When my husband and I were in Italy we noticed something. He could stare at the architecture and ruins for endless amounts of time, clearly moved by their rich history and beautiful appearance. Of course, I thought the structures were great but they didn’t take my breath away like they did his. You know what did though? The stone trees in Rome, the rolling hills of endless emerald green in the country side that we saw out the window of the high speed trains and the incredibly detailed, fluffy clouds that looked like a painting. We joked that while Dan is moved by man’s architecture, I’m blown away by God’s.
There’s just something about our planet’s natural beauty that is beyond comparison. It’s as simple as looking up at the breathtaking sky or admiring the palette of colors found in nature. Whenever we go somewhere new my two favorite things to do are to take a run and go for a hike so I can get off the beaten path and see the real beauty. In Hawaii the beaches at the resorts were nice, of course, but the most stunning beaches were the ones we had to drive off road to find and hike through barely recognizable paths to get to.
I’ve always been moved by nature, ever since I was a little kid and Earth Day is a reminder to reflect on the beauty of our planet that I love so much and think about protecting it and doing my part in keeping it beautiful. As a small way to celebrate Earth Day I want to share a few pictures of my favorite places along with some tips on how to keep it beautiful.
Sunsets in Hanalei, HI
Autumn run in Westchester, NY
Luscious blue on blue in Jamestown, RI
The perfect gradation in Kona, HI
Hiking in upper Westchester, NY
Fluffy clouds above the Hudson River, NY
Summer evenings on the Hudson, NY
The Napali Coast, HI
Nourishment in Florence, Italy
Countryside in Italy
Tiny baby bunnies in my parents’ front yard, NY
Cotton candy sunsets in Westchester, NY
Easton Beach the morning of our wedding in Newport, RI
Pink sunrise over the Hutchison River Parkway in Westchester, NY
Cedar Beach, NY
Spring Blossoms at the Mamaroneck Harbor, NY
Stone Pines in Rome, Italy
Sunbathing sea turtles in Kona, HI
Black beaches in Kona, HI
Endless beaches of Miami, FL
Crashing waves against Long Island, NY
One of the biggest things I do to keep my carbon footprint in check is to walk everywhere. It’s a small change that makes a big difference. If it’s under five miles, I make the effort to hoof it. My gym is about 2.5 miles away so I try to always run or walk there instead of driving. At work in New York City I take cabs and public transportation as little as possible, almost never, in favor giving myself extra time and walking. Basically, I only get in the car if I absolutely have to.
To decrease my use of plastic water bottles I invested in a good, sturdy glass reusable bottle that’s small enough to carry with my everywhere and refill throughout the day. When we do use plastic water bottles I collect them in a large tote to bring to the recycle bins at the grocery store each week.
I carry reusable totes with me everywhere and make an effort not to use plastic bags. When I shop I throw whatever will fit into my purse instead of taking a plastic bag and if I do get a shopping bag I reuse it as a lunch bag until it falls apart.
I buy local ingredients whenever I can. Farmers market, organic produce, etc. I also make an effort to buy products that aren’t tested on animals. I love Lush for that reason as much as their amazing products.
Most importantly I take time each day to get outside and appreciate what I see. I love to revel in the beauty that is the color of the sky, shapes of the clouds, vibrant hues of grass, trees and flowers, etc. I like to sit near the vast ocean or under an endlessly tall tree and feel small. I like to close my eyes and breathe in fresh air and feel the warmth of the sun on my skin.
Happy Earth Day to you & to our endlessly beautiful planet.