There has never been a more focussed year for celebrating the earth. Right now, our planet is enjoying cleaner air, reduced levels of waste, lower light pollution and quieter streets, all as a consequence of this global shutdown. The virus is causing havoc in our lives, but the planet hasn’t felt this good in decades. Let’s remember this and celebrate this wonderful planet and its nature on April 22nd – Earth Day.
Hopefully, once this pandemic ends, we will come out the other side having realised and learned a few things, not least, that we need to protect the world we live in far more than we did before. This is not only so that it’s there for future humans. We too need the natural world around us.
Earth Day Ideas
Appreciate What Nature Gives Us
Spending time in nature has been shown, in numerous studies, to be very good for our physical and our mental wellbeing. As well as helping us to feel more grounded, it:
- reduces blood pressure
- lowers the pulse rate
- improves the immune system
- results in better concentration and memory
- increases liveliness
- lowers stress
- decreased levels of depression
- lowers levels of hostility
Do Something For The Planet This Earth Day
There are lots of organised activities you can take part in. See the Earth Day website for global digital events, ideas and quotes.
An increased connection to nature means we are more likely to protect and properly care for the world around us. We are ALL responsible for this, and it can start with our little ones. Kids that usually sit in front of a TV can learn to love engaging with the natural world around them.
Earth Day Ideas For Kids
Try this outdoor game with your little ones, and encourage them to relate more to the natural world around them.
Other Earth Day ideas include:
- Pitch the tent in the garden and sleep outside. Look at the stars before you go to sleep and have the birdsong wake you up in the morning. Have you noticed just how loud the birds seem without all the other noises like traffic and airplanes?
- Prepare a fabulous a picnic and eat outside
- Indulge all 5 senses in nature. Challenge your kids to explore and find something they can smell, see, touch, hear and taste from the natural world around them
- Sow some seeds – there are few things in nature more fascinating than watching life begin. Encourage your kids to look after plants and even grow their own food
- Put on some gloves and when you go on your daily walk, collect every piece of rubbish that you come across
- Create a bug hotel in your garden
- Make earth art – pictures compiled from just the things you can find in nature
Earth Day Ideas For Adults
Even if you can’t get outside, you can encourage a connection to nature in your home. Having nature in the home in the form of house plants, or even just images, brings us similar psychological and physical health benefits to being outside.
Take advantage of extra time on your hands and go through your clothes and bedding – anything you no longer want can of course be set aside to give to charity once lockdown is lifted. Alternatively, can you recycle some things to make toys, bandanas, washcloths etc?
Even better, if you’re handy at sewing, contribute to the many organisations making up masks and scrubs for front line workers. Check first with your local hospitals to see what they need. This information can give you a good idea.
Finish those projects you might have had waiting to be done that will benefit the earth, like getting the rainwater tanks finally connected to your downpipes, making a compost bin or preparing natural cleaning products instead of using chemicals.
Think about what you put in your rubbish bin. Could any of that be recycled? For instance, you can make great dog toys from used, plastic soda bottles or empty loo roll tubes. You can repurpose plastic cream or yogurt pots into plant pots for seedlings.
Some may see this virus in purely negative terms. I prefer to see it as an opportunity. We need to re-think how we treat the world around us and begin to connect to it more, to see it for what it is: without this planet, we are nothing. It gives us life, food, our health. What do we do in return? What can you do, this Earth Day?