When I’m outside in my garden, or walking around my nature journaling patch it always makes me feel better. Yes, even in the pouring rain! Scientific studies have proved that engaging with nature can make us kinder and more generous, and that, in turn, creates feelings of happiness and gratitude. This is wonderful, but, it shouldn't be a one way street.
The first word of Drawn Into Nature's strapline is ‘Care’. Our world faces so many threats and uncertainties for the future; nature needs all the help she can get. This year, April 22nd has been designated Earth Day. To mark this, I’m setting myself a challenge to Sow Hope for Nature; and I invite you to join me. There's a bit of a twist as this is a twofold option, but it's not hard. It's for everyone, of all ages, wherever you are!
Okay, the first part is to sow a seed of practical action, by doing something which will help nature. This can be anything at all, big or small. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
- Join/support a national or local nature charity or organisation
- Plant sunflowers and use the seed heads to feed your garden birds*
- Donate to or volunteer at a local nature project, like a community growing space
- Plant a tree or a flowering shrub*
- Make a home for bees and pollinating insects in your garden*
- Create handmade cards or postcards with a nature theme* and pop an environmental message or quote inside (Don’t forget the hashtag, see below!) Send them to friends and family - or leave some in unexpected places for people to find!
- Hang your clothes outside to dry naturally, and switch off your dryer when it’s sunny. (The material will last longer, they’ll smell and feel fresher, and you’ll save power!)
- Recycle, reuse and look for second hand items for your garden. You can find some great containers for plants, and make a mini pond for wildlife! *
- Make or buy some light muslin or calico bags for your fruit and vegetable shopping to avoid using plastic bags
- Buy a reusable coffee cup and water bottle for when you’re out and about
- Cut down your food waste. Try to buy more locally produced food - maybe visiting your local a farmer’s market. They also tend to use less packaging
- Get a compost bin for your garden and make your own lovely growing medium!*
* These would be fantastic ideas to get younger family members involved and interested. I'm sure you can think of lots more.
The second part is to reinforce your action; plant a real seed/seeds!
New to growing? Have a go. It's not hard! All that's needed is:
- a container (recycle or reuse if you can)
- some compost (peat free of course)
- and your seeds.
Follow the directions on the packet, and don't forget to water them. You could choose.... a pot of wildflowers, an annual garden plant bees will love, a useful herb, maybe even a tree....
If you’re in the Southern hemisphere, or it’s not easy for you to get outdoors. try growing a house plant, or sowing a fruit pip or stone*indoors. Even mustard and cress, or carrot tops would do*!
Seeing your plant growing will be your physical reminder that you’ve done something great for nature, and it might even be there for years, should you plant an acorn! If you want to pledge but not plant, or vice versa, there are absolutely no rules, anything you do is a bonus. I hope any action you choose to take will inspire you to plant even more seeds - of both types!
Now - a sneaky bit! If you’re interested in starting a nature journal, but you have been putting it off, wouldn't this make a great, and really easy, beginners project? You can watch, sketch and write about your little green shoot, as it grows and develops. Tell other people about what you’re doing, get little ones, family, friends and colleagues involved and ask them to join in. Remember - every small action makes a difference, and helps us all move towards a better future.
If you're up for this do tell me; please share your actions and plants on the pinned post on the Drawn Into Nature Facebook page, or on Instagram, with the hashtag #sowinghopefornature
This is our special tag, so we can find each other! If you have any questions please get in touch. You can use the CONNECT button on the About page, or contact me through social media.
Although the challenge begins on Earth Day, it's ongoing, so you can join in whenever you like!
Happy seed sowing!