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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Giving Back to Mother Earth

Apr 29, 2024 09:27AM ● By Marlaina Donato
children holding the globe

FG Trade Latin from Getty Images Signature

Most of us can remember the first time we felt soft, cool grass under our bare feet or noticed sweet ozone in the air after a wild thunderstorm. The sometimes-incompressible wonders of Gaia sustain our existence, boggle our minds and inspire us to contemplate our place in the great universal order. Our love affair with this beautiful planet begins early, but it is easy to forget this sacred partnership in the mundane whirlwind of adult life. Like any other vital relationship in our lives, it is all too easy to take it for granted and allow ourselves to put forth minimal effort. 

Whether we till the soil in our backyards, pick up trash along a hiking trail, choose eco-friendly cleaning products or simply pause to witness a glorious sunset, we are all custodians of the Earth. Fighting the good fight to decrease our toxic impact, preserve our woodlands and clean up our oceans can seem overwhelming, and like most dedicated caregivers, sometimes we feel weary.

We can gain a second wind by setting aside the alarming to-do lists and focusing on what is being accomplished daily. When we choose to weave simple tasks into the tapestry of ordinary days, our children learn by example, and the chain remains unbroken. Most importantly, fulfilling our part in the whole need not be boring, too serious or time-consuming—it can be downright joyful.


Ways to give back to the planet:

•  Plant a pollinator-friendly backyard or patio flower garden.

•  Buy local produce and farm products whenever possible.

•  Post short, informative social media posts about our allies: the bees, bats and opossums.

•  Use less plastic.

•  Go paperless when paying bills.

•  Nix lawn chemicals, leave a portion of grass to go to seed and opt for green lawn care.

•  Plan a local family vacation and support the neighboring economy.

•  Learn creative ways to reuse, recycle and upcycle.

•  Get more exercise and save on gasoline by walking to local businesses when possible.


Marlaina Donato is an author, visionary painter and composer. Connect at

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