Today is the 50th year anniversary of Earth Day! On this day in 1970, one of the most overlooked holidays (in my humble opinion) was born. Now, over 190 countries around the globe take part in honoring the Earth, which is incredible, but there is still plenty more we can do this day and the other 364 days in our year. Earth Day offers an endless list of ways to celebrate and especially now, a time to reflect on how our own actions affect the planet we call home.
One of the hardest things to do as humans is to look inward and recognize that we are part of the problem. Whether it’s accepting blame for hurting someone’s feelings or recognizing that we have made mistakes that cause serious ramifications, the truth is we are all human and all of us trip sometimes. It’s not entirely the mistake that we should linger on, but what we can do to correct it. Now that we are all staying home for the time being, it means most of us are not only stuck in the couch, but also stuck inside our heads. While that can be a scary thing, it’s not always a bad thing. We need to reflect on ourselves from time to time. Just like we call our friends and family to see how they’re doing, we need to ask ourselves those same questions. Are you okay? How are you sleeping? What can I do to help?
That last question echoes and I decided one of the steps my family and I can make this Earth Day is take that one extra step to caring for our beautiful planet. We may all feel stuck at home, but that doesn’t mean we can’t step out into the fresh air and take a moment to appreciate nature. Side note, isn’t it amazing to see the planet healing while all of us cut down on waste and pollution? We are already doing so much for our health and environment by staying home but since it’s Earth Day, we can always take things a step further in the right direction. This year, my family is keeping it simple. We picked up trash around our neighborhood.
It’s mind blowing how much trash ends up littered on the side of the road or in public parks. Just our neighborhood alone, trash always gets caught in the fence that separates our back yard from the small creek running through base. Cleaning up after ourselves is completely free and a great way to honor our Mother Earth, not just today but every day. This was also a fantastic learning experience for my nearly three year old daughter. This simple act not only teaches our children to simply not litter, but to teach them that we only get one planet. The energies that flow through us are the same energies that flow through the streams and the breeze that rustles through the trees on a warm spring day. When we take care of the planet, we take care of ourselves.
1: Pick up trash.
2: Go for a walk.
3: A day of no driving, no pollution. If you are an essential worker and have to work on Earth Day, commit one of your days off to stay home or walk rather than go for a drive.
4: Make a donation to a charity dedicated to sustainability or animal preservation.
6: Invest in reusable bags for everyday shopping instead of using plastic. This includes the plastic one-use produce bags at the grocery store.
7: Invest in reusable metal or silicone straws and reusable storage bags to reduce plastic waste going into the oceans and landfills.
8: Subscribe to paperless bill pay/online payments.
9: Don’t leave the water running when washing hands or brushing teeth. We can potentially waste gallons of water by letting the tap run when we aren’t actually using it.
10: Unplug electronics when not in use. It’s easy to forget about those small kitchen appliances sitting on our counter. Leaving your toaster plugged in all the time actually uses up energy even when you aren’t making delicious toasted snacks. This goes for phone chargers and other power cords around the house as well.
BONUS for those who practice the craft:
Earth Day is also a great time to gather elemental representation for your altar or meditation space right in your backyards or local parks/trails that are currently still open to the public. Stones and dried flowers are perfect to showcase earth. Bird feathers for air, and if you live close to the ocean, a small vial of sand and a seashell are classic representations for water. Fire is a bit harder to scrounge up in the wilderness but a simple candle is always a good choice. These are just a few items on a long list of options for your sacred space, and the most obtainable items I was able to obtain when enjoying Mother Earth this specific holiday.
Park bench photo by Kaboompics on Pexel.
Wood Light Vacation Picnic photo by Pixabay on Pexel.