Take a break from your high-stress job and get outside this weekend; Friday is Earth Day and a perfect excuse to shed the winter coat to take advantage of the great outdoors. What better way to celebrate the earth than by enjoying it? After your day outside, take a moment to thank Mother Nature for the beautiful planet she has provided us and do something in return. Here are a few ideas to get you inspired:
1. Cook a Sustainable Meal. Make dinner using entirely natural ingredients. Avoid processed foods, food that comes heavily packaged or that contains elements that a 6 year old can’t pronounce. If possible, try to buy from local growers and farmers; this supports the local economy and cuts down on carbon emitted from shipping long distances.
2. Build a Green Birdfeeder. Use a pine cone or even some broken backyard refuge for the body of the feeder. Cover it in peanut butter and birdseed and hang it outside. Watch for the natural wildlife to start hanging out around your house. Note: this is not a good project if you have outdoor cats.
3. Clean Up. Many cities and non-profits organize outdoor clean-ups for the community to participate in. Spend a few hours picking up trash off the beach, in the park or along the streets. You can do your own clean up too but make sure you are properly equipped with gloves and long sticks or pokers. Should you find any potentially dangerous pollutants like chemicals or syringes, call a professional.
4. Visit a Recycling Center. See how all those bottles and cans get recycled after you throw them in the blue bin. Watching the aluminum and glass move on to its next life is mesmerizing in itself, but you can also score some extra cash. Complete the green circle of life and donate the proceeds from your day of recycling to your favorite charity or use it to start saving for bigger projects to green your home.
So whether you plant a tree, go on a bike ride or just lay in the sun for a while, be sure to get outside this weekend. Then take a moment to reflect on how lucky you are to be able to enjoy the great outdoors and give something back. Even a small gesture can make a difference.