By Elena Zevallos
This February, show your affections to not only those you love, but to Earth as well! While we should be encouraging and celebrating our love for the planet every month of the year, we can still emphasize the coming 14th as a reminder of what this love is about. Love means connection - to yourself, each other, and your environment. Connection diminishes separate identities and differences, mitigating divisiveness and promoting inclusiveness. Being deeply connected to something means you naturally want to give and share with it.
Let's brainstorm ways to show our love for the planet. Here’s a list of some things we can do:
Plant a tree. Either in your backyard, volunteering at a tree-planting program (once it’s safe to do so), or through making a donation to an organization. Places like One Tree Planted and Arbor Day Foundation have tree planting programs where each dollar goes to one tree planted. So you can save that $25 restaurant meal and instead help restore a forest by 25 trees!
Start making your own household and food items. Jams, bread, hummus, spaghetti sauce, granola, chicken or vegetable stock made from scraps - the list goes on! Not only will you be saving time and money from buying these products at the store, you’ll also be helping in reducing carbon footprint from production and travel. As for household items, chemically-filled disinfectant solutions can be replaced by simply combining vinegar, water, and an essential oil of your choice. (For more DIY items, check out the link here.)
Consider composting. Much like baking your loved one something sweet, composting is giving back to the Earth to consume what she gave to us. So instead of tossing your scraps in the trash to emit CO2 in a landfill, look into your county’s composting regulations and programs to find out how you can drop off your food scraps responsibly. If you have a garden, then give back to the soil in your backyard! (Santa Barbara residents, look into the Yellow Bin program here.)
Share what you know with others. In today’s digital age, one of the greatest impacts you can make is spreading information about the environment and how we can actively work together, collectively and individually, towards restoring it. A simple share of an article or video on your feed is enough to get people’s attention. Imagine what can be done when we speak louder and clearer on these issues!
Take part in an online campaign or program. There’s an endless amount of calls to action from organizations passionate about sustainability. We’re one of them. Check out our campaigns here and join today!
We can make changes in our lifestyle to contribute to the healing of our planet. Re-establishing our relationship with our home can be up there along with our sustainability efforts. So this Valentine’s Day, do something for Mama Earth and show her how much we appreciate her! Anything counts - it’s the loving intention behind our actions!