April 28th marks yet another #arborday in the United States. Here in Iowa it is positioned right after earth day, which normally helps to gain attention and awareness. It presents us another opportunity to “get out” and plant a tree; with family, friends, co-workers, and others.
A tradition that seems to have faded over the years.
As technology has quickly taken control of our youths attention (and our own), we see the importance of environment, nature, and the outdoors taking a backseat or worse yet, being left behind for many.
I remember growing up and celebrating in school for an entire week – the importance of our environment. We would have guest speakers, educators and others preach about the importance of the environment and how we could make a positive impact on it. We would take a day off as high-schoolers to volunteer to pick up garbage around town.
We would eat healthy meals that resembled the diets of gatherers to show the importance of horticulture and agriculture in our daily lives. And classes would be held outside to CELEBRATE what a beautiful planet we have and how lucky we are to have such wonderful green space.
I am afraid that these traditions are fading and with them, the lessons they provide.
With as many ways to “connect” in this day and age, we seem to forget that it doesn’t need to come with a like or share. We work hard to build beautiful communities, with green space, bike paths, landscape, and more, only to sit inside and consume media from our couches.
What if instead of racing home to catch primetime television you biked to a park for a picnic with your family? Instead of walking on the treadmill you laced up your shoes for a walk around the block?
Reduced stress, blood pressure and weight loss, increased mood, eye health, better sleep, strengthened immune system, positive outlook, improved concentration, creativity and MORE!
Arbor day serves as a reminder to reconnect yourself with the outdoors, to disconnect and slow your life down.
This Arbor Day, get out! Whether you intend to plant a tree or not, celebrate the world around you and take it in. Go for a walk, dust off that bicycle, or simply enjoy your patio. Make sure to remind yourself that our environment is truly a gift.