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Ways for seniors to celebrate Earth Day

April 22, 2014

Each year, citizens from across the globe celebrate Earth Day by participating in a number of events geared toward saving the environment, ranging from cleaning up the roads to refraining from using electricity. While April 22 is the official holiday, there are several ways seniors can minimize their impact on the world any time of year.

Seniors living in retirement communities can gather a group of friends to complete these activities, or they can perform them on their own:

Plant a garden
Gardening provides a range of benefits that can help older adults maintain a healthy lifestyle for seniors. Individuals who participate in this activity report improved self-confidence, increased joint health in their hands and overall higher quality of life. One study, published in HortTechnology, examined the effect gardening has on the mental health of seniors in assisted living homes. Researchers found that seniors who gardened over the course of four weeks reported improved mastery over their own lives and higher happiness levels. Seniors also reported that the activity made them feel less lonely, as they now had the responsibility of caring for a living plant. 

Ditch the devices
While gardening allows older adults to plant a real object that will help improve the environment, there are several other smaller ways seniors can reduce their world impact. Each year, people participate in Earth Hour, or the time during which individuals are encouraged to refrain from using all electronics for 60 minutes. While this event only takes place once per year, seniors can take a break from technology whenever they want and choose a time during which they will not use digital devices for a while. Whether they want to organize an event for the retirement community or make a personal pledge, this is a great, easy way for seniors to ensure they are giving back.

Eliminate waste
Earth Day is the perfect time to examine the way waste is thrown out of the home. Seniors have many ways by which they can reduce the amount of junk sent to landfills, whether by separating items and sending them to the recycling or composting perishable items. While the majority of people have heard about the advantages of recycling, few know about composting. Instead of throwing perishable foods in the trash, people can toss them in a compost bin, which changes biodegradable items into rich soil. Older adults who wish to learn more about either process can conduct research, then find ways they can best start or help contribute to a green waste elimination program in their retirement community.