April 22 is Earth Day, an event that was birthed in 1970. According to EarthDay.org, over 1 billion people in 192 countries participate in what they say is the “largest civic-focused day of action in the world.”
On their website, you can find 40+ tips, from using reusable packaging, bags, coffee cups, replacing invasive plant species with native ones, and regularly changing your car’s air filter to volunteering for various Earth Day campaigns. The 2019 campaign is Protect Our Species.
Earth Day is a fantastic initiative to bring more awareness and to focus on what we can do. Each April 22, I also think about what else I can do in the coming year. Like many of you, how we can live better with others on this beautiful blue dot and honour Gaia is also a daily practice.
If you already have good “reduce, reuse, and recycle” habits, check out the following suggestions.
Good “reduce, reuse, and recycle” habits include everything we all already know – compost, use biodegradable packaging, bring your own mug for coffee, buy bulk, opt for good quality clothing over fast fashion, choose natural over synthetic fibres, use compostable, glass, stainless steel, or otherwise reusable straws, turn envelopes you get into scrap note paper…
Even better is shifting to reducing and reusing, rather than recycling. Why? The effectiveness of recycling on a global level as a way to lessen our landfills and what gets into our waterways is questionable. We often lose sight and control of what happens to what we recycle, with each jurisdiction having its own processes, laws, and regulations.
Reducing and reusing, on the other hand, require a shift on our part that ties into a bigger picture. The energy behind reducing and reusing is one of respect, reverence, and abundance. Caroline Myss, for example, talks about self-esteem and shopping. What we buy, or allow ourselves to buy, depends on what our self-esteem is in that moment. When we understand the inner void can never be filled by the material, our spending patterns rebalance. We are able to discern needs from wants, and from what both arise. What’s more is that we will know that there will always be a sale (if that’s what you want) and that when we require something, it will show up. The universe is like a gigantic Room of Requirement.
9 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Honour Gaia All Year Long
1 Be in Nature
Nature is healing and the more we are outside with the trees, birds, wind, stars … go barefoot if you can. We are part of nature and we are nature. The more we feel connected with our home on earth, ourselves, and other people and beings. You may have heard about how trees communicate with each other through fungal networks, sharing resources and alerting others of environmental changes.
2 Learn about Nature
We live in an ecosystem. There is value in everyone and everything. We may not understand it all at this point. The 2019 Earth Day Campaign is “Protect Our Species” – we can donate, volunteer, start a grassroot organization, for example. We can also augment our understanding and awareness of our own impact on the bees, for example, through the pesticides we use. (Check out beneficial nematodes for flea and tick control.) Maybe this Earth Day is when we buck our cultural traditions and stop eating shark fin soup and whale meat.
Nature has a lot to teach us. Everything has a consciousness. As humans, we are so used to monopolizing what consciousness matters that we are denying ourselves of a greater and more expansive connection.
3 Share Nature’s bounties
Receive and share these gifts by working with crystals, gardening, tapping into plant medicine, supporting local farmers, using natural pest control, learning permaculture… The story of nature’s bounties is wholeness, taking into account all the elements, seeing value in everything, even “weeds” and not commoditizing it.
4 Work with the land
Our history as a human species has left many parts of the world scarred by our violence, suffering, and pain. If you are called to, you can partner with crystals to heal the land. Perhaps there are portals that need to be opened and maintained. You can also tone, sing, chant, or use Ho’oponopono. Respect the indigenous traditions, cultures, and stewardship of the land.
Pesticides, plastics, and garbage not only sully the landscape and our environment, but all beings. We are changing the energetics of our surroundings when we litter, when we pollute, or when we walk past garbage, leaving it for someone else to clear it.[source]
5 Respect the Feminine
We are at a cusp of change, as patriarchy and fear-based domination crumbles. Respecting the Feminine means seeing that there is value in yielding, receiving, allowing, creating, intuition, attracting, the wild… The Feminine resides in everyone, not just women or a woman’s body.
6 Be a giver and a receiver
A nurturer of ourselves, others, and Mother Earth. Connect with the flow and ebb, movement and pause, and the cycles and fractals.
7 Reflect on the pace of our life
Do we rush around? Are we on a bandwagon of some sort? Do we compromise our values and our integrity from our need/want of convenience? How can we pause and be present? Stop, and smell the roses.
8 Tap into your creativity and learn a new skill
Take up sewing to mend your clothes, learn how to cook for yourself, or some other skill to repurpose things in your wardrobe or basement. Build our confidence, self-reliance, and sustainability by tapping into the more sublime and less structured, without needing to have a goal or a sense of productivity.
9 Ground into your root chakra
Be anchored in our body, on this earth. Ground into your root chakra. Connect with the core of the planet. Feel the solid earth beneath us and know we are always supported. Know also that we can let go and ask Mother Earth to help us transmute it.
Mother Earth also has her own ascension process and we are witnessing many of her changes. At this time, it is essential for all of us to love and accept ourselves, as a gateway to community. It is no accident we are here now. Find your anchor within. Purify old conditioning, fear-based programming, overculture, and anything that is low vibrational or outdated. So that you may offer your gift, unadulterated and undiluted by a fear of our own power, expectations by society, and our need to please.
All change comes from within and it really does start with me. With you. It takes conviction, courage, and humility. Practice gratitude, forgiveness, and presence.
(We may struggle with forgiving other people who we think have wronged us. Forgiving is a process and we each have to come to that point. Because when the wounding is fresh or has resurfaced, our when we have complex trauma, staying in the moment may be the last thing you want to do. Escape, scraping by – this is how some people manage to survive. To move beyond surviving, there is a process of wholing, an integration. So be gentle and kind with yourself. Take care. Tap into the wellness community, rest and conserve your energy, orient with the environment, do what you must in these cycles of contractions and expansions.)
All these suggestions to celebrate Earth Day and to honour Gaia are for ourselves to explore and experiment with, to build on, to expand in community perhaps. It’s time we focus on what’s possible beyond duality, beyond colour, creed, clan, and all those divisions that have kept us apart. From ourselves, each other, and fully connected with Gaia.