The early springtime season of Lent is a great time to try out new habits that benefit both you and Earth our garden home. Here are some ideas of Lenten practices and disciplines to try for the next six weeks:
- Take a walk outside each day. You’ll exercise your heart and feel better emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
- Try the Japanese practice of “forest bathing.” Go into a wild or semi-wild place and simply soak up the fresh air and quiet space of a forest. Appreciate the natural world around you.
- Re-purpose, re-use, or re-cycle something you had planned to simply throw away. You’ll reduce your local landfill by at least one item, and you might save some money as well.
- Plant your own small herb garden or lettuce bed. Use pots if you don’t have land for a garden or if the weather’s still too cold.
- Practice Lectio Natura– pay attention to a plant, animal, or other aspect of the natural world. What could you learn from it? What does it teach you that you need to grow?
- Reduce waste from your daily meals. Only buy what you’ll reasonably eat. Buy products with little or no packaging. Try composting your veggie waste or make your next meal from leftovers.
- Read a book or article on an environmental issue. Educate yourself about the world around you.
- Turn off lights and appliances you aren’t using. Do a daily check for sources of wasted energy.
- Consolidate errands and spend less time in your car. Try reducing your gasoline consumption. You’ll save money and the planet.
- Sit outside in nature and breathe. Meditate, pray, or simply feel gratitude for the natural world and the budding new life of early springtime.
Cynthia Coe is the author of Wild Faith and Earth Our Garden Home, resources to introduce children, youth, and adults to care of earth’s resources. She served as an Environmental Stewardship Fellow of The Episcopal Church.