April 20, 2016

3 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day is April 22nd and it's a great time to stop and enjoy the beauty and magic of nature. I'm not really much of an outdoorsy type, but I love the wonder of living things, the intricacies of insects and flowers, the way we all fit together in this big ecosystem we call home.

In honor of Earth Day, here are some fun and simple ideas that you can enjoy with your family to celebrate our planet!

Upcycled Soda Bottle Bird Feeders 

Not only is this project easy to do, it also creates a new use for something you might already have lying around the house. To make a simple bird feeder, you first need a soda bottle (honestly, y'all it's all Coke here in the south - no matter what kind of 'soda' you're actually drinking). It could be a 2-liter or a smaller one, depending on what you have on hand. 

Cut a small hole on one side near the bottom and cut a larger hole across from the small one. You'll also need a wooden spoon. Again, if you have an old one lying around, that's one less thing you have to buy for this craft. Stick the spoon through the bottle so the bigger side comes out through the bigger hole. 

Next, using a funnel, fill the bottle with birdseed. Be careful because some may spill out of the hole around the spoon. It doesn't really matter if it falls out while in use because you'll be feeding birds outside. 

I saw this craft on the blog, Handimania and thought it was worth re-creating! Click here for more info.

Install an Insect Hotel 

The insect hotel shown above is available here

Ever since I first saw these insect hotels, I've wanted one. Imagine my delight to run across an affordable version at my local Aldi grocery store! There are lots of types available online and you can also make your own. 

An insect habitat hotel is a great way to invite beneficial insects to your garden and yard. This includes pollinators like butterflies and bees, plus ladybugs and lacewings. 

Different insect hotels have different sections, but many are designed to mimic what each insect's natural habitat would look like. You can also add your own special touches like nesting materials, dried grasses and bits of bark. 

Make a Batch of Grown-Up Trail Mix & Take a Hike!

Did you know that 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service? I'm lucky to have the most visited National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains, practically in my backyard. GSMNP is doing a great hike challenge in honor of the centennial -- hike 100 miles over the course of the year on the park's trails. 

And what's better for a hike (or just to enjoy while hanging out around the house) but some good old fashioned trail mix? Although I'm not talking about your childhood raisins and peanuts. This is trail mix for grown ups. 

image via

The best part about it? You are a grown up so you can make it however you want! 

For my latest trail mix combination, I used the following ingredients (all from Aldi -- love that place!). But you can shop wherever you like ;) 

  • Raw almonds (no salt)
  • Cashew pieces (What can I say, I'm frugal and pieces are cheaper than whole cashews)
  • Dark chocolate covered pomegranate seeds
  • Freeze dried peaches
  • Banana chips
  • Sesame sticks 
Mix up your favorite nibbles and enjoy! 

Happy Earth Day y'all!