Day-to-day life can often feel overwhelming and complicated with to-do lists, busy schedules, and unexpected tasks. Connecting with nature brings a level of peace and presence to daily life that helps individuals maintain balance. A strong connection to the environment enhances emotional well-being and alleviates feelings of social isolation.
Just as important as connecting with nature is protecting nature. The way we treat our environment largely impacts the future of our planet. There are many small and easy ways to be environmentally friendly to keep the world a clean place for future generations. It does not require a lot of time or money to go green, but simple changes in daily lifestyle can largely impact the environment.
The following are ways you can connect to and improve the environment.
Eat Fresh & Local Produce
Shop at farmer’s markets or stores that source their ingredients locally. Eating foods that were naturally grown or raised and recently harvested works wonders for your well-being and is a great way to support the community.
Let Nature In
Open windows, blinds, curtains to allow sunlight and fresh air to flow through the workplace or home.
Reduce waste by sorting and recycling materials frequently. It’s never too late to start recycling!
Go for a Walk
Whether at a local park or within a neighborhood, get some exercise and enjoy the sunshine while connecting with nature.
Be mindful of how often the sink, shower or bath is running. Consider installing water-saving shower heads.
Start a Garden
Growing a garden provides a great opportunity to work with nature. Most plants are simple to maintain, and several edible plants can be grown indoors. Click here for a beginner’s guide to gardening.
Take a moment to appreciate the natural beauty of the world. This can be a fun way to admire the beauty of the universe.
Avoid Single Use Containers
Reuse water bottles, shopping bags, lunch containers and coffee mugs. Bring reusable containers with you when on the go.
Try New Outdoor Activities
Connect with nature by spending time hiking, biking, camping, or birdwatching.
Learn a Variety of Local Plants
Study plants that are common in your area. Learn how to identify them and if they can be useful or if they are poisonous. Enter your zip code into National Wildlife Federation’s Native Plant Finder to learn about local plants.
Turn to Alternative Transportation Methods
These can be smart and ecofriendly, such as public transportation, biking, walking, or carpooling with a friend or co-worker. Keep in mind that it can take time to coordinate alternative transportation, but the benefits are often well worth the effort.
Observe the Moment
Take time to watch your surroundings and take notice of your senses. What do you smell? What do you hear? What do you see?
Did you know? The US makes up only 5% of the world population, but it throws away enough plastic bottles in one week to circle the Earth five times around!