You’ve probably been cooped up inside most of the winter so now that the weather is warming up, it’s time to finally shed that winter coat and get outside to explore mother nature. Spring is all about getting a fresh start. Trees get new leaves. Flowers begin to bloom. The weather becomes pleasant – not too hot, but not too cold. It’s the ideal time to get active before the temperatures of the summer become too intense.
To inspire you to begin to embrace the new season, we’ve come up with a list of must-do outdoor activities this season.
Host a Yard Sale
- So you’ve done your spring cleaning and chances are that you’ve found yourself with a lot of unwanted belongings. Rather than simply disposing of them and essentially sending them off to accumulate in a landfill, host a yard sale! Remember the old saying, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure? Give your unwanted belongings the opportunity for a new life in somebody else’s hands. Not only is this a great, sustainable way to earn a little extra cash, but it’s also a fun way to spend your day outside, mingling with your community.
Head to Your Local Farmer’s Market
- Enjoy the crisp air while taking advantage of the fruits and vegetables that are now in season! Stock your kitchen with fresh ingredients for preparing plant-based meals. Food & Wine has some delicious spring recipes for you to check out. Some (but certainly not all) of these seasonal fruits and veggies include:
- There are so many benefits to supporting local farmers and businesses. One of the most important advantages to shopping locally is that by doing so, you reduce your food miles and lessen your impact on the environment. When buying local, you also support your community – by putting money into the local economy, helping local farmers and workers stay in businesses, and helping to create more jobs to people in your community. Not to mention that you get to enjoy produce that is both healthy and nutritious.
Volunteer at a Local Park or Environmental Organization
- Giving back is not only good for the community, but it’s also good for you, so what better way to spend a lovely weekend afternoon than outside contributing to an environmental cause? Many parks have green projects like park cleanups, building a garden, etc. that require volunteers. There is also an abundance of environmental non-profits all across the country (such as our partners, GrowNYC for example) who are always looking for an extra set of hands. Visit https://www.volunteer.gov/ to find volunteer opportunities near you.
- Taking advantage of the moderate weather by cooking and eating outside is great for so many reasons. First and foremost, cooking outdoors means not cooking in your kitchen and therefore not using electricity to power an oven, stove, etc, so if you do this a few times per week, you can certainly expect to save some energy! You’ll also get to bask in the fresh air and enjoy natural light. Really, is there a better, more relaxed setting to enjoy both preparing and consuming a meal than in your own backyard while watching your kids play?
Go on a Hike
- Now when it comes to connecting with mother nature, there is truly no better way than by going on a hike. Along with the scenic views, and the smells and sounds of nature, there are a lot of reasons to love hiking. What are the top reasons, you ask? Hiking is good for your mind and your body:
- Because hiking is a good cardio workout, it can help you lower your risk of heart disease; improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels; boost bone density and improve muscle/core strength; and help control your weight.
- Hiking also helps improve balance and research has shown that it even helps boost your mood by reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety.
- Whether you’re hiking a mountain or taking a more scenic route, walking in nature is good for your spirit. To find nearby trails as well as information about its difficulty level, All Trails is a great app that you can download for free on your phone (both iPhone and Android). The app even provides a GPS so you can’t get lost on a poorly marked trail.
Being in nature is healing, soothing, and restoring, and we hope that you take full advantage of its gifts this spring! The above are just a few of the many fun outdoor activities that you can delve into.
Another surefire way to boost happiness and well-being during spring (well, actually, pretty much all year) is to make choices in your daily life that benefit the planet. Stay committed to your sustainable lifestyle; stick to the reduce, reuse, recycle rule; and choose an energy supplier that offers environmentally focused energy solutions to power your home (such as Kiwi Energy, for example).