Seven ways to celebrate Earth DayApril 22nd, 2020
Happy Earth Day!
There are many ways to celebrate Earth Day, but this year we are facing a few extra challenges, due to us mainly being stuck at home. You may be wondering what you can do to mark this special day. The great thing is that for many of us, our cars are stuck in the garage, so we’re already making a difference for our planet without even trying! But if you’re looking to go the extra mile for the Earth, here are seven great ways you can celebrate Earth Day from home.
1. Embrace house plants
House plants not only look beautiful, but they also give us the opportunity to connect with nature indoors. As a bonus, studies show that indoor plants clean the air by absorbing pollutants through their leaves and roots.
You can take cuttings from most succulents (from existing indoor or outdoor plants), which can be planted directly into soil. Succulents love warm, sunny spots and are hard to kill – just don’t overwater them! Cuttings from other plants usually require time to grow roots in water before potting up.
Give it a go! They won’t all survive, but the ones that do will provide joy for months, even years to come.
2. Connect with nature
You’ve heard the saying ‘Take time to smell the roses’ – well, now is that time!
It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and to feel disconnected from nature, particularly those of us who live in cities and lead hectic lives. Studies show that spending time in nature is wonderful for our mental health and has a calming effect.
Reconnect with nature this Earth Day by sitting under a tree, listening to the birdsong or simply stopping to smell the flowers on your daily walk.
3. Grow your own veggies
If you’ve been thinking about starting a veggie patch – now is a perfect time. Despite the time of year, there are many winter veggies that you can plant right now. Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, silverbeet, broad beans, Brussels sprouts and turnips – all do well at this time of year.
If you don’t have much garden space, you can still grow some veggies in pots or sow some microgreens.
The joy of cooking with ingredients fresh from the garden is a wonderful way to connect with the Earth.
4. Bird watching
Can you name all of the bird species who visit your garden? Sometimes a quick Google search can help us identify them. You may even want to try a New Zealand bird identifier app.
For those without feline family members, building a bird-feeding station or birdbath will attract feathered friends to your garden. Make sure you check which foods are good for birds and which to avoid.
If you have cats or don’t have a garden – fear not! The New Zealand Department of Conservation’s Live Albatross Cam will provide you with hours of adorable albatross antics! But be careful – it’s addictive!
5. Reduce waste
Did you know that every piece of plastic ever made still exists? This is because it takes hundreds of years for plastic to break down.
Take a look in your pantry. How many of the packaged items that you buy regularly could be bought from the bulk bins, using your own containers? It’s probably more than you think.
If you’re not sure where to start, try reducing your use of soft plastics first. A few changes each week can lead to new habits that are kinder on the Earth.
6. Watch a documentary
With all of this time on our hands, it’s the perfect time put our feet up and indulge in some of the amazing documentaries available online, particularly the ones that educate us about our planet, its inhabitants and the food we eat.
Cowspiracy, What the Health and The Game Changers come highly recommended. Or take a humorous look at what a vegan future could look like in Carnage. Or why not binge-watch an entire David Attenborough nature documentary series?
TV time has never been so guilt-free!
7. Cook a plant-based meal
There’s no better way to thank the Earth than by eating its produce. Eating a plant-based diet is the most effective way to make a positive difference for the planet. Not only is it good for the planet and good for animals, but it’s also good for our health too.
There are so many delicious plant-based recipe ideas out there, and you can even challenge yourself to make it a lifelong habit.
Happy Earth Day, everyone!