Six Meaningful Ways to Honor a Loved One This Earth Day

Posted by: Erin Ward in Grief and Guidance, Memorialization | July 8
Are you looking for a meaningful way to honor your loved one’s legacy while also improving the world around you? Look no further than Earth Day! While you should take care of the Earth year-round, the day serves as a reminder that we need to protect our planet. 

This Earth Day, you can honor your loved one while also helping the environment. We’ve brainstormed a few ideas to help you get started! 


1. Plant a Garden in Your Loved One’s Memory This Earth Day 

Planting a garden is one way that you can give back to the environment while also honoring your loved one. Plus, it makes for a great activity for the entire family — even the little ones!  

Before you get started, decide what you want to plant. Will it be vegetables, flowers, plants, or a combination of multiple things? You can choose your loved one’s favorite vegetables and plants but do some research to make sure they grow well in your climate. Another thing to consider is how much upkeep the things you plant require. Are you prepared to take on a more time-consuming project, or do you want something low maintenance?  


2. Have a Memorial Tree Planted in Honor of Your Loved One 

Through our memorial tree program, you can have a tree planted to honor your loved one’s life while helping the environment. Our forestry partners work with their networks of planting partners to plant trees in the areas of greatest need. The tree species depends on the chosen location and what grows best in that area. 

When you order a memorial tree, you receive a certificate that you can display in your home. Once it’s planted, you can find out what restoration project your loved one’s tree is a part of. 


3. Spruce Up Your Loved One's Gravesite 

Head to the cemetery and clean up your loved one’s gravesite. For example, you can remove weeds, brush away dirt, and add fresh plants and decorations if they’re allowed. If the cemetery is close by, you can even walk or bike there instead of driving. 

This can be a group event for the entire family, or a solo activity if you want some privacy. By going to the cemetery as a family, you can lean on each other for comfort. Either way, you can take some time to think about your loved one and reflect on how you’re feeling. 


4. Gather Your Family Members for a Picnic 

While you’re at the cemetery, your family can have a picnic to spend some more time outside this Earth Day. Or you can go to a local park. Understandably, talking about your loved one brings up memories and emotions, so some people may prefer to meet somewhere more private, like a family member’s backyard. 

Wherever you meet, you can take turns talking about your loved one. To help get the conversation going, these are a few prompt ideas: 

  • Tell a story about your loved one that everyone else might not know. This way, they can continue to learn new things about them even after their passing. 
  • Talk about your favorite memory of your loved one. 
  • Share something that your loved one taught you. 
After your picnic, make sure to clean up any trash. You could even spend a few minutes cleaning up garbage in the area. 


5. Donate to an Organization in Your Loved One’s Honor 

Another way to honor your loved one is to donate to a cause in their name that helps the environment. You can see if your entire family wants to pitch in to get the most donations possible. 

There are many organizations out there that protect and preserve the environment, but these are a few examples: 

According to their website, their mission is to “diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide.” To give back to the Earth, you can donate to the organization as a one-time donation or monthly donation. 

This nonprofit is a partner of the National Park Service. Per their website’s mission statement, “the National Park Foundation generates private support and builds strategic partnerships to protect and enhance America’s national parks for present and future generations.” To help preserve the 400+ national parks, you can make a one-time or monthly donation. 

According to their website, the Conservation Fund “protects America’s legacy of land and water resources through land acquisition, sustainable community and economic development, and leadership training.” Like the previous organizations, you can make a monthly or one-time donation. 


6. Make a Nature-Inspired Memento 

To have something to remember your loved one by, you can create a nature-inspired memento. If you planted a garden, you could paint a garden stone to display in it. For example, you could use your loved one’s favorite colors and add their initials. Or if you planted flowers, use them to make a flower memento. Check out this article for some ideas! 
Don’t forget to spread the word about what you’re doing this Earth Day! Not only does this promote preserving the environment, but it also honors your loved one’s memory. For example, take pictures of the activity you did, such as gathering for a picnic or making a memento, and share them on your social media pages. You also could share them on your loved one’s online memorial page, so everyone who knew your loved one can see the photos. 

What other ways can you honor your loved one this Earth Day? Share your ideas in the comments!

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