How to Sustainably Celebrate Earth Day (and Every Day) in L.A. Using All Five Senses

The planet is so much more than a visual.
beautiful view of nature and trees and a swing in topanga canyon. if you're wondering how to celebrate earth day in la this photo sums it up

Earth Day is today—and over the last few years, I’ve become increasingly more connected to the special holiday. For so many of us, with limited activities at our fingertips during lockdown, we utilized Mother Nature in ways we never expected. In the past two years alone, I did a hotel-on-wheels glamping trip to the wilderness, I discovered hidden LA hiking gems, did the obligatory Angeleno visit to the poppy fields, went on several solo 24-hour nature trips (including my favorite, last year’s Earth Day trip to Ojai!) and found any and every additional way to immerse myself in nature.

Additionally, the pandemic really put a focus on clean, sustainable beauty and defining what that even means (it’s so subjective—will we ever really know?). Either way, recent times have shifted Angelenos’ views on the importance of the planet. It’s become about so much more than recycling or conserving water. We can honor the earth in so many ways, down to each of our senses. If you need guidance on how to celebrate Earth Day in LA, look no further than skyelyfe’s suggestions below! And don’t use Earth Day as your only excuse to embrace these options. They’re set up for year-’round greatness.

SEE: Wondering how to celebrate Earth Day in LA, but don’t know where to start? The simplest and most obvious way is by taking in its majestic beauty. Thankfully, L.A. has so much nature (both hidden and populated) at its fingertips. As I mentioned above, last year I had the most cleansing, peaceful visit to Ojai on Earth Day. I booked an overnight stay at Ojai Retreat & Inn, where I disconnected from electronics and took advantage of all the serene beauty that surrounded my destination. There was no TV or room service. And there were on-site Earth Day celebrations all day long. Idyllwild and Topanga Canyon are also wonderful staycation spots just outside of town that are easy to get to and provide a scenic wonderland.

If you plan to stay local-local, there’s nothing like a hidden hike. LA’s trails are mostly an overpopulated scene, but if you look hard enough (or know the right people *wink*), you’re sure to find some gems. During the pandemic I was lucky enough to stumble upon Altadena’s Rubio Canyon Trail (a short, gorgeous, unpopulated hike that starts on the side of a person’s driveway!). There’s also Elysian Park Trail in Echo Park, which you’d think would be super trendy, but it’s actually relatively unknown (in comparison to places like Runyon and Griffith Park, for example).

HEAR: We use fake sounds of crashing waves and waterfalls to help us meditate for a reason! One of nature’s greatest gifts are the most beautiful, calming sounds. I’m personally big on wind and rain, but unfortunately I can’t request them on command. I can, however, visit the ocean or a beautiful waterfall.

Remember what I wrote earlier about the hidden gems of Altadena? Well they exist in the form of waterfalls, too. Eaton Canyon Falls is one of the best tucked away (yet still relatively local) places to spot a beautiful waterfall. Get wet with a pet, or take in the beauty from a distance—the choice is yours!

SMELL: Nature offers so many incredible aromas to connect with deeply—we all have our things. There’s the smell of pavement after a blissfully rainy day; there’s a freshly mowed lawn; there’s burning wood on a cold winter’s eve; there’s a lush green forest. Whatever you fancy, there are natural aromas to capture your scent of choice.

Whether you take a little drive or you’re stuck at home, there’s no excuse not to embrace nature’s endless aromatherapy offerings. From creating a spa-like bathing experience with earthy essential oils (ie. lavender, eucalyptus, clary sage, frankincense, patchouli, bergamot), to sageing (or using palo santo) for comfort and energy-cleansing, there’s no limit to what you can do with nature’s aromatic gifts.

In fact, white sage, in particular, “is powerful and smells divine when burning,” The Art of Sacred Smoke author Neelou Malekpour told Forbes‘ Amanda Lauren. “It’s native to Southern California. For centuries, this plant ally has been used ceremonially by many Native Tribes in North America to encourage psychic detox, to raise one’s energy level, and for purification on many levels. I use it to cleanse stale energies in preparation for fresh intentions.”

Another option is to embrace a nature-inspired perfume or body spray. Brazil’s Natura, for example, just launched men and women’s KAIAK Oceano scents. Each of the alluring oceanic aromas feature pataqueira as its hero ingredient—an aromatic herbaceous species native to the Amazon forest. While the two scents do differ a bit, both are packaged with plastic that has washed ashore along the Brazilian coast.

TASTE: By no means should we ever take Mother Earth for granted, but we can certainly benefit from her offerings. Whether you’re vegan or not (I’m not!), LA is blessed with some of the most incredible plant-based options. While indeed I do eat chicken and beef on occasion, I also appreciate a plant-powered meal made with whole ingredients. I believe food to the body is like fuel to a car—you perform best with the best.

If you’re wondering how to celebrate Earth Day in LA at night, I personally love Studio City’s longstanding SunCafe and West Hollywood’s Crossroads for higher-end sit-down meals. Both spots create out-of-this-world innovative dishes that you can’t find just anywhere. For delicious and versatile plant-based smoothies and bowls, I highly recommend Weho’s Body Energy Club.

Now is also the time to shine for plant-based, sustainable meal delivery services. I recently tried Provenance Meals, and while not solely vegan (if that’s what you’re after), they do offer an array of plant-based options, and everything that comes out of their kitchen is gluten-free and dairy-free, with no refined sugars. They source sustainable animal proteins (wild or zero-waste aquaculture seafood, pasture-raised poultry, grass-fed meats), and only use organic or beyond-organic ingredients. Praised by everyone from Goop to Vogue, this service offers three and six-day cleanses, along with individual meal orders (starting at $12).

If indeed you are seeking a solely plant-based delivery service, I’ve also tried L.A.’s deliciously clean Herb + Seed. Expect plenty of veggies and nut-based cheeses. And rest assured you’ll still get your fair share of pastas!

TOUCH: Don’t be afraid to get your hands a little dirty! A beach cleanup is the quintessential plan for how to celebrate Earth Day in LA. It’s the perfect excuse to do your part while meeting new people. A perk of being in L.A. is there are tons of brands that organize special cleanups for anyone willing to partake. Sometimes there’s swag involved, other times camaraderie. Either way, you leave feeling good! Seyhart wellness is organizing a cleanup on Saturday (4/23) in Santa Monica. RSVP HERE. Score a free tee and join in on the fun! And if you’re sporty in South Bay, you’ll want to jump on Beach Bound Sports’ beach clean-up and party in Hermosa. The day starts with a contest (prizes for who fills their trash bag up highest) and ends with a beachside bash of volleyball, corn hole and of course new friends. BYOB(ags)!

If you’re looking for more ways to appreciate natural surroundings, HERE‘s everything to know about sound healing, and how it can assist with your sleep.

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