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April 22nd is Earth Day this year! There are many ways to celebrate this unique holiday, but we don’t have to limit kindness to our planet to just one day out of the year. The Earth is a pretty popular place to live; literally everyone we know lives here! This month, let’s explore the symbiotic relationship between us and the planet we call home.
You probably think of fruits and vegetables when you think of food coming from the Earth. However, the produce section isn’t the only thing you have to thank Earth for. All kinds of ingredients in your favorite foods are first grown from the Earth. Even junk food relies on many ingredients that are grown from good old soil. Basically, if you’re a fan of food, you’re a fan of the Earth. Ever thought about the air you breathe? You probably know that our planet’s trees, among other green plants, produce much of our oxygen. What you might not know is that half of our planet’s oxygen is actually produced via our oceans! Tiny phytoplankton produce as much oxygen as the trillions (yes, trillions) of trees on our planet.
The least we can do is return the favor, right?
Earth may be covered mostly with water, but that doesn’t mean water is unlimited. It’s easy to get carried away with our water usage, but there are a few ways we can keep it in check. Make sure you turn the faucet off when you’re brushing your teeth, don’t dilly-dally in the shower, and embrace new technologies that are more efficient with their water usage. Some home irrigation systems send you a cell phone notification when it’s raining, and give the sprinklers the day off.
Like any home, Earth looks best when it’s nice and clean. One of the most impactful ways we can keep Earth clean is by being responsible with our waste. Littering isn’t as commonplace as it was in decades past, but just throwing away our trash isn’t reducing the amount of trash on Earth — it’s just moving it to a designated place. Going the extra mile means finding ways to reuse common items in our lives, rather than going the “quick & disposable” route. Taking care of the Earth doesn’t have to be boring. Find a reusable water bottle with a design or pattern that says something about yourself. For years, we’ve all been walking around with the same cups and bottles from the same places and companies. It’s time to express ourselves! Generations of people have packed their lunches in brown paper bags, but now is as good a time as any to find a reusable lunch pale! Are you making a trip to a store to buy something? Bring a reusable bag that is comfy to carry around and makes you smile every time you see it. If that means drawing a big, funny face on the side of it, then so be it!
Lastly, take some time to appreciate the Earth outdoors. It’s actually good for you! In 2016, the University of Derby found that interacting with nature every day for 30 days resulted in, “increases in happiness, health, connection to nature and pro-nature behaviours.” From lowering hypertension to improving general mood, there’s a multitude of reasons to spend time interacting with our Earth. Show kindness to the Earth, because it shows kindness to you!
This month’s Random Act of Kindness challenge is: use a reusable water bottle. And remember, “kind is the new cool.”