Last year Matt and I started a tradition of going out on Earth Day and cleaning up a local green space. It’s not anything that’s going to save the world or fix global warming, but it’s a start and it’s a way to celebrate and make a difference in our local community. This year we braved the 40 degrees and rain to get out and pick up trash at a local lake that’s very special to us. We took a little under an hour out of our day and it totally set the tone for the day. It was good for the lake, and it was good for my soul as well.
Matt and I on a mission. Reusing plastic bags as trash bags. We found loads of trash along the lake and in the parking area by the playground.
We gave Fellow’s Lake a little TLC
I used to make an Earth Day blog post every year of my favorite places on earth to prove that it was worth celebrating, but last year we took it a step further. I had always had an appreciation for nature, and thought it was worth protecting and cleaning up, but we decided to really try to be better stewards to this beautiful earth that I love so dearly.
I am one of the first to understand that life gets busy and sometimes we choose convenience over the environment, but this year Matt and I are committing to do better in our everyday lives both at home and abroad.
I’m Committing to Producing Significantly Less Waste
Last year we saw this video about a woman who created so little material waste in 30 days that she could fit it all in a mason jar. That video was so inspiring and while it isn’t won’t be that simple while traveling, we definitely became more aware of the amount of waste we were putting into landfills. Then, Matt’s grandma and I had this amaizing conversation about her life growing up on a farm in Kansas during the dust bowl and WW2 and how they had to reduce + reuse far before it became a fad or slogan and I became inspired.
I’m Investing in Quality Items That I Won’t Have to Replace as Often
This coat was more expensive than I would normally spend, but for the first time EVER I was truly warm in a snowstorm.
This year was a bit of a turning point for me in this department. I’m pretty notoriously cheap because in my head the more money I save, the more money I can use on travel. However, I’ve found that buying a cheaper coat, for example, every year or every-other-year isn’t nearly as cost-effective or environmentally friendly as investing in a quality coat with a lifetime guarantee that really isn’t as outrageous as you’d think. This was a valuable lesson that took far longer to sink in for me than it probably has for others.
I’m Traveling Slower
Being a travel-blogger and perpetual wanderer, it’s hard to stay in one place and this often means creating a larger carbon footprint than I would like to. However, I have found a few little ways that can help reduce it and they’re ones that we want to really put into action while traveling. The biggest one is traveling slowly. On our big trip Matt and I are staying out visa allowances in each country, we’re going to fly as little as possible, and walk or bike at every opportunity.
I’m Replacing Disposable Items
I have the reusable bags and reusable coffee cups, but I’m not always great at planning and being prepared for impromptu stops like I would like to be. So, today I put my reusable bags in my car and am committed to bringing those back to the car after every grocery run – I’m also taking some with us on travels for market shopping and beach days. I’m going to invest in metal or bamboo straws and not forget that Tropical Smoothie Cup at home (I’m so stupid-addicted to those things).
I’m Cleaning Up On More Than Just Earth Day
Earth Day last year started the trend, now it’s time to really keep it going!
I’ve been known to pick up trash on sidewalks, streets, etc. especially if someone has just dropped it – it’s a bit of a shaming process, I know, but I want them to see that people aren’t okay with that. I want to really commit to being better about that, especially on hikes. I love our national parks and forests, I love our state parks and I love all the land in between, here in America and abroad. So, why not be prepared to clean up? Often times I get a mile into a hike and think, I should’ve brought a bag so I could carry that stuff out. I’m going to try to remember to do it every time.
I know that we’re going to fail the environment over and over, but I am going to continue to keep up the practices I’ve already made ritual and implement new ones as I can. John Muir advised that we should, “Keep close to nature’s heart,” but I’m so afraid that if we don’t make simple changes there won’t be much nature to keep close. Earth Day has become more than just a day to talk the talk on Social Media (which I was guilty of for years) for me now. Last year was the turning point and we’re dedicated to expanding what we can do each year from now on.
Now, to avoid being too preachy or tree-huggery (as my brother often describes me – love ya, Cory ;)) I wanted to share some ridiculously amazing natural beauty to remind you what all of this effort and celebration is for!
Gullfoss, Iceland in a snowstorm. It was magical. (Post coming soon!)
I waited four years to do the Hanging Lake Trail and it did not disappoint!
Two less popular nationwide favorites: Big Bluff in Arkansas + my favorite waterfall in NC (so far) Crabtree Falls
Nature showing off its powerful side near Queen’s Bath in Kaua’i.
It’s not every day you get to feel like a mermaid. Kuang Si Falls near Luang Prabang was so great we’re going back this fall!
The Na Pali Coast was an instant favorite. I fantasize about this place all the time. Kaua’i = magic.
Taking in Sunrise over Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park
Ke’e Beach – Kaua’i, Hawai’i
Max Patch one of my very favorite places on earth – 360 views of the Blue Ridge Mountains
How Are You Celebrating The Earth Today? Or Better Yet, This Year!
Did You Enjoy This Post? PIN IT So Others Can Too.