At-Home Experiences Good for You and the Planet

tablet with trees

As most of the world takes measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus through social distancing and self-isolation, people are spending more time at home than ever before. The dramatic decline in pollution from paused manufacturing and travel is resulting in cleaner air and cleaner water around the world, but staying inside is having a widespread negative effect on mental health. 

We put together a list of things you can do from home, using free online resources and things you have around the house to reconnect with a sense of purpose and also improve your relationship with the environment. Everything on this list is good for you and for Planet Earth.

1. Take an Indoor Outing with the Chicago Park District

To avoid overcrowding Chicago’s public parks, the Park District has gathered workout videos, coloring sheets and activities for the whole family to do at home during the Shelter in Place order. Make a Baby Yoda, play Hero Bingo, burn some calories cleaning your house, and enjoy Chicago’s parks from your own couch! Check out this great online resource page here.

2. Visit Museums & More 

Take a stay-at-home Virtual Reality field trip to Natural History museums, botanical gardens, arboretums and other museums and places all over the world on Google Arts & Culture. Take a self-guided tour through the exhibits—don’t forget to search “Chicago” and see the 15 different sites you can explore in your own backyard, including the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, and Adler Planetarium. 

3. Travel to Incredible Landscapes Around the World

Similar to Google’s VR tours, YouVisit’s 360° VR experience takes you to amazing landscapes in Machu Picchu, Yosemite Falls, Alaska and even NYC by helicopter. Some of these experiences have audio guides with facts and history about these natural wonders! Search “travel” to find them on the website.

4. Explore the World with National Geographic

Check out National Geographic’s website for even more travel experiences in real-time. See how others around the world are dealing with coronavirus in this photo collection, get your nature fix with live streaming landscapes and stay up to date on the COVID-19 pandemic with more tools and resources.

5. Clean at Home Responsibly 

You can make your own cleaning solutions from things you probably already have around the house like vinegar, baking soda and citrus rinds, so you don’t even have to leave your house! Many store-bought cleaners have dangerous chemicals in them, so using natural ingredients is better for your family and the environment. 

6. Experiment – for Kids and Adults!

Learn about energy and electricity by experimenting with them yourself! Crush an aluminum can with air pressure and make a plastic bag fly with static electricity. Yes, these were made for kids, but the videos are entertaining at any age! Keep in mind that experimentation and innovation are a driving force behind the new jobs in clean energy, one of the fastest-growing job sectors in the U.S.

7. Learn About Our Extraordinary Earth

Browse through TED Ed videos on environmental science to learn about Earth’s amazing ecosystems, how they are changing and how humans are using natural resources to fight climate change. For instance, learn how underwater farming could help fight climate change and how 100% renewable energy could power the world. Check out the  Museum of Science and Industry’s Science at Home resources as well!