And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything. — William Shakespeare
The scientific research on climate change indicates that humans need to step up and start making changes to support Mother Earth. We might think to ourselves “But what can I do, I’m only one person?” Remember even small steps, taken by many, add up and the choices we make can have a significant impact on slowing climate change when viewed from a broader, more global lens. And when we take time to honor Mother Earth’s abundance, we too reap the rewards knowing we are connected to such abundance and beauty!
Earth Day has been honored each year on April 22nd since 1970 in the US. In 1990, Earth Day went global. According to Earth Day Network (www.earthday.org), “More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.” So know that you are not alone even if you decide to honor this special day in your own way, on your own!
Below are just a few ideas that you might consider trying:
- Community Cleanup. This idea can be as simple as grabbing a large garbage bag, going to your favorite outdoor spot, and picking up as much garbage as you can carry or it can be as elaborate as organizing a community cleanup of a local park or beach. Or maybe it is something in between, like inviting a few a your neighbors to join you to clean up an area that has been neglected and then celebrate together afterwards with a pot luck lunch or dinner. Or you could join a community cleanup that has already been organized for your favorite park or beach. Remember, no effort is too small when it comes to expressing our gratitude for Mother Earth’s support and nurturing!
- Grow Food. Again, this idea might be to simply start with your favorite herb or it might be to plant an entire garden of your favorite vegetables. Or if you have always wanted to have a fruit tree in your yard, consider adding one this year! If you don’t have a yard where you can start a garden or plant a tree, no worries, start with your favorite herb and put it on a windowsill. Growing just one thing that can be enjoyed by your entire family is a great way to connect with and honor Mother Earth.
- Unplug. You can interpret this intention in one of two ways and both are wonderful! One way is to consciously unplug appliances when not in use. Your efforts will not only reduce your electric bill but also reduce overall electricity consumption. Another way to unplug is to leave your smart phone, computer, or any other electronic device at home while spending time outside listening to the music nature makes for our listening pleasure. Try this for a whole day and check in at the end of the day to sense what might have shifted inside. You might discover that the body asks you to unplug more!
- Go Paperless. Have you thought about switching from receiving your bills in the mail to e-bills? Well, Earth Day is a great day to set the intention to do so and help save our trees. Remember we breathe in the oxygen trees produce, so by saving trees, we are saving ourselves!
- Replace Light Bulbs. If you haven’t already, maybe consider replacing any traditional incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient ones to save yourself time and money, while once again relieving some of the pressure on Mother Earth. According to Energy.gov, replacing the five most used light bulbs in your home with ENERGY STAR versions can save you $75 a year. After changing over my light bulbs several years ago, I actually can’t remember the last time I changed a bulb. Energy.gov’s comparison of a 60W traditional bulb’s life of 1000 hours to an equivalent 12W LED bulb’s life of 25,000 hours allows me to stop worrying about having to stock up on light bulbs!