12 Nature-Friendly Things to Do While You’re Stuck at Home
Social distancing got you down? We get it. With everything that’s happening globally, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious, but it doesn’t have to be this way! We will get through this, and there’s no reason not to have a little fun along the way. So in the interest of our collective sanity, we’ve compiled a list of 12 nature-friendly things to do even if you're stuck at home!
Excerpt from The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth by Rachel Ignotofsky
2. Make a Wellness Elixir
Turn all that garlic you panic-bought into a remedy for cold and flu symptoms. A favorite of renowned herbalist Susan S. Weed, garlic honey is super easy to make and strangely delicious. Simply place unpeeled garlic cloves into a small jar (4-8 ounces), cover with raw honey, stir around with a chopstick to integrate. While it’s ready almost immediately, it, like a fine wine, will only get better with age. We recommend giving it at least a few days to infuse. Take it by the spoonful to soothe sore throats, lung congestion, and sinus problems, or just to prevent getting sick. Feeling more ambitious? Try your hand at another potent herbal remedy: Fire Cider!
3. Netflix and Chill.
Catch up on the wonders of the great outdoors while staying in your PJ’s on the couch. We’re big fans of these awesome nature-loving Netflix shows: Planet Earth, The Universe, Nature's Weird Events, Night on Earth, Terra, and Chasing Coral.
4. Got Kids? Get Nat Geo.
You're welcome for this amazing compilation of genius songwriting from Nat Geo. Finally, something you and your kids will have a blast listening to and laughing about during these strange times.
5. Get This Awesome Sustainable Activities Kit for Kids (or Yourself)
Suddenly plunged into the world of homeschooling and looking for more ways to entertain the kids? We've got you covered with this Sustainable Homeschool Activities Kit your kids will love!
6. Take Care of Those Plants
You know how you always feel bad about neglecting your houseplants? Well, now's the time to give them some TLC. Houseplants are nature's best air purifiers, and studies show they help reduce stress. The healthier your plants are, the healthier you'll be too! You can make a homemade plant food recipe just by combining 1 tsp. of baking soda, 1 tbsp. of epsom salt, and 1/2 tsp. of ammonia in a gallon of water. Don't have that stuff? No problem, just give your plants some water.
7. Learn Some New Dance Moves and Challenge Your Friends
Itching to move your body but got nowhere to go? Learn some new dance moves and challenge your friends to see who can record the best video. Do it outside if you can, or at least get outdoor inspiration from a dance pro.
8. Make Your #Digitalstrike Sign for Climate Solidarity
Just because you're stuck indoors doesn't mean you can't participate in a #digital strike with Fridays for Future, Greta Thunberg, and millions of young people around the world who are demanding climate action. Grab your canvas or cardboard, markers or paint, and create a unique poster to share your message for the environment. Then post it on social media with #digitalstrike on Fridays!
9. Get Creative With Upcycling
Upcycling means taking something you already have but don't use and giving it new life by turning it into something awesome! Look around the house for something useless that can be transformed. You can make paper crafts or a vision board out of old magazines, paint your used cans and put plants in them, or even turn an old door into a coffee table. Lots of awesome upcycling ideas on Pinterest to get your creative juices flowing.
10. Start Your Indoor Herb Garden Using Eggshells
Make the most of your eggshells after breakfast while starting your spring herb garden right at home. You likely already have the eggshells and egg carton, so all you'll really need to get are some seeds for your favorite herbs (or flowers!) and a little potting soil.
11. Organize a Stuff Swap With Friends and Family
The basic idea here is to go through your clothes, books, and other household items to find things that are in good condition but that you don't use. Gather them up in a few tote bags, and bring them to someone in your circle who's doing the same thing - even if you have to just drop it of on their doorstep and avoid contact for now! This will create some space and cleanliness in your home, and you might just score something new and awesome that your friend didn't need anyway. After the stuff makes all the rounds with everyone involved, you can donate it to Salvation Army.
12. Give Yourself an Evergreen Facial Steam
A facial steam is not only good for your pores, it's great for your lungs! Find a large, heat-proof bowl and a clean towel to drape over your head. Head outside and find a pine, hemlock, or cedar tree. Collect around 1 cup of fresh needles from each if you can, shake clean, and place into the bowl. Next, heat a kettle for hot water, and when it’s ready, pour over the needles until they’re completely submerged. Drape the towel over your head and lean over the bowl, staying at a level that is comfortable for you. Breathe in the soothing, healing steam for as long as you can—at least 5 minutes is best. You’ll feel your pores opening and your mucus membranes just sighing in relief. When you’re done, splash your face with toner or cold water to close your pores, and work in a gentle moisturizer. You’ll be amazed at how smooth your skin feels!
Whatever you're doing at home, remember to stay healthy and keep your spirits high. If you're in the mood for some good news, check out how Coronavirus has had a surprisingly positive impact on climate change or just plant a tree!
We plant trees on 4 continents around the world. Want to choose where yours are planted?
by Meaghan Weeden & Diana Chaplin
Forest Whisperer & Canopy Director