Earth Day: 24 hours dedicated to the collection of voices and surge of activities for the purpose of making a difference for our planet and the natural world. A day where, usually, great masses come together for great climate action. But we definitely don’t want that. “Great masses” are not a wise choice at the moment, and as we sit in our homes, on this 27th day of lockdown in South Africa, inaction has become a necessary ‘activity’ to navigate COVID-19.
It is indeed a historical time – “unprecedented” being somewhat of a buzzword at the moment – and today is extra special in that the 22 April 2020 not only marks the 27th day of a never-before nationwide (almost global) lockdown, but also the 50th anniversary of Earth Day celebrations! And this year’s theme? Climate Action. We know what you’re probably thinking (because we sat scratching our heads, too) – with no beach clean-ups to attend or nurseries open to purchase a tree to plant, what “actions” are we going to do?
The daily inactivity of isolation can leave you feeling a little less “celebratory” than usual, and each of us at Boody SA is working (from home, of course) on ways to stay healthy, positive and productive during this time. So, as we took a rain-check on our usual Earth Day plans, we wanted to offer you some solutions to this isolated occasion with some constructive and enjoyable activities to bring positivity to your day and our planet.
Below we give you our isol-utions to action this Earth Day:
1. Make your tote
Image from Pattern Stitch Blog
Earth Day is always a good reminder to replace the plastic and use fabric instead. But with outings a less frequent activity right now, what better time to make your own bags for when lockdown is over, from just two items around the house? Find an old t-shirt (maybe not your silky soft Boody ones 😉) and a pair of scissors and follow this 3-minute tutorial to making your own no-sew tote in a few minutes!
2. Design your reusable mug
Image from Mollie Makes
Another habit we hope you’ve already adopted is fuelling your caffeine fix from a reusable cup! If your daily ritual pre-pandemic was to make yourself a cup of something hot first thing in the morning or when you arrive at work to kickstart your day, you may feel a gap in your daily routine. With so many things different in our day-to-day activities, intentionally planning for the return to “normal” life can bring a sense of clarity and direction – so why not make something you will look forward to taking with you when it is time to head back to the great wide world, and care for the planet at the same time? If you have a plain mug and some nail polish at home this Earth Day follow these simple steps to make a personalised marbled reusable mug for all your eco-friendly coffee needs! (Tips: use warm water to prevent the nail polish from drying too quickly, bake in an oven at 120°C for 20 mins to set the pattern for longevity (optional), and use modge podge or a clear varnish over the polish at the end for a sleek finish (optional).
3. Go Vegetarian
Image from SA Home Owner
Ok, this doesn’t have to be a permanent dietary change, but going vegetarian (or even vegan) for Earth Day might inspire you to swap out meat a couple of days a week for some delicious, colourful veg! Simply reducing the amount of meat you eat has hugely positive impacts on the environment. You conserve water, you reduce energy consumption, you purify the air. And that’s just the beginning! This veggie twist on a traditional South African Bobotie is a must-try and a firm staple in our list of go-to meals!
4. (Re)plant a veggie
Image from Simple Bites
In the coming year, Earth Day Network has a goal of planting 7.8 billion trees — one tree for every person on earth — in honour of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020. Right now, buying seedlings and finding a good spot to plant them are two temporary challenges, so for today, why not bring a little inspiration, life and colour into your home by turning your vegetable compost scraps into an edible mini kitchen garden! Use these simple steps to remind yourself that life is waiting to sprout again, it just needs to be given the chance.
5. Switch off the lights
This is always a good way to end off Earth Day, but something about this lockdown makes it feel like an even better idea. We’ve been isolated in our homes for just over 3 weeks now, and it has been hard for even the most optimistic of us to not be affected and left feeling a little less energised than normal at some point in time. Tonight, and in the days to come, try be intentional about creating a warm and soothing atmosphere around you – turn off the lights, with our earth in mind, and set some candles out. Spend a bit of time with the TV off, reading a book or doing something as a family. Treat yourself to dinner by candlelight or lie under the stars for a while. It is amazing how simply doing something different and kind for yourself and our planet can help reset that energy button and leave you feeling refreshed for the days to come.
So while Earth Day is a great day to remember to live an eco-friendly life, we know that this year is a bit different, and so we want to remind you to not worry about all the things you “should” be doing, but rather enjoy the small things you are able to achieve during this time. Today is one marked with hope and a 50-year history of inspired citizens across the world, working together to make a better future for our planet. Take part in these Earth Day iso-lutions and join us as we celebrate this occasion from our homes.