Heal Mother Earth, Heal Ourselves
In recent years, many of us have been feeling like we need to do something extra special for our earth this Earth Day.
As we look at what we can do for the earth, it’s easy to get discouraged when you read and see videos on garbage and chemical dumping, overseas rivers of trash, and massive amounts of air pollution. We see people flicking their nasty cigarette butts and litter everywhere, with no regard for the damage that they’re doing. We start to lose hope in humanity, and lose hope that our Earth will ever be the same again.
Our mental health and stress levels increase the more we think about the negative effects on Mother Earth. It’s no secret that our mental health is tied to the earth. Our souls feel refreshed when we connect with her, whether we practice earthing techniques, go on hikes, or swim in her lakes, rivers, or oceans. When we see others being careless or downright harming the earth, we feel angry, stressed, and hurt. How can people be so callous and indifferent about nature, about the living things around us?
If we start to take care of Mother Earth, we can start to heal her and, in turn, heal ourselves.
Thankfully, it’s a known fact that our Mother Earth has been around longer, far, far longer, than any human being has, and it will probably be around much longer than we give her credit for. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we still shouldn’t strive to make concrete and lasting changes, but it should give us hope that even our small efforts can help bring about positive change.
If we all work together and start by taking little baby steps—you know what they say: "a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step"— we are sure of making an impactful difference
Here is a list of ways that we ourselves can make a difference. No matter how small the action, if hundreds of people commit to doing the same small action, it can make a big impact. The sound of one person walking doesn’t make much sound, but the sound of a crowd of people running to the same goal can be deafening!
- Pick up the litter in your own field of vision - Doing this little is better than nothing at all, and there are plenty of ways to accomplish this. Keep garbage bags in your car or stroller, for example, so that you’re always ready to collect any trash you might see. Pick up trash on your daily walks. If you’re going camping, take some extra time at setup and break down to pick up trash in the campsite around you (I do this when we go camping in the woods - you wouldn’t believe the amount of trash I pick up!) Take a Saturday out of the month to clean up the side of a highway, and always strive to leave a place cleaner than how you found it.
- Vote for actions, causes, legislation and people who are dedicated to earth’s welfare. It’s hard to trust politicians these days. Most of them seem to make promises they don’t even try to keep once they’re elected. But still, our voices matter, and we should make an effort every voting day to make sure we vote on the issues. Do research beforehand and find out which candidate is going to hopefully make a difference while they’re serving their time.
- Teach your children, educate them about the small actions and their consequences. One cigarette butt or empty wrapper might not be much on its own, but if no one picks up their litter and just dumps their trash everywhere, what happens? Have your kids pick up garbage and litter to show them how much work it takes to clean up trash. Garden with your children to foster a love of growth and plant life. Take them on hikes, to the park, to oceans and lakes to encourage a love of nature and her various ecosystems.
- Carpool, take public transportation, or bike/walk to places like work or to the grocery store if possible. Did anyone else see the pictures of cities during quarantine and how much less pollution was in the air because everyone was at home? While we’re certainly glad quarantine is over, it’s impressive the impact that brief halt on commuting had on the air quality everywhere. Many people are starting more than ever to work from home, lessening time spent in cars, which is a good start. Let’s keep the momentum going and keep our air clean!
- Make conscious shopping decisions. Buy ethically sourced produce and buy from ethical companies that recycle and reduce their impact on the environment. Buy from local Farmers Markets to support environmentally friendly growing practices. Money talks. By making constant conscious shopping decisions, we’re telling big businesses we don’t want any of their toxic chemicals or unethical habits.
By working on healing Mother Earth, by doing what we can to clean her and take care of her, we can be sure that she’ll return the favor and continue healing us when we need it.