Love the Earth this Month!
Easter isn’t the only holiday worth celebrating this April. As we celebrate this season of renewal, it’s important to remember to preserve our natural environment. Earth Day is a celebration of the beauty of nature: how it gives us life, sustains us, and continues to amaze us every day. It’s also a perfect day to spend with the older loved ones in your life. You’re never too old to go green, after all! Here are seven Earth Day activities that are perfect for the seniors in your life.
Where do you get your groceries? Publix, Safeway, Whole Foods? Why don’t you check out a local supplier? Farmer’s markets, food co-ops, and community gardens make great excursions for seniors. They’re a chance to see local food production up close, often on a smaller, higher quality scale.
Buying local means you’re supporting your local economy. The food also doesn’t need to be shipped long distances or refrigerated for a long time since you’re often getting the food not long after it’s harvested.
Don’t have an accessible local supplier? Make one! Plant a garden with your loved one, focusing on local herbs, fruits, and veggies. Later in the year, you can enjoy the literal fruits of your labor.
Build a Bird Feeder
An easy Earth Day project for seniors is to build a bird feeder! Spring is the perfect time for birdwatching, especially if you live near a wooded area. You can buy birdhouse and bird feeder kits to assemble and decorate, but you don’t need to go far. Simply turn a mason jar on its side, secure a wooden towel to the bottom, and suspend it from a tree with a cloth or leather strap to create a stylish and straightforward DIY feeder. Be sure to look up the diets of native and migrating bird species in your area to best accommodate them!
Start a Compost Pile
How much organic material do you throw away each day? What about organic waste like fruit peels, bones, paper, leftovers, and spoiled food. Organic waste usually ends up in a landfill, buried under layers of other garbage and unable to decay. Over time, this waste builds and builds, eventually becoming a foul-smelling mountain of trash. Why not turn those old eggshells and banana peels into food for the soil instead?
You can quickly turn an old plastic storage container into a composter by drilling some holes for aeration and drainage. Add your organic waste to the container, cover it in dirt, and turn it over regularly to keep it aerated. Before long, you’ll have nutrient-rich compost to add to your soil, reducing waste and giving your plants a tasty treat.
Every year, organizations worldwide hold events for Earth Day, from beach cleanups to recycling drives. These events are always looking for volunteers to handle sign-ups, distribute snacks and drinks, or get down and dirty during clean-up. There are volunteering opportunities for people of every ability level so that everyone can be a part of something big! Contact your city to see if any Earth day activities could use some help.
Plant a Tree
Did you know that, in the United States, Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April? In 2022, that means it happens precisely one week after Earth Day. Most years, it happens even sooner!
Arbor Day is a holiday dedicated to preserving and restoring our nation’s trees and forests. In the United States, the Arbor Day Foundation offers resources for people looking to host tree-centric events. They even send out free seedlings to new members, though you will have to pay a small fee to sign up. When it comes to Earth Day projects for seniors, planting seedlings can be one of the most rewarding. Not only are you beautifying your space, but you’re also leaving a legacy that will be enjoyed for years to come.
Have you ever heard of guerilla gardening? It’s easy! All you need to do is get some local plant and flower seeds (make sure they’re local! Invasive plants may be pretty, but can wreak havoc on the environment) and mix them with compost and clay powder. Let these ‘seed bombs’ dry, then toss them into places that look a bit barren. Soon you’ll have an explosion of life and color!
Consider using these seed bombs to spice up places you can garden in or places that don’t mind a few wildflowers. Is there a patch of dead grass near your nursing home’s parking lot? Seed bomb! Do you want to turn an empty lawn into an explosion of flowers? Seed bomb! The possibilities are limitless!
Turn out the Lights
Have you ever heard of light pollution? If you live in an urbanized area, you’ve probably noticed its effects: the dark, oppressively empty skies at night, the stars drowned out by artificial light. If you live in a particularly large city, you may experience skyglow: a sickly illumination of the night sky that makes it seem like the sun has never truly set. An estimated 80 percent of the planet lives under light pollution, with 99 percent of the US and European populations experiencing its effects.
While the vanishing of stars is the most visible effect of light pollution, it can severely impact our health and our environment as well. It can disrupt our sleep cycles, disturb ecosystems, and disorient wildlife. It has a noticeable effect on seniors, as they are more susceptible to glare caused by bright lights, making driving at night more dangerous.
Each March, people worldwide celebrate Earth Hour by shutting off or dimming their lights for one hour at night. While it’s a bit late to participate by the time Earth Day runs around, it’s still a nice gesture that can lead to fun activities.
Turn off any non-essential lighting for an hour and light a candle or fire pit for some quality bonding time. Do you live in a place where lighting a fire is ill-advised? Try dimming the lights instead, or relying on gentler light for an hour—trading stories or eating a candlelit dinner. Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll even be able to see the stars!
There are so many more Earth Day ideas out there for the crafty senior, but the most critical part of Earth Day is to simply appreciate the wonder of nature. If you’re looking for a nursing home that will let you live close to nature, why not check our catalog of reviews? We have up-to-date ratings and violations on nursing homes across the country. Enter your zip code to begin your search today!