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This is How I'm Lovin' This Earth

Earth Day: Not just for hippies.

As most of you probably know, Sunday was Earth Day—a time for everyone to show a little love and appreciation for this big ol' rock we all live on. Now, I'm not a tree-hugging hippie by any means, but I do love life—and few things allow us to see the beauty in life more than being surrounded by lush greenery, bodies of blue water and gorgeous skies. I enjoy napping under the warm sun on breezy, summer afternoons, and I will never cease to be awestruck by the colors that arrange themselves into evening sunsets. And, in return, I don't think it's so hard to put my drink bottles in the appropriate (recycling) bin in our kitchen, because why not turn what we already have into something new and useful? Plus, disclaimer: I really hate wasting things.

This Earth Day weekend was pretty chilly, but deceivingly sunny and gorgeous, so my husband and I were determined to spend some time outside. Activity of choice? Fishing. I'll let you guess who chose that one.

I didn't have a fishing rod (or license), so we went to the lovely Gander Mountain on Saturday afternoon to stock up. Determined to get a very girl-tastic fishing pole, I picked a black and hot pink specimen, only to swap it out a couple minutes later for a very similar model that was $5 cheaper and came with a bunch of lures. Plus, the rod came in a very awesome, pink package with script reminiscent of that from a Barbie box. Just ridiculous enough to stereotype my lack of fishing skill, yet charitable in the fact that our purchase supported early cancer detection. Laugh all you want at the girl with the pink rod—but buddy, I have no shame.

All was fine and dandy until we got to Milford's Central Park (our spur-of-the-moment trip didn't really allow for a more exotic fishing destination), munched on a delicious picnic lunch, then lugged our stuff over to the water. My husband put together my rod and reel, I held it up to play with the spinny thing, and he told me to flip it over because I was holding it upside-down.

Um...the reel was kind of on the wrong side.

My new fishing rod was made for a lefty.

I think my husband was more annoyed than me, but designated himself as the official re-packager of Barbie (my nickname for my useless, new purchase) while I stole the other fishing pole and perfected my line-throwing skills.

The temperature quickly dropped down to the 40's, and the wind was very unforgiving. After a little more line-tossing into what seemed more of a goose hunting ground than a fishing hole, my husband and I packed up and called it an afternoon (and for those of you who were wondering, fear not—we exchanged Barbie right afterward for a right-handed version, sans the extra lures and plastic organizer box).

The next morning, we made a little after-church trip to Target so my husband could look for an Xbox game he's been wanting. No such luck, but we picked up some shampoo and a couple other things on our way out. Rather than putting our stuff in a usual, plastic bag at checkout, the cashier surprised us with a free, eco-friendly Target bag in honor of Earth Day. Is anything sweeter than an unexpected freebie?

So, with my sustainable swag in hand and Earth Day on the brain (and being the festive person that I am), I brainstormed more things I could do to make Earth Day feel a little more worthwhile.

Dress in burlap? No, cotton's softer. That counts, right? Hmm, I wonder how much of my closet is actually made of something that grew out of the ground. Plant a garden? I don't have a yard...but I do need to give my little lavender plant another go. Spend another afternoon outside? No, thank you, winter relapse. I might just make the occasional trip outside, though. On the way from one building to another.

Then, I remembered that Disney Nature had just released an adorable-looking movie, Chimpanzee,  promising to donate a portion of ticket proceeds during opening weekend to the Jane Goodall Institute. Sounded good to me. Plus, that baby chimp on the movie poster was super-cute.

So, it was no planet-saving initiative, but my weekend was pretty lovely, regardless. I got to spend time outside, focusing on little things that we so often take for granted. I'm also enjoying taking advantage of every beautiful afternoon, whether it's 70 degrees or 40. That's something new I've learned from living in Michigan—people up here don't brush off the cold; they know it's here. They just know that bundling up and enjoying the afternoon is much more fulfilling than sitting inside and griping about the weather. And that's something I think we can all learn from.

Did you do anything special for Earth Day—whether volunteering in clean-up and conservation efforts, or just spending the day outside? Feel free to share in the comment section below. :)

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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