You’ve got your reusable water bottle for 24/7 hydration and your trusty tote for lugging *everything* (ahem, mostly crystals and veggies). But how do you take your eco-friendly intentions to the next level?
Actually, embracing sustainable living beyond these easy habits doesn’t have to be complicated. To prove it, we teamed up with Origins—the plant-loving skin-care brand which launched the industry’s first cosmetic-container recycling program—for two celebrations in honor of Earth Month on both coasts.
How did we pull it off? By giving some love to the outdoors—a simple action you can take on the reg by picking up trash on your daily walks or seeking out volunteer opportunities—and by bringing the outdoors in, one small way you can connect to nature even if you live in a city.
“The individual has the power to make a difference.”
First up, we hit up Los Angeles’ Audubon Center at Debs Park. With a little inspo from Origins’ plant-a-tree initiative (which has sown 750,000 saplings and counting across the globe), 50 Well+Good readers spruced up the conservation center’s surrounding woodlands and grasslands—which are home to walnut and oak trees and more than 140 species of birds—with Kathryn Kellogg of Going Zero Waste.
“Every decision that we make is a vote for the kind of world we want to live in,” Kellogg says. “The individual has the power to make a difference.”
On the east coast, we took over The Assemblage in New York City to learn more about connecting with nature with environmental scientist and plant pro Summer Rayne Oakes. “I think that for many of us we may have moved from greener pastures, so to speak, into the city,” Oakes says. “One of the great ways we can be reconnected to this Earth is by doing what we can, where we are.”
Scroll down for more beginner-friendly tips to take environmental action from both #greentheplanet events.
For the LA event, volunteers showed up bright and early to work their magic pulling weeds, mulching, and picking up trash to transform the park’s entrance and main pathways.
“Each morning, we can choose to have a positive impact on the planet or a negative one,” says Kellogg—and these two readers totally proved that. By cleaning up the park entrance, the day’s work helped attract more visitors and discourage less dumping. (Hanging out with your BFFs in the sunshine just a bonus.)
Kellogg got her hands dirty, too—but not before sharing some sustainability tips. Her top four? Opt for a reusable straw (you can get super cute metal, glass, and bamboo ones), bring reusable produce bags to the grocery store in addition to your tote, carry your own water bottle, and say no to disposable coffee cups.
“I like to carry a double insulated water bottle with me,” she says. “You can get hot coffee to go in the same vessel, so it’s one less thing to carry around.”
Volunteers filled an impressive *forty* large garbage bags with trash…
…and snagged a tote bag filled with sustainable swag and Origins beauty essentials before heading out on a meditative hike.
Meanwhile, in NYC, more than 50 green goddesses gathered to learn how to infuse nature into urban environments and create their own succulent to take home.
To start off the succulent workshop on the right leaf, plant expert Oakes asked attendees to share their names and favorite plant. Oakes’ favorite? Peperomia, which features heart-shaped leaves.
When potting or repotting succulents in soil, Oakes suggests adding horticultural charcoal chips (to absorb excess water and prevent mold growth) and perlite, a puffed volcanic rock that helps aerate the soil.
“Succulents like to have a south or west-facing window,” advises Oakes. “You might be able to get away with an east or southeast-facing window.” As for water, Oakes gives her succulents a good soaking weekly in the summer, and every other week in the fall and winter when the sun is less intense.
At the Succulent Swag Station, phytophiles decorated terracotta pots with twine, paint, and washi tape. The beverage on tap? Special Earth Day elixirs made with turmeric, ashwagandha, and peach basil tea.
While guests mingled and snacked on vegan treats like beet hummus and veggies, it was the perfect moment to hit the photo booth. (No sleep till succulents, indeed.)
At the end of the event, every Well+Good reader went home with a new plant BFF—and the knowledge to care for it. Because sometimes, cultivating appreciation for the earth is as simple as bringing it into your apartment.
Want to get involved? Post a photo on Instagram using #greentheplanet, and Origins will plant a tree on your behalf in partnership with Global ReLeaf!
Photos: Tim Gibson for Well+Good
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