April is Earth Month: Ways to Take Care of Our Beloved Planet
You may not have thought about it like this, but your personal health and wellness journey is linked to a broader, more intricate global movement that has been going on for thousands of years.
Food, exercise, and sleep are important, but it goes beyond that.
Let’s take food, for example. If you don’t shop locally (which we highly recommend you do), your food is grown in large facilities that use numerous resources like water, labor, energy, and more. It’s then packed and hauled across the country by truckers. The gas it takes to fuel these vehicles and keep food at the right temperatures and conditions has a direct impact on our environment.
Life happens, and not all the food that is produced makes it to our tables. But food and water waste is a big problem in the US. According to the Department of Agriculture, 30-40% of our available food is wasted (1).
While some of this is unavoidable due to processing and transportation methods, we should be aware of the environmental impact it continues to have on our planet. When food breaks down and rots, a powerful gas called methane is released into the atmosphere. This gas is much stronger than carbon dioxide and is better at trapping heat in the atmosphere. This is thought to contribute to many of the climate change concerns we face today (2).
Earth Month is an annual celebration in April where many gather to celebrate the Earth and raise awareness on critical issues.
There are many ways you can get involved, and by doing our part, we can be good stewards of what’s been entrusted to us (3).
How Can I Celebrate Earth Month?
The good news is, celebrating the Earth doesn’t have to be a one-time event! Here are 7 of the best ways to celebrate Earth Month this month, and every month in between.
Knowledge is power, and the first step in actively participating in something is to first learn more about it.
Books, podcasts, and documentaries can be great ways to learn more about how people are making changes today for a better tomorrow.
There are several topics you can learn more about, including:
- Regenerative farming
- Climate facts
- History of the Earth
- Indigenous wisdom for today’s modern world
These can help establish a foundation for why it’s important to get involved.
It can be overwhelming to learn of all the things that are going wrong in the world, but focusing on the positive can help you find your place and take practical action today.
Ways to keep positive news top-of-mind include:
- Celebrating the progress that’s already been made
- Learning how businesses are being proactive with recycling
- Share stories of wildlife and woodland conservations
Volunteer Your Time
As you build your understanding and keep an optimistic outlook, it’s time to take action! Depending on where you live and what resources are available to you, these activities can be done solo or with a group of friends:
- Joining a community clean-up crew that picks up trash at parks, roadsides, or community centers
- Start a garden or help take care of a community one
- Bring nature back with wildlife habitat protection programs
Not only will volunteering help the planet, but these social interactions can help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns (6).
Advocating for the planet doesn’t have to be obtrusive --- it can be both peaceful and productive. If you’re not affiliated with a political party, look into which government officials are promoting helpful legislation that aims to work with the planet, not against it.
Try Sustainable Fashion
It’s fun to buy a new outfit, but the fashion industry is a big part of the growing environmental problem.
According to recent reports, the clothing and shoe industry accounts for 8-10% of carbon emissions around the globe. That’s 92 tons of waste produced every year (4)!
How can we slow this down? You can still look stylish while making eco-friendly fashion choices by:
- Attending clothing swaps with friends or community members
- Shop second-hand clothes at consignment shops and thrift stores
- Hit up weekend yard sales to support your neighbors
Tired of seeing old phones, cameras, DVD players, and other electronics that no longer work laying around your house collecting dust? Get rid of this e-waste by hosting an “electronic collection” event and hauling all old devices to your local recycling facility.
Note that recycling electronics is a complex matter. Because these items generally contain heavy metals, most landfills won’t take them in order to preserve the soil and water systems (5). Ask your local recycling facility if they have a special place for electronics.
Get Into Nature
Nothing celebrates Earth Month more than spending time in nature. Carving out some time to hike a nature trail, so some morning stretches or an evening of simply sitting outside can do wonders for your body, mind, and perspective (7).
The Bottom Line
It’s fascinating to think that by taking care of the planet, we are taking care of ourselves as well. Health and wellness go beyond eating good food and getting enough sleep. It’s a collective effort to take care of not only ourselves but also those around us.
This includes the Earth, a beautiful place full of wonder, amazement, and splendor. While it’s easy to take some things for granted, April is a time to really reflect on all that we have and do our best to preserve and protect it.
April is Earth Month, and there are many ways to celebrate. How do you plan on acting today? Let us know and be sure to share this article with your social circle!
✝✝This noted statement is based on independent research and is not necessarily the opinion of the author