Well, folks…Earth Day is right around the corner and I am positive that your inbox is flooded with sales posts. Companies like to celebrate Earth Day by offering sales, giveaways, and luring in new “eco-conscious” consumers. I wold like you to imagine that I am standing between you and these e-mails with a big “STOP” sign. Close the computer. Put down the phone.
Stop and look around. Look around at our shared home and ask yourselves: “How can I help?” and “How can I find a deeper connection to the Earth?”
This is what Earth Day is all about for our family. Today, I'd like to list 10 simple ways to celebrate Earth Day at home, without spending a single dime.
1. Dig Your Hands Into the Earth
This is a very simple step that I find folks do not do often enough. No, I am not asking you to garden (though I will later in this article). I am simply asking you to walk outside, find some dirt, and dig your hands inside. Feel the Earth in your hands. Thank her for all that she has provided for you. Ground yourself into her and take note of how it feels in your hands. If you feel so inclined, feel free to meditate here as well. As you take deep breaths, relax your body more and more into the Earth.
If you happen to be doing this at night time, lay on your back and look up at all the beauty surrounding our planet.
2. Take a Walk in Nature (or just around the block)
This seems like such a simple step, but according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans spend 87% of their time indoors, 6% of their time in automobiles, and only 7% of their lives outside. This is a very sad reality.
Celebrate Earth Day by spending extra time outdoors and enjoying a walk in nature (or just a stroll around the block). The benefits are wonderful as well: mood improvement, a healthy dose of Vitamin D, and it can even lower your risk of lung cancer by 30%!
3. Pick up Trash (See some trash? Pick it up!)
This is one of my favorite things to do – is that odd? I find that the more we do this, the more we want to do it! All you need are trash bags or reusable bags (I like reusable bags), gloves (or not – do as you wish), and trash to clean up. I like to pick up trash on my nature walks, when we are at the river, or any time really. I personally bring a few reusable bags to sort the items from recyclable to waste.
4. Plant something (Even if you do not have a green thumb)
Plant a seed! You can do this in your garden, on the windowsill, on the balcony, or even with an indoor garden system. I often hear folks telling me “I don't garden because I don't have a green thumb”, and this is a silly excuse. The more you try, the more chances you have of success. We all start somewhere. One of the best things you can do for yourself and your family is to learn how to grow your own food. Start today!
Check out our guide to growing indoors here!
I'm not just talking about unplugging from your phone (although – this is a fantastic idea). I'm quite literally talking about unplugging things from the wall. Walk around your house and take notice of ALL of the items that are not currently being used and that are still sucking up energy. Plugged in appliances and electronic devices are tag lined “energy vampires” that can account for up to $200 dollars a year in energy. We do not want to waste energy.
Today's modern homes are full of electronic devices and appliances. Walking around your home, you may find that you have well over 20+ items plugged in at any given time. Unplugging your appliances is also a great way to protect against power surges. Small surges happen every single day in a home and they gradually wear out our appliances and shorten the lifespan. Save money on your electric bill AND extend the life of your appliances. Win-Win!
6. Get a Refresher on Recycling in your Town
Jump on your computer and search your local recycling rules and regulations. There's a good chance that you could recycle a LOT more than you already are! There's also a good chance that you may have accidentally been recycling the wrong things. By keeping up to date on the recycling rules and regulations of your specific location, you can rest assured that your recycling attempts are always spot on and helpful.
We have a blog post on common recycling mistakes here if you want to take a look!
7. Snuggle up to an Earth Friendly Documentary
I love a good documentary on date night. I don't know about you, but there's nothing better than getting informed with my partner over a glass of wine and deep conversation. Pop some bulk bin popcorn, snuggle up with your partner/roommate/dog/favorite pillow, and jump into a new documentary!
1. David Attenborough: A Life on our Planet, directed by Alastair Fothergill, Jonathan Hughes and Keith Scholey (2020)
2. My Octopus Teacher, directed by James Reed and Pippa Ehrlich (2020)
3. I Am Greta, directed by Nathan Grossman (2020)
4. Seaspiracy, directed by Ali Tabrizi (2021)
5. Ice on Fire, directed by Leila Conners (2019)
6. 2040, directed by Damon Gameau (2019)
7. Kiss the Ground, directed by Rebecca Harrell Tickell and Josh Tickell (2020)
8. Honeyland, directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov (2019)
8. Create with Nature
One of my favorite things to do with children (or alone!) is to craft with treasures in nature. This is the perfect season for dandelion crowns, nature journaling, creating spring wreaths, and so much more. My children often come home with rocks, sticks, and flowers from the garden that we love to use in various crafts. Use your imagination and have fun!
9. Stuck inside? Take a virtual field trip!
Some of us may be stuck indoors for various reasons (I could think of a few!) and virtual field trips are a great way to have an adventure without leaving your home. The virtual world is absolutely amazing now. Celebrate Earth Day by taking a tour of the Great Barrier Reef, Grand Canyon, various National Parks and famous landmarks!
10. Make a Promise
Make a heartfelt promise to the Earth that you will do everything in your power to protect it. We only have one home and she needs our help more than ever.
“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”
I hope this list of simple ways to celebrate Earth Day has inspired you to slow down, take a look around, and smile. Our home is pretty dang amazing.