Make Earth Day every day

By Lee Ann Szelog | Apr 20, 2019

Although Earth Day is celebrated once every year to educate and emphasize the importance of protecting our natural world, we must make it a habit to celebrate, appreciate and protect it every day for the greater good.

How? The first step is to venture outside and open our eyes and hearts to appreciate the abundance of natural beauty Earth provides, especially throughout Maine, from the coast to the northern forest. With proper exposure to nature and wildlife, our curiosity will lead us to explore and protect all that nature provides. These discoveries can significantly enrich our lives by enhancing our awareness of the effect the natural world has on our overall wellness. These discoveries will inspire and move us to protect the wellness of our earth, which, in turn, protects the wellness of life, human and wild.

Increasing one's awareness about the fragility and richness of our Earth can be life-changing. Throughout the past 30 years, I have learned, firsthand, the benefits of receiving nature’s gifts, and now offer nature retreats to help people discover this precious source that helps reduce stress, settle nerves, increase energy and productivity and experience tranquility.

Making nature part of your daily routine is good for all the reasons we already know. With technology overwhelming our senses, excessive demands, personally and professionally, and a basic disconnect from nature, to name a few, the tranquility nature provides can significantly enhance our mental well-being, especially considering that studies report that Americans spend 87 percent of their time inside.

Protecting our Earth and teaching and inspiring children and adults to embrace nature will have long-term implications for the survival of our descendants. Although the first Earth Day was April 22, 1970, which led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts, 49 years later, the fight for a clean environment and the protection of our wild places, species and Earth is a continuing struggle.

Take the first step today by stepping outside. If you want to experience life from a different perspective, realize that everything around you is alive – the moss, bugs, bees, birds, grasses and trees. Next time you walk out your front door, look around at the life that thrives on our precious Earth. Allow yourself to hear, see, smell, feel and taste the complexity of life, and appreciate all that is around you. You will walk away embracing the simple pleasures of nature and experiencing how they can help slow the pace, settle nerves, soothe worries and stimulate energy.

Lee Ann Szelog is founder and president of Simply Put LLC in Whitefield. Find it online at simplyput.com.

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