At the Pine Project, we believe small steps can lead to big changes! That’s why we’ve compiled a list of small actions we practice every day that you can do to help the planet and “be more, need less” each and every day.
1. Go Outside
It’s literally that simple! Take a walk through your local park and breathe some fresh air. Maybe you head under the forest canopy and sit by yourself for a while, take in your surroundings and tune into the baseline of the forest… or maybe you bring your friends, a blanket, and some snacks, and park yourself on the grass.
Whatever you do, taking a bit of time every day to go outside can make you healthier, happier, and connect you to the landscape that you live in. We believe that connection is the first step towards caring and preserving!
Also, going outside is super simple – it requires only the food in your belly and nothing else!
2. Look for the Little Things
Adults have a tendency to scan horizons for picturesque landscapes and stunning panoramas, so at the Pine Project, we take a page from the children that we work with – we look for the little things. Children have a closer proximity to the ground, so naturally they are able to see the tiny intricacies of nature way better than adults. These details are super inspiring and can cultivate a deeper love and understanding for nature.
In just one day of a program, we’ve seen a green frog and mosquito larvae in a vernal pool, a Robin making a nest, three snakes, a plant growing through the bone of a dead bird and an owl pellet with two mouse skeletons inside. Days like those are the best and are super inspiring for children and adults alike.
Channel your inner child. Get on your hands and knees and get really close to the ground. Search high, low and everywhere in between – in the crooks of trees, in puddles and streams, at the top of hills and the bottom of logs. It’s amazing what you can find when you look a little bit closer at nature. Who needs a computer or phone when nature is brimming with endless entertainment.
3. Leave Your Devices Behind.
This one speaks for itself: forget Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, escape the draw of the “blue light”, put away your distractions and reconnect. If you find yourself stuck in the “endless scroll”, ask yourself: do I NEED this or WANT this right now? If your answer is want, take an hour or two to go outside and leave your devices behind.
4. Practice Gratitude.
Every morning the Pine Project team starts our day by sharing one thing that we are grateful for and we encourage others to do the same. We thank the sun, the water, the animals, the plants and everything that keeps us alive.
In greeting the world each morning by saying thank you to all living things, we have given something back to nature – the respect and recognition it deserves. It’s also been proven that practicing gratitude reduces materialism, makes you less self-centered and generally makes you a happier person, all things that are important to helping our planet.
Practicing gratitude is also really simple, requires no resources and doesn’t take up much time. Try it!
5. Leave Nature Better Than You Found It
Gratitude isn’t only just talking about what we are grateful for, but living it – saying thank you with not only our words, but our actions. How do we live our gratitude? By leaving a place better than we found it.
Next time you’re out in nature, think about a way that you can leave it better than you found it. Maybe you pick up some garbage, spread some native wildflower seeds, say hello to a stranger or even bring your friends to enjoy and appreciate the outdoors. All of these acts are simple and make the world a better place in a small but very significant way.
Remember, you don’t have to make a grand gesture to “save the planet” – if you change yourself or the way that you do something, you have changed the world! Be more, need less.