Earth Day falls on Thursday, April 22 and is a perfect time to appreciate the gifts nature freely offers like peace, inspiration and health. Since 1970, Earth Day has grown into a global event recognized by over 192 countries.
With our daily lives more hectic than ever, it’s vital we take time to nurture our bodies, minds and spirits. Here are five ways to connect with nature and celebrate Earth Day this year.
1. Let Earth entertain you
Tune in to ever-changing sunsets, wildlife, clouds, flows, waves, blooms, soundtracks and always in 3-D. Check out the Ruth G. Shaw Trail, park of the Toby Creek Greenway that runs through campus. No electricity, WiFi or subscription required.
2. Let Earth exercise you
Work out with unlimited access to our trees, fresh air and calming scenery. Be sure to take advantage of our wonderful facilities, like Van Landingham Glen in UNC Charlotte’s Botanical Gardens for hiking and shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing.”
3. Let Earth nourish you
Savor deep breaths, raw plant foods and fresh water to stay healthy. Remember that SoVi at South Village Crossing offers a variety of nutritious foods, including plant-based , whole food, vegan and vegetarian options—check out the latest menu here.
4. Let Earth teach you
Appreciate diversity beyond our species; be inspired by nature’s builders, tenders, parents, vocalists, colorists and dancers (and that is just the birds and bees). Enjoy these nature lovers while learning a thing or two about plants at the Botanical Gardens in Mellichamp Native Terrace or The Asian Garden, part of the Susie Harwood Garden.
5. Let Earth connect you
To learn more about sustainability efforts at UNC Charlotte, including campus activities and organizations, please visit the Sustainability Office. Join organizations taking actions to protect and restore the environments that humans and others depend on.
Mike Lizotte is the University sustainability officer at UNC Charlotte with a focus on environmental engineering, planning, building design standards, waste management and assessment.