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My favorite holiday is coming up and I’m not going to let the quarantine prevent my family from celebrating. Earth Day is held every April 22nd, and this year it’s actually the 50th anniversary!
It’s particularly an important time to stop and engage in our natural environment because spending time in and around nature is so beneficial to our family’s health and well-being. It calms us when we are feeling stressed and boosts our mood when we are feeling down. Although we are stuck at home, there are still plenty of fun, meaningful ways to show our support and love for our precious planet.
Spend Time Learning
There are so many ways to get your kids excited about environmental issues. Many of us are looking for ways to keep our kids busy while stuck at home, so take advantage of this time to teach them new skills and explore new ideas. Read books; recite and write nature poetry; watch environmental shows and documentaries; take virtual trips to nature centers, gardens, and scenic destinations; and participate in online science education programs.
Host a Virtual Earth Day Party
One of the most important tips that experts are giving now about how to survive the quarantine is to make sure to connect to friends and loved ones often. Earth Day is a great excuse for a virtual party. You can send an online invitation, get a group together through a number of online platforms, and celebrate our planet together. Some activities that you can do together online include: making an eco-craft, reading environmental poetry or books, writing letters to elected officials to support the environment, and playing nature-themed games like charades or jeopardy. You could even have everyone give a tour of their backyards or do a backyard scavenger hunt. My daughter’s birthday falls right near Earth Day. Her party was originally scheduled to be at a marine life nature center; fortunately, the director is still going to do a live animal show for her and her friends online.
Join an Online Earth Day Event
Everyone is getting creative now and going online. Look out for environmental-related Facetime Lives, webinars, and online Summits for your family to enjoy. For example, Drive Electric is now doing a virtual event; sign up here. You can search earthday.org’s site for virtual events all over the world.
Make an Earth-Friendly Feast
Every celebration needs a delicious meal, right? Take this opportunity to spend time together in the kitchen cooking a nutritious meal that supports our planet–whether that means vegetarian, vegan, or organic to your family. By savoring nature’s bounty, you can stop and appreciate how much we rely on the Earth to provide the many nutrients we need to stay healthy, both physically and mentally.
Support Environmental Organizations
When we give to others, we feel better and experience what is known as a helper’s high. Spend some time this Earth Day choosing one or more environmental organizations (local, national, or international) to either join or send a donation to. Some of my favorites include Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, Ocean Conservancy, and Earthjustice. There are also a few groups specifically for moms that are doing amazing work: Moms Clean Air Force, Moms Rising, Mothers Out Front, and Climate Mama.
Shop Sustainable Businesses
This is an excellent time to support both local and national sustainable businesses, whether it be your neighborhood organic grocery store or large corporations with a history of doing incredible environmental work like Patagonia and Rothy’s. Not sure where to shop? Check out the B Corporation directory to identify green businesses and this post I wrote about the best stores to find safe, eco-friendly products for your family.
Take the Ecohappiness Challenge
From the first day that we knew schools were closing down and we would be staying at home, I started a daily Ecohappiness Challenge. It was the best way I knew how to manage my stress and anxiety during this unprecedented time. I am tapping into the power of nature to feel calmer and happier by finding one way every day to connect to nature. I have been posting about it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These activities range from reading nature poetry with my kids to going for a mindful bike ride in my neighborhood to taking awe-inspiring virtual field trips to view nature online. You can now download your own FREE 30-Day Ecohappiness Challenge Calendar filled with activities that can be done from inside your home, on your balcony, or in your backyard. Let us know what you and your family are doing to connect to nature.
How will you celebrate Earth Day this year?