In the second of our two-part ‘Showing Gratitude to Nature’ blog, we invite you to consider and explore ways in which you can show your gratitude to the natural world through wider actions in your community.
Join A Local Clean-Up
A fantastic way to show your gratitude for your favourite outdoor space is to do a clean-up. It may be that there is a local organisation that arranges regular clean-ups. If so, join them for a session and help to keep the outdoors clean and safe for everyone to use. Alternatively, you could organise a local clean-up yourself or simply go for a walk alone or with your family, with the aim of collecting as much rubbish as possible. Make sure you dispose of it responsibly when you are done.
Grow Your Own Vegetables or Herb Garden
Growing your own vegetables or buying local produce is also a lovely way to show your gratitude to the natural world. In doing so, you’ll be helping to boost and promote your local economy and support the farmers in your local area. You’ll also be investing in fresher produce and helping to minimise your carbon footprint. Furthermore, you’ll often be reducing your use of plastics and packaging too.
If you don’t have space to grow your own vegetables, consider instead growing your own herb garden. One of the nicest things about this is that herb gardens often don’t require very much space. You can often grow a healthy herb garden on a windowsill and they are generally easy to maintain, requiring only minimal effort. They can be an ideal choice for individuals who are very busy, as well as being a really nice activity to do with children. The added bonus of course, is that you’ll have fresh nutritious herbs to add to your meals.
Trees are an essential and extremely important part of our world. They produce oxygen, which is crucial for the survival of all the species on our planet. By planting trees, we can help to combat and begin to offset the carbon in the atmosphere. Trees also provide a home and shelter for a variety of wildlife.
Of course, you may not be able to plant a tree in your back garden. However, there are a range of organisations which are dedicated to planting more trees. You could find a local organisation and help them physically plant some trees or donate to their cause. You could also get support and advice from these groups on how to organise a local event to plant more trees in your area.
Plant Flowering and Native Plants
Flowers are visually pleasing, but they also serve a much more important function, especially with regards to wildlife. By planting flowers in your garden, on windowsills or in hanging baskets, you can help to provide essential food and shelter for a range of animals. Furthermore, flowering plants will also help to attract wildlife, which will pollinate other plants.
A particularly effective strategy can be to plant more native plants. This will help to promote the native biodiversity of your local environment and support the wildlife which depend on it. It will also help to boost the number of bees, which are currently in decline but are an extremely important part of nature. Moreover, planting can be a relaxing activity to undertake, promoting your mental wellbeing. It is also a really nice family activity to do, whilst also helping to educate children about the natural world.
The natural environment provides us with a range of physical, mental and emotional benefits. More than ever, perhaps, we have been reminded of the importance and support that the natural world can offer us.
Showing gratitude to the natural world can take many forms. Personal, small acts of gratitude are perhaps easier to attend to and act upon on a more regular basis. However, as we evaluate and reflect on the past year, we also encourage you to take this opportunity to reflect on your goals and ambitions for the coming new year.
Are there ways in which you can engage with the natural environment in the new year, which also allow you to show gratitude? Are there events (physically or virtually) which you would like to participate in to promote the health of the planet? Do you want to join a local organisation to help care for your local green spaces? Can you volunteer at a charity? Are you able to help educate others in your local community about the importance of the natural world?
Or perhaps you want to take the opportunity to develop new skills in the forthcoming year. Maybe you want to learn how to be a beekeeper? Perhaps you want to give gardening a try or adapt your shopping habits so that you begin to buy more locally-sourced produce? Or perhaps you want to start developing and practicing some new sustainable lifestyle choices?
This week, we invite you to consider your new year’s resolutions, in direct response to the natural world. What action will you take (however big or small) to show gratitude to Nature and help promote the health of our planet and all those in it?