A Rio Grande Retirement Home’s Ideas for Celebrating Earth Day
Take Some Time to Give Back to and Appreciate the Earth
Every year on April 22 we celebrate Earth Day to show our appreciation for all the Earth offers us, and our support for environmental protection. We all say we love the Earth, but our actions speak louder than words! As seniors who have experienced so much of what nature has to offer, it’s more important than ever to take actions to increasingly care for our planet to ensure it will thrive for future generations. We wanted to give you some inspiration and ideas to celebrate the planet in environmentally friendly ways every day of the year! Keep reading for ideas for celebrating Earth Day from Brook Ridge, one of the top 55 and over communities in McAllen, Texas:
What better way to be one with nature than going on a nice outdoor walk? Whether you are into scenic nature trails or strolls around your neighborhood, walking is a great way to take in the fresh air and beauty that the Earth has to offer! Take some time alone to clear your mind, or bring a friend along to catch up and appreciate nature together.
Unfortunately, many people choose to litter our planet with trash or don’t pick up their accidental litter. Not only does it take away from the beauty of our communities, but it also pollutes water, soil and air, which can cause health problems. A great Earth Day activity could be organizing a community trash cleanup. Gather a group of friends, family and community members, pick a place such as a park, and bring trash bags to beautify the area. Be sure to wear gloves and bring proper gear to protect yourselves!
Shop at a local farmers market
There are so many benefits of shopping at local farmers markets, one of them being that it is more environmentally friendly than commercial groceries. Here are a few supporting points:
Local food is better for the environment because it requires a shorter travel distance, reducing greenhouse emissions
Most of the items at markets are not packaged, making it easy to practice a zero waste lifestyle by bringing and using bags you already have, in turn reducing plastic waste
Commercial farms require a ton of fertilizer because they do not rotate fields or crops, which can run into local water supplies; in contrast, small farms use crop rotation which reduces the need for chemical fertilizer.
Start a Compost Bin
If you are someone who enjoys gardening and tending to your lawn, or you have friends who are, then you should create a compost bin. Composting can help enrich soil, reduce the need for chemical fertilizer and even increase the production of humus, a nutrient-filled material. Starting a compost pile is as easy as creating a compost mound, adding organic materials such as vegetable scraps, and watering and rotating the compost as needed.
If you are looking for a relaxing way to enjoy nature, consider bird-watching. While doing so, listen to the songs they sing, notice the details on their feathers, and the shape of their features to truly learn about the variety of species in your area. For some added fun, consider finding a recipe online for homemade bird food to attract them and find the ingredients at your farmers market!
While all of these activities are great ways to celebrate Earth Day, we should really be engaging in environmentally-friendly activities every day of the year in order to protect this lovely planet that we call home. Small changes in behavior, such as shopping at the farmer’s market instead of commercial grocery stores, can make a big impact. So think to yourself, “how can I shift my routine to be more environmentally friendly?” Here at Brook Ridge, we are always looking for ways to increase our eco-friendliness.
Gardening is a relaxing, productive activity that can help lower stress and support our mental health. But just because the weather is getting cooler doesn't mean we have to wait until next year to enjoy gardening. Fall is the best time to plant perennial flower bulbs, which bloom year after year!
Check with your local nursery for recommendations on what to plant. There are a range of choices--daffodils, tulips, allium, and hyacinth are 4 of the hardiest perennials for all planting zones. When spring comes around, you can look for your budding flowers!
Food is a critical component of not only our health, but our overall happiness and well being. That’s why we place a large emphasis on the importance of healthy eating. The food we eat every day plays a huge role in our brain function, and that doesn’t change as we get older. In fact, it’s even more important!: ow.ly/FQ7O50KWcuY