Earth Day is like New Year’s Day for the eco-hearted. This is the time of year when people search for “simple living”, “carbon footprint”, and “sustainable ideas” more than any other time of year, even more than in the run-up to January 1.
It’s a time to celebrate and assess and to get in touch with your own sustainable living motivation.
Here are some ideas about what to do for Earth Day, ideas that get to the core of what you want your life to be:
- Heart: Get in touch with your “why”
- Head: Ask questions about where you are now and what you’d like to change.
- Hands: Get started. Enjoy being outside. Plant something maybe, or get started on a bold goal.
Heart: Get in touch with your "why"
People have all kinds of reasons for building a sustainable lifestyle. People do it because they care about kids and animals and their own beloved places, because they are part of a community that values sustainability, because they want to have more security and safety in their own life, and because they find sustainable living more beautiful.
On Earth Day it’s a good idea to get in touch with your own motivation. If you sit for a couple of minutes and ask “why do I care”, what do you get? If you then ask further, “why do I care about that?” (your first answer) what comes to mind?
Asking “why” a few times should get to some of your core motivators for why you care and why you do what you do. Try writing it down.
On Earth Day, I suggest you sit with your “whys” for a few minutes, ideally outside or surrounded by something natural. If you’ keep a journal, try revisiting your “why” once a week and just sit with it again.
It’s like any other important part of your life. Getting in touch with your “why” is the fuel that helps you actually learn and do the rest of the year. This article describes the practices that help you keep going.
Head: Make a decision
Next, get in touch with your head and decide what you’d like to do to honor your “why”. I like to review my carbon footprint around Earth Day as described in last year’s before and after pandemic review and projection, using my favorite carbon footprint calculator (yes, people can have a favorite carbon footprint calculator).
Earth Day is a good time to review life from a simple living perspective, against these questions:
- What do I want more of?
- What do I want less of?
- What am I grateful for?
For most people, the answers include more meaning, more connection, more creativity, more security. People usually want less time stress, less money stress, fewer commitments to things you don’t want to do. People are usually grateful for the other people in their life and for the things that give life meaning.
The answers usually suggest an area you’d like to change, at which point you could treat it like New Year’s and decide on a sustainable resolution or goal that gets you more of what you want and less of what you don’t want. This is the perfect time to reflect and decide outside of the craziness of the winter holidays.
Helpful post: How to pick a sustainable resolution .
Hands: Time to do something
Then, with new motivation and clarity in hand, it’s time to do something. What does your “why” and your review suggest?
What you do is less important than getting some momentum going. What are the few next actions, informed by your new clarity?
Maybe you’d like to plant some things and get more in touch with your food while enjoying your green space.
Or you’d like to simplify your space and let others use your surplus
Or, you’d like to build stronger relationships with other eco-hearted people in your community.
Whatever your new goal, Earth Day is a good time to define it and get going, armed with your motivation and new knowledge.
Here’s some guidance on how to build your simple living goals into your day.
The path will appear
You don’t need to know every step. As you go, the path will appear under your feet. Your eco-friendly, satisfying lifestyle is built with every decision every day.
Next Earth Day, imagine how good it will feel to revisit your “why” and recognize your progress.
What did you decide to do to honor Earth Day this year? Email me at [email protected] and let me know or share in the comments.