Nature & Wellness

Every Day is Earth Day at Serenbe

How and Why We Should Celebrate The Earth All The Time

As most of you may know, April 22nd is the day dedicated to celebrating all the glorious gifts that our beautiful planet provides. While today is an especially great day to get outside, get fresh air, and do something beneficial for the planet (maybe join a community garden or help clean up an area of your community), it’s important to treat every day like Earth Day and more importantly, remember why we celebrate this holiday. Earth Day was originally created as a holiday intended to highlight righteous civil disobedience and social justice activism. According to an article for The New Republic, Earth Day was “founded in 1970, amid rising awareness of industry’s unchecked pollution of the air and water, its organizers aimed to apply the lessons of civil-right activism to the environmental movement.” So while it’s great to use that re-usable cup and maybe start a compost pile in your yard, celebrating Earth Day is much deeper than buying products marketed as “good for the planet”. Here at Serenbe, we try to live every day like it’s Earth Day by building a community more connect to the Earth.

Being outside in the elements decreases your heart rate, improves your mood and opens your mind to perform better. If you’ve been following along with the blog or podcast, you’re probably familiar with the term “biophilia”, which defines humans’ innate tendency to love all living things. Steve Nygren has known the positive effects of nature longer than he knew the term “biophilia,” so when he began developing Serenbe he knew preserving forests, meadows and farmland was important in the creation of the community.

Unfortunately, we’re all aware of the negative effects climate change is having on our world. The big question is, how can humans help? There are many, many things each individual can do to lessen their carbon footprint and further integrate biophilia into their lives, communities and even cities. To help educate people on how to do so, we’ve launched Biophilic Solutions podcast, where hosts Monica Olsen and Jennifer Walsh interview experts in the growing field of biophilia. While individual work is important, according to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, large-scale agriculture, deforestation and industrialization are all the major causes for increased greenhouse gas emissions, which increasingly warm the earth. Serenbe combats this by building in conjunction with nature, rather than against it.

What does building with nature mean, exactly? First, Serenbe is densely built around an organic and regenerative farm. Homes are built close together, some backing straight up to the farm, so folks can walk right down the street to pick up their locally-grown produce each week. Building densely avoids having large lawns that need constant maintenance, over-clearing trees when building those homes or structures, while leaving more land available for conservation. We also work to maintain streams and creeks, use bioswales and even have one of the first natural wastewater treatment systems in the Southeast United States. Each home and commercial building uses geothermal heating and cooling systems, as well as being Earthcraft certified. All of this rolls up into the overall mission to preserve 70% of Serenbe’s - and the larger Chattahoochee Hills’ - acres of green space.

Top all of this off with implemented edible landscaping (think blueberry bushes on each corner and herbs such as Rosemary available for use), recycling and composting from households to restaurants, over 15 miles of walking/hiking trails for residents and guests of the Inn at Serenbe, and exciting outdoor events that will leave you smiling and feeling refreshed. This includes a weekly Farmers Market, outdoor yoga and Goat Yoga (yep, you read that right!), and annual events such as Serenbe Farms’ Plant Sale, happening this Saturday, April 24th.

“Society has been building places that remove us from [nature and community] for the last several decades” said Steve in a Fast Company article. “We’re building a place that celebrates the human connection to each other and nature.”

Let’s honor nature and the planet we call home and celebrate Earth Day everyday.

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