5 Ways to Enjoy - and Honor - Mother Earth This SummerJune 15 2021
Temperatures are rising, plants are flowering, and the insects are buzzing. In other words, it’s summertime! It’s the ideal season for barbeques and pool parties, so let's enjoy all of the summer activities while treating Mother Earth well. If you’re looking for sustainable ways to give back to the earth this summer, here are a few ideas.
#1 Leave No Trace Camping
This one may seem obvious, but what better way to honor Mother Earth than to get outside and enjoy her company? This is, of course, as long as you’re camping with no trace principles in mind. The goal is for your presence to have no impact on the surrounding environment you visited. This means:
- Using existing trails and campsites
- Packing out what you take in (especially waste!)
- Leaving natural treasures where you found them including plants, rocks, and other natural items
- Respecting wildlife - only observe from a distance and restrain pets from disturbing them
Credit: Good Housekeeping
#2 Volunteer Outdoors
Summer is a great time to volunteer with organizations whose mission is to improve and preserve nature. Try these types organizations for environmental volunteer opportunities:
- Nature centers / preserves
- Community gardens
- Local farms
- University environmental programs
#3 Make a Local Food Commitment
What better time to get outside and purchase local food than summer? If it’s possible, make a commitment to spend 80% of your food dollars buying local and in-season items. Look up your local farmer’s market and make it a regular weekly outing. Get to know your farmers and prioritize buying from ones that use organic and regenerative methods.
If farmer’s markets aren’t your thing, research local farms that offer a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program so you can have a box of local foods curated for you.
Credit: Denver Post
#4 Start a Garden
Growing your own garden deeply connects you to the earth’s systems. You learn what causes the earth to flourish and how you can help in that process. It’s also a wonderful reason to get outside regularly.
When planning your garden, focus on using regenerative methods that will improve the soil and your backyard ecosystem over time.
#5 Participate in Citizen Science
There’s a fascinating movement going on that allows people all over the country to contribute information to environmental research projects. “Citizen Scientists” use apps to collect environmental data in their area and can submit that information to specific research projects focused on climate change, plant health, and other environmental topics.
Consider participating in these projects:
Credit: The Nature Conservancy
If you’re looking for more, check out the CitizenScience.gov website, where you can browse for citizen science projects you’re most interested in. It’s an amazing way to get involved in environmental research on your normal, every day hikes.
Summer only happens once a year, so get outside, enjoy Mother Earth, and do a little to honor her along the way.