20 Earth Day Photo Prompts

April 22, 2021 is Earth Day. The annual holiday recognizes the need to preserve the planet for future generations. Grab your camera or cell. Go outdoors and document the beautiful world around you. Share your photos on social media to help promote the natural beauty of the Earth.  

Do you need some photo inspiration? Check out the following Earth Day photo prompts.

  1. Photo of yourself outside
  2. Clouds
  3. Weather
  4. Trees
  5. Hiking or Walking Trail
  6. Rocks or Stones
  7. Wild Animal (Remember to keep a safe distance)
  8. Leaves
  9. Wildflowers
  10. Birds
  11. Landscape
  12. Waterscape
  13. Hills or Mountain
  14. Blades of Grass
  15. Sunrise or Sunset
  16. Night
  17. Butterfly or Other Flying Insect
  18. Dirt, Mud, or Sand
  19. Frogs or Turtles
  20. Need for Conservation

How to Help the Monarch (and Other) Butterflies

Celebrated the first Saturday in May, today, May 2, 2020, is National Start Seeing Monarchs Day. Orange, lined with black, and a mixture of white spots, the Monarch butterfly is easily recognizable in the wild. Due to various events causing a reduction in natural habitat, the Monarch butterfly is declining.  With your help and simple steps, there is hope for these beautiful winged creatures.

Ways to Help Monarchs and Other Butterflies

Are you wondering how to help the Monarchs and other butterflies? Check out the ideas below to promote the wellbeing of butterflies (and bees) in your area.

  1. Avoid Harmful Pesticides: Like other insects, when you spray your garden or lawn with pesticides, monarchs die. Avoid using harmful pesticides, go green. Find other options to reduce weeds in your yard.
  2. Plant Milkweed: A perennial milkweed is a native plant throughout the United States and Canada. The wild flowering plant promotes biodiversity, which helps the Monarchs during their natural migration path. Planting a small patch is a great way to improve the Monarch butterflies’ chances of survival.
  3. Place Monarch Waystation in Your Yard: A Monarch Way station is a safe place where the butterflies can lay their eggs. A Monarch waystation generally consists of milkweed and other native plants that help provide food for the butterfly population.
  4. Local Community Cleanup Efforts: Get involved by learning ways to protect the environment. Many communities host cleanup efforts for wildlife areas. (Please note: Right now, community cleanup and other events are delayed due to the pandemic.)
  5. Learn About Climate Change: Butterflies and other wildlife are at risk. Changing weather patterns disrupt their typical migration path. Learning about climate allows you to take steps to help the Monarchs and the rest of the insect world.
  6. Research: Learning about the lifecycle of Monarchs and other butterflies (bees too) helps in protecting the species. When you learn about the insects, you can create habitats, waystations, or gardens with their welfare in mind.
  7. Donate: If you are unable to plant your own milkweed or create a waystation, consider donating to a cause that promotes the protection of Monarchs. Many local organizations work with farmers and other industrial sites to save areas for butterflies. Other places create habitats for butterflies. Do Internet research to find an organization near you.
  8. Get Social: Even if you cannot donate, use your social media accounts to spread the news about preserving the Monarchs’ habitat. Social media blurbs have the potential to reach millions of people.

Many different species enjoy Milkweed.

Can you imagine a world without butterflies? In their natural habitat, the winged creatures are magical to witness. Learn about Monarchs and other insects to help keep the magic alive for generations to come.

 

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National Wildlife Day: How You Can Help

According to the National Day Calendar, today, September 4th is National Wildlife Day. The news of the Amazon rainforest burning is devastating. As you watch the devastation unfold, you may be wondering how you can help the wildlife in your area. Small steps to help local wildlife have a more significant impact on the community. 

Be an Advocate

Helping wildlife and the planet requires changes. Be aware of any new petitions, proposals, or other policies that could harm the environment. Contact your state’s officials to voice your opinion. Make your voice heard for protecting wildlife and the environment.

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

The slogan, reduce, reuse, and recycle is well known. Implementing changes in your daily life helps the environment. 

 

  • Reduce: Plastic bags, bottles, straws, styrofoam, and other single-service plastic items are bad for the environment. Improper disposal of non-biodegradable items harms the local wildlife and planet. Properly disposing of consumer waste is only half of the problem. Reducing waste is the other part. 

 

  • Reuse: Make a pledge to reuse items. Donate unwanted clothing, toys, books, kitchen appliances, and more to local charities. 
  • Recycle: Participate in recycling programs in your area. Set up bins in your home to remind yourself and family members to recycle.

 

 

Be a Mindful Consumer

When purchasing new items, do your research. Learn about the company’s recycling and environmental record. Never buy any type of thing that threatens the welfare of an endangered animal. 

Save Energy

Take the necessary steps to save energy in your home or business. 

