Being eco-friendly isn’t simply limited to picking up litter and – by extension – picking up after those who aren’t that self-aware of their littering. Should that have been the case, it would be considered by many as a menial and thankless task. Despite the undeniable argument that a good number of people simply do so because it is the right thing to do, some would want to see any kind of payoff to their efforts. These payoffs can materialize as investments that can benefit themselves and the community they live in. Sure, the global wrath of climate change can’t be completely quelled by a single community’s interest in a little gardening, but it’s still a very good place to start; strength in numbers can certainly play a part when other communities become drawn to those environmental activities and decide to do the same.

This is where the appeal or novelty of environmental activities takes center stage. It’s usually the result of a cleanup activity that makes the public appreciate the beauty of the streets or the beach they live in… or the high point of a planting or gardening activity that compels others to try their hand in it. These images convey an idea without the need of telling it to them point-blank.

For example, if you have heard of NHK’s jovial show “Somewhere Street”, you would have familiarized yourself with the narrator’s first-person-viewed journey throughout both the idyllic and bustling parts of the world. It’s a feel-good glimpse at the lives and livelihoods of others, while also admiring visual aesthetics that can oftentimes be unique to themselves. While the main premise of that show is to enrich you with new cultures and traditions without you having to visit there yourselves, but it’s noticeable that this show – and frankly, a lot of shows just as good and meaningful as this one – can intrigue you with scenes of natural beauty contained within the streets and neighborhoods that the narrator visits.

And it can make you wonder if your street or neighborhood can emulate that same beauty.

Treading along the concept of getting inspiration from the passive imageries of environmental appeal, we can turn to tutorials from friends, colleagues, and even from online sources to create a little natural portfolio of one’s own design. Obviously, this tidbit has been mentioned a couple of times before, but it’s without stressing the fact that you can turn your surroundings into a green wonderland, even to the point of making up a new concept that others would be inclined to follow as well. It can be a bit of stretch to fully transform your lawn into a traditional Japanese garden with its very own Koi pond and Shishi-Odoshi fountains, but in this day and age, it’s not out of the realm of possibility when improvisation is considered.

This is also when the very litter that’s picked up can tend to be handy. With the aforementioned tutorials at your disposal, one man’s trash can definitely be another man’s creative treasure. Organic waste can be composted as fodder in place of industrial fertilizers that would otherwise cause environmental and health complications. Inorganic materials like plastic can be cleaned, trimmed, and shaped to serve as containers for potted plants. Again, this is a point that bears repeating, but putting an artistic touch on items that would otherwise be destined to a landfill can have its benefits.

More importantly, it can also showcase your inventive skills as a business opportunity.

The branding doesn’t have to be grandiose. By presenting your crafts in local markets and public exhibitions, you may possibly encounter customers who would be willing to pay or learn from your skills, with the possibility of meeting similar artists who could help hone your current skills. The success of that could help propel you into a broader market where you could make a larger impact. If these kinds of whimsical crafting started out as a hobby, it can now become your life’s work.

This holds especially true when people are trying to exit dead-end jobs and make something meaningful for themselves – a fact that only intensified during the Covid-19 pandemic. It was a period where people sought to try something else new, and botanical hobbies certainly featured on that list. Planting trees and upgrading the lawn and garden lightened up the mood and appeal of your home. Homegrown fruits and vegetables incentivized a tradition of sharing among friends, family, and neighbors when shopping seemed to be a reluctant move. Creating decorum out of trash fostered ingenuity and a bit of competition between those interested in it.

The takeaway from this is that… taking part in eco-friendly activities – including gardening and planting – opens up a wide window of opportunities for inspiration and aspiration; cooperation with a hint of friendly competition; creativity with the enthusiasm to try something new. These are the human benefits of such activities, held by the larger foundation of saving the planet. It goes to show that people don’t have to be reminded of what they’re capable of by constantly hammering the message into their heads. Sometimes the best way to get one’s appeal is by expressing something. And, as evident by the wonderful sights seen by those who took their creativity to the next level, the method works.

This piece is not by any means an instruction guide or a wellspring of new information, but merely a reminder that people can engage with the environment just by letting them appreciate the beauty and splendor of efforts produced from those who are already doing their part. And the more they become immersed in the ecological trend, the more they become aware of the situation the environment is currently entrenched in. It’s akin to nurturing the growth of a tree so that you can yield its fruits as a reward. Even if you don’t have the room or resources to pull that creativity off, improvisation can always help you take detours. What matters is that if you have the heart and passion for it, anything at your disposal – even trash – can end up on the palette to express creativity.

The Expressive Side of Eco-Friendliness

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