Today is Earth Day! What can you do to express your compassion and commitment to our beautiful blue-green planet?
The typical Earth Day activities include environmental pledges to recycle, planting an herb garden, participating in a local clean-up or beautification project — all wonderful and commendable pursuits!
If you are looking for some unique ways to celebrate with friends and family, here are 5 “off-the-beaten-track” ideas I’ve come up with:
1. Go Meatless One Day Per Week
This year (2013) Earth Day falls on a Monday. Have you heard of the Meatless Monday initiative?
Here’s a statistic to consider: If every American stopped eating animal products one day per week, it would equal taking 3 million cars off the road! The environmental toll from factory farming is tremendous.
Eating animal protein is a very personal choice and not one that I have the right to criticize, although I would like to see less factory farming and more sustainable meat options. But taking one day off a week is something we all can do in support of the planet. This Earth Day why not make a commitment to go meatless at least one day a week – whenever it is convenient for you. Here is a compilation of some of my favorite meatless recipes (raw and raw fusion) to give you some ideas.
2. Grow Some Sprouts
Everything green that grows on our beautiful planet starts its life as a seedling, which begins to sprout through the germination process. The reason sprouts are so healthy is that they are brimming with life force energy. Green plants and sprouts are also loaded with chlorophyll, chemically almost identical to human blood and they have an Alkaline pH factor, which make them nutrient-rich and easy-to-absorb.
Just about all seeds, nuts, beans and grains can be sprouted. In fact, when you soak your seeds, nuts or beans overnight, you are taking the first step in the germination process, which begins to awaken the embryonic leaf, called the cotyledon. One of the simplest things to sprout are lentil beans as you will see in the video below. They don’t require any more equipment than a colander and some white paper towels. They are excellent to munch on “as is” or can be added raw to salads or soups. You can even steam them slightly afterwards to serve over grains.
This Earth Day start the habit of soaking and sprouting your seeds, nuts, beans and grains as a way of absorbing more of the Earth’s precious vitamins and minerals. Kids will find this fun and educational.
3. Make Rainbow Fruit Kabobs
A cool way to get your kids to eat more fresh fruit is to get them involved in the choosing and preparation process. This Earth Day go on a shopping expedition to either your local supermarket or farmer’s market and have them choose a fruit (or vegetable) they’d like to try in each color of the rainbow, providing them with the full spectrum of powerful and life-sustaining phytochemicals.
Turn them into kabobs to have for a healthy snack or dessert. You can make a dipping sauce of Greek yogurt with some vanilla extract and honey or maple syrup (bought plain and mixed at home is much preferable to the flavored brands!) Or if you’d like to go dairy-free, try this super simple Vanilla Cashew Creme Sauce. This happens to be one of my favorite raw desserts!
4. Hug a Tree
As silly as it may sound, when you feel out of sorts, go hug a tree! And if that sounds too woo-woo, did you know that there is now science backing up this practice? Author Matthew Silverstone published a book about the scientific benefits of this earth-friendly practice and how “Countless studies have shown that children show significant psychological and physiological effects in terms of their health and well being when they interact with plants. They demonstrate that children function better cognitively and emotionally in green environments and have more creative play in green areas.”
Everything on earth vibrates and trees have a particularly positive and strong vibration; there is a lot of wisdom in organisms that have existed for decades and perhaps centuries. Getting into the habit of spending some quality time every week in nature and communing with the trees may help reduce stress and boost your endorphins. And what a fun way to get your kids involved with nature!
5. Start a Fairy Garden
Whether you are a believer in the little winged creatures of lore or not, setting up a little area on your balcony, porch or garden is an Earth-friendly way to honor the elements. You can create these in little containers like this DIY kit from HGTV or dig out a corner of your garden. There is no right or wrong way to build a fairy garden; mainly it is a way of exciting the imagination and expressing love from the heart for the spirits of earth, wind, fire and water.
During my years developing Fairy Line, we did a lot of community work with our Fairy Girl’s Club and this was a popular activity, along with building Fairy houses out of natural materials.
In the container or plot, section off an area for plants and another “wishing” area with objects that symbolize the various elements. For instance, sea shells for water, feathers for wind, rocks or crystals for earth and perhaps a candle or piece of charcoal for fire. You can put in a statue of a fairy or gnome, and even create a little walkway or fairy residence. Below is a photo of Fairy Esmeralda, Spirit of the Trees, one of our original Fairy Line creations.