I like a fun festival just as much as the next person, but I don’t like all of the trash that is created from them, including Earth Day celebrations, so I tend to stay away from most of them. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to celebrate Earth Day by doing just that, celebrating the Earth? It doesn’t have to include thousands of people, vendors, music, or any of that. It can be simple, joyful, and a way to connect us to that which sustains us, the Earth. In the end, without it, we’re in a world of hurt.
Here are just a few ways that you can celebrate Earth Day that cost little to nothing, have either no impact or a positive impact on the environment, and provide a perfect example for others.
Take a walk.
We live in the mountains, so we love to go for hikes, explore the waterfalls, or just spend time down by the creek. But if you live on the coast, go and dip your toes in the ocean. Live in the desert? Go and check out the spring blooms out there. The stark contrast between the desert and the flowers is pretty amazing. Some animal shelters will even let you “check out” a dog to take for a walk! How much fun would that be?!
Visit your local farmer’s market.
What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to create a feast of locally grown, organic, non-GMO & harvested food? You’ll support your local economy, get to know your farmers, and eat a delicious seasonal meal.
Start your garden.
If you live in warmer climates then you might be lucky enough to have already started your garden. For those that live in colder climates, it might be time to transplant your seedlings into their new garden home. You might be able to find some good plant starts at your local farmers market if you don’t have the space or ability to start seeds indoors. Growing your own food and getting your hands dirty connects you to what nourishes you, what sustains you, and gives you the ability to control what goes into your body and how you choose to live on the Earth. And don’t forget to plant things for the bees and butterflies!
Participate in a clean up project.
here are organizations everywhere that arrange environmental clean up days. Some might be at the beach, along creeks and rivers, on mountain trails, or even on the side of the highways. There seems to be a never-ending supply of trash that makes it’s way into the environment and every little bit we can do to keep it clean makes a difference. By volunteering you are doing your part to keep the environment clean and saving your local town money since they won’t have to hire someone to clean it up. Encourage your town to use that saved money to support healthy environment programs!
Volunteer at a local farm.
I’m going to take a wild guess here and say that most farms can use all of the help they can get. Farming is hard, dirty work and the farmers work long hours to provide local, healthy food for their local communities. They are up before dawn and drop into bed late, exhausted from yet another day of shoveling, digging, or what ever other jobs need to be done. I’m sure they would be happy to have some help for a day, share how the farm works, and probably teach you some new skills at the same time.
Make something from scratch.
Instead of running to the store for supper, try making the entire thing from scratch. Marinara sauce can be made from fresh tomatoes, herbs, and spices and is really easy. Need some cheese? Try your hand at homemade mozzarella! It’s simple and actually pretty fun to make. Homemade bread is a big favorite in our house, slathered with homemade butter and locally source honey. It’s right next to heaven. There’s also no reason to run to the store for just about any condiment, because the majority of them can be made at home, from real ingredients, and will taste amazing. Once you’ve had homemade mayo, you’ll never go back to store-bought.
I know everyone that we all get bills from encourage us to go paperless, getting our statements and doing payments online. I also know that it saves the company money, since they don’t have to send out paper billing statements and they don’t have to wait for a check in the mail. And by not mailing a check, you reduce the carbon footprint of that payment, since it doesn’t have to be physically delivered. If you feel like you need a paper record of your payment/statement, just print it at home or take a screen shot and save it to your computer, which is even better.
Go fishing or hunting.
No you don’t have to go and hunt big game…you can hunt for ramps, mushrooms (make sure you know what you’re doing if you’re hunting mushrooms), wild onions, or anything that is edible and grows wild in your area. It’s a great skill to have and will guarantee you that you’re eating seasonally. If you enjoy it, or even just want to try it, go fishing! I never thought I’d be a gal that liked fly fishing, but here I am, rocking it. Being out in the woods, by the river is so calming and you just can’t beat the view. If you get lucky, you’ll get to catch your supper! Again, this is another great skill to have, especially as we see our economy becoming more and more fragile.
Visit a wildlife preserve.
Just about every area has some sort of wildlife preserve that works hard to make sure that the balance of nature stays that way, balanced. Go and see what animals are endangered, what they’re doing to help them, or even how you can help. My best friend volunteers at a wildlife preserve in Louisiana and she really enjoys it. The volunteers are happy to show you around, share information, and answer any questions you might have.
Celebrate Earth Day every day. It’s great that people “do their part” on Earth Day and I want to encourage them to keep doing that. But Earth Day is really every day, because we live on this Earth every day. We should be concerned about how we affect the environment every day. Make it a goal to make just one change that you will adhere to every day that will help the environment. The Earth will thank you for it, your health will thank you for it, and our children and grandchildren will too. It’s our job, it needs to start with us. Be the first one, don’t be shy, and be proud to be the change that you wish to see in the world.
Tatia Elizabeth is a certified sustainability consultant, radical homemaker, unschooler, doTERRA wellness advocate, and homesteader. She is also the admin for Toward Zero Waste Haywood County, NC Facebook group.
Her background in alternative and natural medicine, preparedness, self-reliance, environmental science, and domestic history are the backbone of her life of zero-waste, sustainability, non-consumerism, and environmental responsibility. She has studied environmental issues, natural medicine, preparedness, and domestic history for the better part of 30 years and it is her journey to share the knowledge of how the health of one’s environment affects human health with her community. She offers classes, workshops, presentations, and courses on a variety of subjects that is she is passionate about, as well as consultations and mentorships.
She is the mother of 4, plus one bonus son. She is married to her beloved, a retired Navy veteran and on the board of a local non-profit, Women of Waynesville. She received her BA in health & wellness with an emphasis on environmental science and domestic history from Purdue Global University in 2019. She can be reached at https://smokymountainhomestead.wordpress.com/ or firstname.lastname@example.org.