This year skip the gym, the diets and the less-is-more rules and step into greener pastures. 2016 doesn’t have to be about losing. Instead, gain an appreciation for the world around you. Make this year’s resolution more a stop-and-smell-the-roses promise to yourself.
It’s sometimes said that it takes just 21 days to turn a behaviour into a habit. With that in mind, the Nature Conservancy of Canada has created a 21-day nature guide to help ease your way into a greener year, regardless of when in the year you take on the challenge. The guide includes fun activities for all ages and degrees of green thumbs and nature-lovers to start whenever you’re ready to go green!
Here are some examples of the green-themed activities to get you growing this year:
Plan your urban garden
Sure, snow may still be on the ground where you live, but it’s never too early to start planning for spring! Contact your local community garden to find out when you can book a plot, or use a chart or graph paper to plan your square foot garden so you’re ready to go once it’s time to order seeds.
Subscribe to a nature podcast
Download a podcast app on your smartphone and subscribe to a nature podcast to listen to on your commute. It’s a great way to learn about a topic on the go with weekly episodes of shows such as Living Planet and BirdNote.
Explore a neighboring forest
Get outside and make your own field guide this winter, complete with bark rubbings and needles from your favorite trees. You may even include pictures of press samples of different species fungi, lichens and shrubs. This guide can be used all year round, adding new leaves when they sprout in the spring!
Add a green filter
Make your Instagram feed green by sharing your best nature shots with a unique hashtag so you can grow an album of nature photos right in the social sphere.
Nature lunch walk
Escape from all the business and stress of life, even just for five minutes a day. Leave the desk and head outside for a brisk walk after lunch, before or after work or during a break between classes. Gather a group of friends to join your nature quest. Discover the changes of season. Take notice of what trees, flowers and landscape are present on the walk.
Put down the calorie-counters and pick up a nature book, a field guide or a pair of binoculars. Start this year with something great: an appreciation for nature.
For more information on ideas and activities, and to start your nature adventure, visit NCC’s 21 Days of Nature challenge.
Written by Raechel Bonomo, communications assistant with the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
Main Image: Darkwoods, BC (Photo by Bruce Kirby)