This Wednesday, April 22, is Earth Day, and it is no ordinary Earth Day. As we face and adjust to the new ‘normal’, some of us may have taken a moment of pause to slow down and notice, for the first time in a long time, that tree just outside our window, or down our street. We may have also noticed the small critters scampering up and down the tree or the birds singing from its branches. We may even have come to appreciate the natural world around us once more and began to re-awaken that dormant understanding of the connections not just to it, but how this little tiny blue dot in time and space is home to many more than just us, and how we really are, all in this together.

This Earth Day is particularly special because it is its 50th anniversary! Celebrated for the first time, in the United States, back on April 22, 1970, today more than a billion people worldwide celebrate this important day, having grown into the world’s largest environmental movement.

So on this special Earth Day, let’s celebrate in a way that seems most fitting — with trees and all things tree-related!

Here are ten tree-lightful ways to celebrate Earth Day at home:

1. Grow your own tree

While you’re at home, why not try growing your very own tree? Our tree seed kits (now on sale!) make it easy and family-friendly with everything you need to grow your own tree. Each kit includes a biodegradable jiffy pot, peat pellet, white spruce seeds and instructions. Learn first-hand how these little seeds grow into the mighty conifers we see in our urban parks and natural areas.

2. Contribute to our virtual forest or a real one

This is time for your creative genius to come out! Snap a photo, draw or paint your favorite tree and add it to our growing virtual forest using our hashtag #TreeCanadaPhoto. Or if the thoughts of a virtual forest doesn’t cut it, then consider contributing a tree to your area or an area in need.

3. Get outside

Being in the forests and trees is associated with a whole host of positive physical and mental health benefits. So get outside even if just in your backyard, balcony, or for a walk through a nearby park or along your streets with trees. As you take a deep breath in, you will feel all the more better for it.

4. Identify that tree outside your window or on your street

What better time than now to figure out just what kind of tree you have been looking at or walking by all this time. Taking a look at the tree’s bark, leaves, needles, or overall shape while using these trusty resources can help give you the answer:

5. Use an ethical search engine that plants trees

Did you know that even using the internet can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions? If you want a good way to reduce your ecological footprint while continuing to use the internet, try using a search engine like Ecosia, which uses its profits to fund tree planting around the world.

6. Take a (virtual) forest bath

The sounds of the forest, the scent of the trees, the sunlight playing through the leaves, the fresh, clean air — being among the trees and in the forest gives us a sense of comfort and calm. The concept of forest bathing has long been practiced by the Japanese and the science behind it continues to show the numerous health benefits behind it. So, take a (virtual) walk in the woods and reap those benefits!

7. Read stories about trees

Curl up and ‘leaf’ through these ultimate gifts from trees — books!

For the mature readers:

  1. The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben
  2. The Overstory by Richard Powers
  3. To Speak for the Trees by Diana Beresford-Kroeger
  4. Tree: A Life Story by David Suzuki and Wayne Grady
  5. Greenwood by Michael Christie

For the younger readers:

  1. Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid
  2. Who Will Plant a Tree by Jerry Pallotta
  3. The Kids Canadian Tree Book by Pamela Hickman
  4. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  5. The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono

8. Let the trees be the teacher

Trees are a natural teacher and they can show us how we are connected to our natural world. These easy activities let everyone in the family become a student and the trees become the teacher!

9. Send a tree certificate

Give the gift of a tree to someone you love. It could brighten up someone’s day!

10. Thank a tree!

Trees give us so many benefits, so next time you see or pass one, whisper a little thanks, and maybe if you feel compelled, give it a hug too.