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Each season brings its own pleasures, and this one is no different. With glorious weather and longer days, spring is the perfect time of year to turn your focus to the great outdoors—and the environment.
After all, Earth Day is April 22nd, right in the middle of the season.
And we can’t think of a better reason to celebrate both spring and Earth Day than by having some eco-friendly fun.
To get you started, here are some of our favorite eco-friendly activities to enjoy in the spring.
1. Plant an Edible Garden
Put on your favorite gardening gloves! With the ground thawing, there’s little doubt that gardening is one of the top go-to spring activities.
There are numerous fruits, vegetables, and herbs that you can plant during this season. Depending on what you plant, you could be enjoying your first harvest in as little as 6-8 weeks.
And as a bonus, you’ll be able to use your homegrown goodies to create delicious nutritious dishes that are guaranteed to be organic… harvested right from your own yard.
2. Exercise Outdoors
With the advent of warmer weather, there’s no better way to celebrate spring than by shedding your winter layers and heading outdoors.
Exercise, in general, is a great way to shake off any lingering signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder, a.k.a. the winter blues. And with the longer days, you can soak up the last bit of after-work sunshine.
Some great ways to get healthy while enjoying the beautiful weather include hiking, biking, and even just a long, leisurely walk.
3. Let the Sunshine In
Spring is also a perfect time to save money, and the planet, by reducing the amount of electrical energy you use within your home.
The additional hours of daylight mean you can let the light in all evening. Raise your blinds and save the lamps and overhead lighting for later.
4. Enjoy the Fresh Air
Or don’t just open the blinds. Take advantage of the warmer temps and throw open the entire window, because springtime weather is usually just right for letting fresh air in.
Of course, if you live in a colder area or suffer seasonal allergies, you might prefer to keep the windows open for a shorter time frame.
The important thing is to skip running the A/C or the heat as often as possible. You’ll have a positive impact on your electric bill and on the environment.
5. Take Your Clothing Outside
Another great way to cut back on energy usage in the spring is by hanging your clothes outside to dry instead of using the clothes dryer.
Plus, nothing beats the softness and freshness of clothes dried by the springtime sun.
6. Choose Green Cleaning Supplies
Whether you look forward to your annual deep cleaning or dread it, spring cleaning is one of the tasks we associate the most with the season.
This year, make sure your cleaning is good for your home and the environment, both, by choosing eco-friendly “green” products.
Green products protect the air and water quality and help fight climate change. Look for all-natural ingredients that are free of the harsh chemicals that harm your family and the environment.
Labels such as all-natural, organic, nontoxic, fragrance-free, and phosphate-free are a great start. You should also look for the Safer Choice label, which signifies the product was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You could also look up brands on the Environmental Working Group (EWG) website.
7. Make Your Own Cleaner
You can also make your own cleaning supplies using all-natural ingredients.
One popular—and simple—all-purpose mixture uses just 2 ingredients: distilled water and white vinegar in a 4:1 ratio.
You can also add a few drops of lemon juice or your favorite essential oil for a more pleasing scent.
Buy a refillable spray bottle, and use this to clean dirt and grime from windows, sinks, appliances, and more. For maximum earth-friendliness, clean with reusable towels instead of disposable paper towels.
Just remember that vinegar is made from acetic acid, which can damage certain surfaces. Always test a small area first.
8. Declutter and Upcycle
If you’re environmentally friendly, you probably already do your part in recycling. But what about upcycling?
This year, add decluttering your closet to the list of spring activities.
- Declutter and donate gently worn clothing, shoes, and accessories.
- Mend items that you haven’t worn because they need minor fixes, or take them to a tailor.
- “Shop” in your own closet. Find new ways to style your favorite items, or re-discover new favorites.
By upcycling or donating items you already own, you can avoid the cycle of consumerism that contributes so heavily to the growing landfills.
9. Repair and Recycle
The crispness of spring might inspire you to update older objects around the house, but wait! Every item you throw out, just like every item you buy, impacts the environment.
Instead of replacing items, try your hand at repairing what you can. Online tutorials are a great start. Or support a local repair business by trusting them with your favorite things.
If you absolutely have to replace an item, consider looking in a thrift shop or second-hand store. People often donate almost-new items in great condition. Plus, it’s a fun way to spend the day with friends or family!
10. Appreciate Nature
One of our favorite ways to celebrate spring is by spending time outdoors and taking in the beauty of nature.
Pick up a local nature guide and observe the wildlife and foliage in your favorite park. Depending on the wildlife and foliage, you’ll be able to identify birds, woodland creatures, native plants, and more.
This is also a great activity to do if you have children. You can create a “nature scavenger hunt” for them. Include specific items, such as a squirrel, or special finds such as a heart-shaped rock or smooth pebble.
If you’re artistic, paint, dance, write, draw, or otherwise create whatever nature inspires you to.
Or simply sit still and meditate. Inhale spring, and exhale stress.
To make your outdoor time even more eco-friendly, bring a trash bag and leave the great outdoors better than you found it.
11. Help the Bees
Far from being the pesky stingers some people see them as, bees are an integral part of our ecosystem. In fact, their crop pollination makes them responsible for more than 30% of the world’s food supply.
What can you do to save these buzzing beauties?
- Plant herbs and flowers that attract and feed bees, such as lavender, mint, poppies, and zinnias.
- Leave a shallow dish filled with water, so bees can hydrate. Just make sure to place a stone or twig inside, so they have a place to rest while they sip.
- Avoid the use of pesticides and herbicides.
- If you buy honey or honey-based products, support local growers or bee farms.
12. Visit a National Park
Most people have heard of the big ones, such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. But with 424 sites all across the United States, chances are there’s a national park near you.
You can bike, hike, boat, or participate in a number of other active pursuits. Or, bring your camera and perfect your nature photography skills.
And if you’re a camper, there are plenty of national parks that offer tent and RV camping.
13. Leave Your Car at Home
Here’s a startling fact. Every gallon of gasoline you save avoids a whopping 22 pounds of harmful CO2 emissions.
Track your mileage for a few weeks, do some quick math, and you’ll realize just how much harm driving does to the environment each month.
But the gorgeous spring weather is the perfect reason to leave your car at home and find eco-friendly ways to get around. Try biking, walking, or carpooling with a friend next time you have errands to run.
14. Participate in Earth Day Activities
Celebrate Earth Day, one of our favorite spring holidays!
Your city or town is likely to have activities scheduled, so join in on the festivities. Better yet, invite family and friends to join you—just be sure you carpool.
The environmentally focused fairs might inspire you to find new, creative ways to be more eco-friendly.
Warmer weather, Earth Day… spring is a wonderful season for focusing on the environment.
And even the slightest change in your existing habits can make a hugely positive difference. From switching your transportation method to finding new uses for existing objects, there are numerous ways, big and small, that you can make a difference.
Pick some of our suggestions above to get started, and you’ll enjoy a sustainable spring!
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