April 22 is Earth Day: a day to raise awareness of environmental issues and take action to protect our planet.
That doesn’t mean it needs to be all work and no play, though. It’s a holiday, after all, and should allow for rest and relaxation.
You can decompress and still celebrate the spirit of Earth Day with these 10 eco-friendly, stress-relieving ideas.
You don’t have to be always accessible by phone and email, or constantly glued to a glowing screen. Turning off your home’s electronic devices—all of them—for the day saves an average of about 30 kilowatt-hours of electricity and up to 65 pounds of CO2 emissions, according to the Energy Information Administration. Plus, avoiding the light from LED screens can help you sleep better at night, leaving you feeling more rested the next day.
Images: Aimless Wanderers
2. Take a hike.
What better way to relax and celebrate Earth Day than to get outside and enjoy nature? Visit a park or preserve, go for a walk in the woods or just lie out at night and see the stars. You’ll gain a greater appreciation for Mother Nature while letting go of your everyday stresses.
3. Plant a garden.
For many people, planting flowers or shrubs is a relaxing activity that both beautifies your home and helps clean up the air. Or, since Earth Day often falls close to Arbor Day, you can strategically plant trees to shade your home and conserve energy.
4. Bike instead of drive.
Reduce your carbon footprint (and burn some calories) by biking, running or walking to your destination instead of driving. Besides reducing emissions, such exercise releases endorphins that can reduce stress and provide a healthy “runner’s high.”
Along the same lines as above, some people find it relaxing to get involved and do something proactive for Earth Day. There are likely local activities or festivals where you can join up with other like-minded volunteers, or you can check out suggestions by the EPA or the Earth Day Network of how you can take action.
Images: Dos Family
6. Green crafts.
If you enjoy being artistic, you can unwind on Earth Day by making some eco-friendly crafts. You can recycle or upcycle old items into something more useful or decorative. You can find a wealth of green craft ideas on Pinterest or crafting sites.
Images: Brit & Co
7. Organic spa day.
How about pampering yourself with an eco-friendly spa day? You don’t have to travel to a spa or spend a lot of money to do so; you can create your own organic masks, lotions and scrubs at home using readily-available ingredients.
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils—naturally scented liquids distilled from flowers or other plants—to help you reduce stress, improve your memory or provide a number of other beneficial effects. Several essential oils, including lavender and chamomile, can be used in aromatherapy to help you relax and even sleep better.
Images: Eco Beach
9. Vacation at an eco-friendly resort.
If you really want to get away from it all, consider a relaxing vacation at an eco-friendly resort. A number of such “green” resorts have been developed in recent years, and boast of sustainable luxury accommodations that are built from recycled materials, use renewable energy or grow their own local organic produce.
10. Do nothing.
Finally, you could always relax on Earth day by simply staying home and doing nothing. Read an old favorite book by sunlight, snuggle up under a comfy blanket or take a nap in your backyard hammock. It takes zero effort and produces zero additional carbon footprint.
How are you celebrating Earth Day?