If you’ve attended a yoga class or studied philosophy, you may have heard the term “Gaia.” This word refers to a personification of the earth as the ancestral mother of all life as well as a living organism in her own right, and she should be treated with respect as such. While you might not subscribe to this notion, it is probably safe to say that many believe humans make a profound impact on the health of our planet. Earth Day was founded in 1970 as part of an environmental movement to recognize the importance of our stewardship of the earth, living organism or not.
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, which may seem a little ironic given that the global pandemic was raging. While quarantine had many people avoiding their usual hobbies, the popularity of outdoor activities soared. People felt safer outdoors in the fresh air, and this return to nature was a beautiful sight for environmental enthusiasts to witness. Now that we are into the spring months of 2021, many people still continue to spend more time outdoors because of the safety and sanity it provides during times of high stress caused by the pandemic, among other things. Like life.
Caring for our planet
We can give our thanks to our planet for all that is provided by taking good care of our resources. Some great ideas for taking care of the earth, especially this April 22nd, include:
- Reduce the amount of plastic you consume
- Reuse and shop secondhand when possible
- Get involved in a recycling program
- Conserve water and other resources
- Walk or bike instead of driving whenever possible
- Plant a tree or two
- Volunteer for cleanups in your community
Caring for our bodies
Gardening, bird watching, hiking, biking, and many more fun activities await as the weather gets warmer. That being said, just as much as it benefits the planet for us to show appreciation on Earth Day (and all days, for that matter), we can help the planet by taking care of our bodies as well. Before heading outside, follow these tips for taking optimum care of your body this spring:
- Hydrate properly throughout the day, especially as the weather gets warmer. You should aim to drink between a half-ounce to an ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should aim for 75-150 ounces of water per day.
- Eat a whole-foods diet as much as possible with a focus on plants. Cut down on processed foods, sugary drinks, and other packaged items, opting instead for fresh foods. This also cuts down on paper and plastic packaging, making it a much better choice for the environment.
- Exercise regularly. Whether that means building exercise into your outdoor activities or attending a class, do something that brings you joy.
- Stretch regularly and watch your posture as you go about your day. Many of us are inclined to sit in front of our computer or phone with our heads at a downward slant. Try to set movement breaks throughout the day and make sure to stretch before and after activities like yard work, hiking, biking, and other exercises.
- Get plenty of sleep. Deep and nourishing rest is vital to your overall health and well-being. If you have trouble sleeping, cut back on sugar or caffeine during the day or add more movement into your routine. Getting outdoors in the natural light can also help reset your circadian rhythm, making for a better sleep cycle.
Whether you’re a self-proclaimed tree-hugger or just trying to do your part in small ways here and there, this Earth Day is the perfect time to celebrate our responsibility as a community in taking care of our planet. We must understand the importance of clean drinking water, fresh air, and soil that is capable of growing delicious and nutritious foods and take care of our resources accordingly. Celebrate Earth Day this year by choosing something to do to honor this planet we all call home.