I hope you all had a great Earth Day! After my recent research on nature’s benefits on well-being, I was excited to try spending more time outside. This holiday, I decided to make more of an effort and appreciate our beautiful home. With a Microbiology class all day long followed an evening studying for a physiology midterm, I was worried that I would have a hard time getting in the spirit. However, I was surprised by how easy it was to make a few simple changes in honor of our planet.
My parents planned a garage sale in morning. Instead of waking up at my normal time, I got up at the crack of dawn to help set up. After my recent Spring Cleaning adventures, I was excited to put out my old belongings for others to appreciate. All of the unsold items went to the Goodwill in the afternoon when we closed up shop. Finding the goods a new home is much better than trashing unwanted items.
Instead of getting my morning caffeine fix at Starbucks, I made sure to set aside the extra two-minutes at home to brew my own coffee. I sealed it up in my reusable purple tumbler and was on my way. Not only was I preventing an extra paper cup from ending up in a landfill, I was able to save myself the $3.00 and 10 minutes the typical coffee stop normally takes out of my morning.
In between my microbiology lab and lecture, our professor gives us a 15-minute break. I normally spend that time in the lecture hall scrolling through my Facebook feed or catching up on homework. Today, I made a change and took the 15 minutes to walk around campus. I had yet to fully explore the grounds before today. While it was not quite the same as the park, I was surprised by the size of campus and amount of greenery. This brief walk was the perfect way for me to take some deep breaths and relax before our midterm exam at the start of the lecture portion. A calm mind is the best was to take a test.
After my midterm exam, we were given a lunch break before resuming with the next set of material. For the past few weeks, I have sat inside the air-conditioned student lounge in a big comfy chair with my headphones and laptop while scarfing down my food mindlessly. Today, I sat at one of the picnic tables in the quad and enjoyed the warm sunshine complemented by a mild breeze. I put away the distractions and made a conscious effort to be more aware of my surroundings. The calming sound of the fountain behind me was the perfect touch. Upon returning to class, I was more relaxed than previous days.
Refillable Water Bottle
One of my recent focuses has been on consuming more water and less caffeinated beverages. Today, I made sure to fill up my green CamelBak reusable water bottle before heading out. I was tempted to throw a plastic water bottle in my lunchbox in case I was unable to find a place to fill up my bottle. However, it was less of a hassle than I expected. I may have had to walk to the building next-door in order to fill up my CamelBak with the bottle-less watercooler in the library, but it was worth it. The water was tasty and refreshingly cold!
Bike Ride to Starbucks
After class, I was planning to go to Starbucks to study for my physiology midterm without the distractions of my loving but crazy family. I typically drive to the location at the major intersection near my house. Instead of wasting the small amount of gas, I dusted off my red cruiser and pedaled on over. I was proud of myself as I read through my notes (and watched many customers in search of the Unicorn frappuccino leave disappointed since as all the Starbucks locations in my area had sold out).
All-in-all, I had a wonderful Earth Day! Making a few adjustments was much easier than I anticipated. Best of all, the extra fresh air and Vitamin D was the perfect way for me to stay relaxed throughout the day. The changes had a noticeably positive benefit on my mood!
How did you celebrate this Earth Day?
Until next time,