  • Turn off lights when leaving a room. 
  • Unplug unused appliances. 
  • Get a maintenance check on your furnace to run at an efficient rate. 
  • Monitor your heat or airconditioning temperatures. 
  • Wash clothing in cold water. 
  • Reduce your shower or bath times. 
  • Hang clothes on the line. Airdrying saves energy. 

Discover Your Green Thumb

If you are a property owner, plant trees, shrubs, and native flowers. The plants provide necessary shelter to local wildlife. Flowers attract bees and other insects to help the environment. Create a habitat to welcome birds and other animals to your yard. Offer watering areas, feed the birds or other animals, and provide shelter areas. 

Avoid Chemicals

Weedkiller, pesticides, rat poison, and other chemicals hurt wildlife and the environment. Using these types of products creates an uninhabitable environment and death to wildlife. 

Volunteer

Communities and other organizations host cleanup programs to help remove unwanted materials from natural resources. Volunteering an afternoon or an entire day has the potential to help reduce harmful items from the environment. 

Donate

Research organizations helping to protect wildlife and the environment. Make a donation. Reputable organizations will put the money to good use. 

Taking steps to help wildlife and the environment should be a daily commitment. Celebrate National Wildlife Day with a pledge to yourself to locally help the wildlife and habitat. 

 

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October Photo Challenge Prompts

Enjoying the fall scenery, October is the perfect time to be outdoors. Grab your camera or mobile device to photograph your finds.

Consider these 31 October Photo Challenge Prompts:

  1. Selfie (always start the month with a selfie)
  2. Low angle
  3. View out your window
  4. Cider
  5. Apple orchard
  6. Pumpkin or apple bread
  7. Motion
  8. Caramel
  9. Candy corn or Halloween candy
  10. Black and white
  11. Sunset or Sunrise (or both)
  12. Single leaf
  13. Autumn colors
  14. Pumpkin patch
  15. Moon
  16. Cinnamon sticks or spices
  17. Favorite Halloween movie
  18. Hobby
  19. Old barns or abandoned space
  20. Nature
  21. Something orange
  22. Forgotten/Creepy/Spooky
  23. Jack O’Lanterns
  24. Vampires, skeletons, or ghosts
  25. Something large or small
  26. Favorite fall snack
  27. Personal inspiration
  28. Shadows
  29. Halloween decorations
  30. Halloween outfit or costume
  31. Trick-or-Treat

When the month is over, print your pictures. Make a scrapbook. Write small stories. Enjoy the adventure.

Unplug: The Benefits of Being Outdoors

In today’s technological world, everyone spends time plugged in. Playing video games, working online, computer use, or checking mobile devices, the use of modern technology is the norm. In many cases, work or school requires the widespread use of devices to succeed.

Have you ever thought about the long term effects on your overall well-being? Sitting at the desk or being immobile for long periods of time has both physical and mental consequences. Consider taking the time each day to unplug and go outdoors.

Benefits of Being Outdoors

When the weather permits, spending time outdoors is essential to your health. Even a short 20-minute walk has numerous benefits for you and your loved ones. In order to get the most out of your walk, you should leave your devices to home. Don’t panic; always carry a cell phone for real emergencies. Consider placing the phone on vibrate for the duration of your walk.

  1. Increase Natural Vitamin D Intake

Short periods of time in the sun allows the natural intake of Vitamin D. Helping your body function properly, Vitamin D helps maintain a healthy, strong immune system.

  1. Improve Sleep

Being outdoors can actually help improve sleep patterns. Exposing your body to sunlight helps regulate your internal body clock. Allowing your body to welcome rest at night, you will be able to regulate your sleep patterns.

  1. Exercise

Being outdoors gets your body moving. A walk around the block, trip to your local park, walk through a public garden or hiking a nearby trail helps keep your body fit.

  1. Reduces Stress

Being outdoors allows your body to relax. At times, daily schedules are hectic. Little league, dance classes, business meetings, school and family commitments may quickly become overwhelming. Going outdoors helps restore your mental clarity. In nature, you will relax and enjoy your surroundings. Reducing your stress levels helps promote both physical and mental well-being.

  1. Learning Experience

Being outdoors is a great way to increase your knowledge about the natural world and your local environment. If you are walking or hiking with your children, introducing flowers, birds, insects and other natural wonders will increase curiosity for further learning. Children who are curious about nature will explore subjects further.

  • When walking with your children, use the time for quality interaction. Ask your children open ended questions.
  • Introduce your children to wildlife
  • Remind your children the importance of respecting nature. For example, picking up an insect may cause the creature to bite. Or being off the path may create a dangerous situation.
  • Create a photo journal of animals, flowers, and other forms of wildlife
  • Create a keepsake box for special finds. Remember to follow all rules for hiking in parks and other public areas.

Upon returning home, ask your child questions about the walk. Consider writing down the response for younger children. Older children may write or draw their own favorite park moment. Keep the responses for future memory keepsake. Simple walks may turn into a lifetime of memories.

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