Friday, February 8, 2019

Celebrate the Seasons: February!

In my part of the country, February is one of the most temperamental months, weather-wise (yesterday the state of Missouri had a tornado warning, freezing rain, dense fog, flash flood warning, snow, sleet, sub-zero temperatures, and everything in between— in just one day). When the weather is being crazy, it’s tempting to stay inside, but I encourage you to put on some good clothing and head outdoors! (Then come home afterward, make yourself a hot chocolate, and consider some of the suggestions below.)

1. Find a new nature area to explore. It can be tough to find energy to go out in the weather, but exploring a new place can provide the motivation. Look around what’s near you and see if anything sounds interesting! (St. Louisans, I highly recommend Powder Valley Nature Center— which features a cozy indoor area with a bird-watching wall. For Missourians in general, check out the new Missouri Department of Conservation's Outdoors App.)

2. Have a waste-free Valentine’s Day. Holidays are always a good time to consider gift-giving and wastefulness. See the New Dream guide for a meaningful (and environmentally-friendly) Valentine’s Day. 

3. Try your hand at a craft. Traditionally, winter months were mostly spent inside working on things that would be useful for the upcoming year. If you’re looking to try a new craft, now is a good time to start! Choose one that doesn’t require buying a lot of gear (for instance, ask to borrow someone knitting needles and buy a single skein of yarn, rather than buying several sizes and a rainbow of colors), ask a friend who knows the skill, see if your library offers free classes and instructional books, or check out the ever-helpful mentor, Uncle Google. I’ve enjoyed making wreaths and other decorations out of natural materials, and have been practicing my drawing more lately. How about whittling, weaving, candle-making, or baking?

4. Swap seeds. There may be a seed swap happening near you, but you can always hack it by asking other gardening friends if they have seeds to trade. If you’re in the St. Louis area, make plans to attend the STL Seeding Frenzy Seed Swap— last year I brought zinnia seeds and came home with all sorts of veggie and flower seeds, plus a Jerusalem artichoke tuber that grew into towering sunflowers!

5. Read aloud to a friend. Storytelling around a fire has been part of winter in the North for time out of mind, and reading a book aloud by candlelight honors that tradition. Waiting for spring is inherent in winter, but listening to stories in the meantime is a beautiful way to embrace this unpredictable month.

How do you celebrate February?


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