in Room 206 at the Pittsford Community Center; subsequent classes will be held outdoors at various locations to be determined by the instructor.  

  • Wednesdays, for six weeks
  • 4:45 PM to 5:45 PM
  • Pittsford Recreation first day here
  • Register here.

April 21 -22:  Climate Solutions Accelerator summit –Organizations in Action and  Citizens in Action

Transition from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy in the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region.

Register here

Eastern White Pine, in The Spruce, How to Grow and Care for …, by David Beaulieu, 6/22/22 Photo credit Adrienne Legault

April 26: Plant Trees with A Frog House to Rehab Habitat and Capture Carbon!

The Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) is the tallest conifer native to the North East. These majestic trees provide food and shelter for numerous birds and mammals, from warblers to owls, and red squirrels to black bears. An essential part of mixed conifer forests, white pines help provide critical habitat for tree frogs, toads, and newts. Known as the Tree of Peace by the Haudenosaunee, these giant trees once dominated the landscape, but centuries of logging have all but removed them from Western New York.

With the support of the Town of Pittsford we plan to plant 10 Eastern white pine saplings (donated by Scout Troop 260 and nursed at A Frog House) in the Deblase Open Space where they will enjoy sunshine and well-drained soil. We will protect them from hungry deer as they grow with tree cages.

This is a perfect opportunity for scouts to begin to earn a Forestry Merit Badge | Boy Scouts of America ( and Girl Scouts Gold Award.  

A Frog House is doing this project in conjunction with Dr. McConnochie, and is included in the entire six week course above if you register for that.

For the one time event only, please sign up here.  You will need work gloves and water.  There are no restroom facilities, so plan accordingly.  We will meet at the Deblase trailhead off Sugarbush Lane in Pittsford at 4:30pm.

In Home Depot How to Plant a Tree Photo credit – Adobe Stock

Take Action

For a full description of the 10 following activities, as well as Earth Day Quotes and Poetry, see Almanac, Earth Day 2023:  How to Celebrate

1. Support Our Pollinators

2. Clean Up Plastic in Your Neighborhood or Local Park

3. Swap Out Your Kitchen and Household Products

4. Plant a Tree

5. Use Wildflowers and Native Plants

6. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in the Garden

7. Stop Pesticides and Chemicals in the Garden

8. Conserve Water

9. Think About Your Diet

10. Get Kids Involved

First-ever Earth Day in 1970. National Geographic Kids PHOTOGRAPH BY BETTMANN, GETTY IMAGES

This list in National Geographic Kids adds three other activities:

1. Turn Off the Lights

2. Offer Your Time

3. Spread the Message

Parents: please encourage your children to participate in the activities listed above, especially:

April 19 May 24Wildlife Wednesdays Habitat Restoration Class

April 26: Plant Trees with A Frog House to Rehab Habitat and Capture Carbon!

Volunteer!  Donate! Join the Fun!  Be Proactive, Productive and Prosocial!

If you are not familiar with prosocial, here are a few articles under the google search “beginners guide to prosocial behavior”