Earth Day is a great opportunity to reflect on our relationship to the planet and deepen our connections to it. The best way to celebrate today is to think about the parts of nature you feel the most grateful for, and then consider ways you can protect and respect those spaces. Here are some ways to remember your relationship with the earth and why it’s so precious.
Invest in Earth-Friendly Products
Getting reusable, non-plastic home goods when you can is a great way to help protect our natural resources and can even save you money!
If you constantly have a hair tie on your wrist in case of emergencies (or a windy day!) you’ve probably never paused to think about what’s in them. Many elastic hair ties aren’t biodegradable, meaning that whenever you break or lose one it ends up creating waste. Terra Ties are a fun and easy solution. Made with natural rubber and organic cotton, these ties are 100% biodegradable and they’re just as durable, stretchy and long lasting as the competition.
A lot of common household sponges are made from materials like nylon that can release plastic microfibers into the water as they’re used. In this case, returning to nature can be the best solution! Natural sponges are better for the environment and often you can buy them online at really low prices. If you shop around you can find some exciting small businesses that might even throw in some goat soap! While you’re at it, pick up some silk face sponges that are gentle on skin and great for makeup and nail care.
We all love leftovers, but keeping them fresh can have an environmental cost. Luckily, both cling wrap and plastic bags both have reusable alternatives! You can buy a pack of reusable cling wraps made from beeswax that can keep food fresh, whether you use it to wrap up fruit or seal a bowl. Each wrap will last for around a year and can be composted when you’re done.
Connect with the Elements
Earth Day is about more than just making environmentally friendly purchases. It’s also a chance to remember and appreciate all the natural beauty around us. Yes, this could mean going on a hike but it also could just mean honoring the elements of the natural world. Focus on your senses: feeling the sun on your skin, hearing the wind rush through the leaves, feeling the grass under your feet. If you live near the coast, try taking a trip to listen to the tides and reflect on the power there is in being part of this great big ecosystem. Think about what you appreciate most about our home planet, whether it’s the sound of birds singing or the view from your favorite overlook, and spend today chasing those favorite sensations and honoring the connection you feel to them.
Attend A (Virtual) Event
With the pandemic moving so much of our life online, it’s never been easier to attend an event right from your own couch. This year there are so many great Earth Day events being hosted digitally to educate, connect and just have fun. EarthDay.Org, has a full roster of live workshops, panel discussions, and special performances you can stream for free today or you can browse recordings of past panels here. Earth Day Initiative also has a lineup of speakers including Elizabeth Warren and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and you can watch all of last year’s momentous Earth Day 50 coverage here.
Connect with a Cause
There are so many ways to invest in the planet we love, and they don’t just involve money! Donating your time or other resources to a cause you care about is a great way to honor the planet this year and after a year of isolation it can really help you find connection and build community around something you’re passionate about. Try looking up a conservation effort near you, find a park or beach cleanup event on Facebook, donate or volunteer to a wildlife project, the sky is the limit!
Pick Up Some New Reading (or Streaming) Material
Earth Day is a great opportunity to find something new to read that can inform, change your perspective and engage your imagination. Book Riot has a great roundup of both fiction and nonfiction books that cover everything from the intersection of climate change and racial inequality to a thoughtful look at the relationship we have with our food to a humorous quest to grow the biggest pumpkin. Earth Day reading covers a huge range of topics, so why not go for one that really engages your passion or interests?
Earth Day is also the perfect chance to plan a little movie night, whether you want to check out a moving documentary or watch something that connects you with the beauty of the planet. Gorgeous, soothing documentaries like the BBC series Planet Earth, a narrated journey through the wonders of nature, or Disneynature’s Ghost of the Mountains, which follows a team of filmmakers’ attempts to photograph an elusive snow leopard family, can help you remember all the beautiful biodiversity that makes this planet so incredible. Or a documentary like Chasing Coral, about scientists’ fight to preserve our reefs, or a film like Dark Waters, based on the real story of a community impacted by chemical contamination, can provoke deeper thought or conversation about environmental issues that ultimately impact us all.
For something on the lighter side, try BBC’s Animal Babies: First Year On Earth, or theirSpy In The Wild series that uses robotic animals to get close-up recordings of species like otters and chimpanzees. It’s as cute and funny as it is fascinating.
Being environmentally conscious doesn’t have to be a drag or an obligation. At the heart of it, holidays like Earth Day are opportunities for us to connect with what the earth means to us, to find those special places we want to connect to and preserve and spend a moment being grateful for them. Use today as an excuse to get out to your favorite nature site, look out for one of your wildlife neighbors, learn something new or make a reusable purchase that will make a difference every day.