“Sign, sign, Everywhere a sign, Blockin’ out the scenery, Breakin’ my mind…”
Who remembers that little ditty from the 70’s + onward? (TBH, not sure if we should apologize, or say “you’re welcome” for getting that classic stuck in your head for the rest of the day!) (Don’t know it? Look it up! “Signs” by The 5 Man Electrical Band (plus various covers))
What does this have to do with getting dirty, you ask? Because it feels like the de facto anthem of the last 13+ months of what is turning into “covid fatigue” for many, with messages of “…Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?…”
But with Spring now in full swing, let’s focus on the bright side. Nature beckons, and we can safely heed the call – all signs point to going outdoors! (Of course, while still staying within your bubble, and obeying all safety precautions).
In this big, beautiful country, we have a LOT of great outdoors to explore, within our neighbourhoods, communities and surrounding areas. Whether you live in a city, town or rural area, there is something for everyone to enjoy outside! There is at least one outdoor park or public space in your community, if not in each neighbourhood in your community, that is often easily accessible. And, likely there is a walking or biking route that connects your neighbourhood with those surrounding… So if you are getting a touch bored with the park in your neighbourhood, explore the one next door!
And don’t be afraid to get dirty! Let loose! Abandon inhibitions! You can’t get Covid from dirt, and Live for Tomorrow hand and laundry soaps will get you cleaned up in no time!
Here are some, fun-for-all-ages, ideas to get dirty while scratching that outdoor itch.
Just remember – go at your own pace! For you extremists, we don’t need to tell you how to crank it up a notch, and for those of you who appreciate a slower pace, all of the following are pretty darn adaptable to chill speed also!
Go ahead – get dirty!
Puddle Jumping – Post (or during) a rain day, don your grubs and relive your youth by seeing how many puddles you can hit – just remember to watch out for earth worms, earth’s natural composters!
Bubble Blowing – Here’s a fun idea for the whole family to get involved – hit the thrift store for some white clothes and make coloured bubbles to “bubble dye” your outfit! Colour the bubbles using natural food “dyes”! Macha for green, turmeric for yellow, paprika for orange/red, beet juice for burgundy – Blow bubbles onto your clothes, and have fun! *Warning – these dyes WILL stain your clothes, even Live for Tomorrow can’t fix that! Be sure you are wearing something that can get coloured. You will be a leader in the current tie-dye trend! Recipe: 2 parts Live for Tomorrow dish liquid, one part cornstarch, 6 parts warm water.
Mountain Biking – Hit the trails the day after a good rain, and glory in the muddy splashes! How muddy can you get?! To clean up your bike afterwards use a mix of Live for Tomorrow’s “Dish the Dirt” dish liquid in warm water… don’t forget to re-oil your bike chain once clean & dry.
Trail Running – Nothing more satisfying than hitting the dirt trails in the surrounding woods for a run. Not only is the soft ground easier on the joints, but you also benefit from forest bathing at the same time! Who cares about the dust or mud kicking up, this can be easily washed out.
Forest Hiking – Running and mountain biking maybe a bit too intense? A forest hike at your own speed can rejuvenate the soul – but don’t be afraid to get sweaty! Just remember to breathe, and take the time to stop and inhale those gorgeous nature scents. Optional: Be a good steward and pack a bag with you to pick up litter along the trails! And/or: While you are at it, see how many types of birds you can spot! To find a means for identifying them – look at our handy resource section below.
Gardening – Nothing says Spring is here like fingernails dirty from lovingly massaging life from the earth! It’s exciting to refresh your flower boxes with new plants, but don’t forget to give your garden beds some attention. The winter snow and freeze compact the soil, and it really needs a good dig to loosen it up. While you are at it remember to remove the dead roots buried underneath. Yes, you will get dirty in the process, but Live for Tomorrow soaps have your back. So go ahead and bring on the new flower beds and buds!
MAY is Bike Month!
(Also, every month is bike month)
There are many reasons to ride – what’s yours?
- For sport
- For fitness
- For pleasure (sights, senses, smells)
- To commute
- For the environment
MAKE SURE TO KNOW THE RULES OF THE ROAD!
Bike rules = obey all traffic laws. Your bike is a vehicle, and you’re the driver. Know hand signals – and be especially aware of parked cars! Doors opening can lead to a big oops.
“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
— Margaret Atwood
Wildflower Counting – As Tom Petty says – “You belong among the wildflowers” …. Grab your backpack and a picnic snack and hit up a local mountain or rural valley to see how many types of wildflowers you can see! Count by colour, or by species. Are they native or invasive? No flowers in the parks near you? How many types of trees can you see? Can you name them? Remember – safety first! Leave information where you are going and if going into a remote area, bring the 10 essential items.
Get dirty while you get clean – Get summer ready using Live for Tomorrow products to enjoy essential oil scents while washing seasonal buildup off of your vinyl deck, bike, boat or tent helps make these dirty jobs more pleasant! See tips below.
Enjoying the GREAT outdoors is good for both your physical and mental health, but also for the environment for reasons that include: 1: Active park use ensures they are kept free of development, 2: Most outdoor activities require no energy consumption! Maybe the gas in your car to get there, but they don’t involve material things, or spending money. Less “stuff” = less carbon footprint.
Sometimes the best things in life ARE free!
So, like we said, go ahead – get dirty!
Here’s unique way to turn spending time outdoors into a game of sorts!
STEP 1: Make a list of the outdoor activities you might enjoy. Cut them up, put them in a hat (or bowl, bucket, saucepan – you get the idea). You can do this as an individual, or with whoever’s in your bubble. Examples:
• Bike ride • Run • Bocce • Golf • Hike • Garden • Geo-cache • Bird Count • Flower Count
STEP 2: Make a list of neighbourhoods in your surrounding community, think about those places you haven’t been to in a while or have yet the opportunity to explore (ie. east, west, main, etc). Cut them up, put them in a hat (a different hat from Step 1).
STEP 3: Draw an activity from Step 1,and do it in a neighbourhood selected from Step 2!
Alternative way to play: Draw an activity from Step 1, and type it + “NEAR ME” into Google to find your location to play in!
Spice it up! For each answer in Step 1, name 2 ways to make it unique. Flip a coin to add a little variety.
- Bike – 1. At night or 2. In the mountains
- Run – 1. Join a virtual 5k (bonus if it’s from another city or country!) or 2. Listen to a new playlist
- Hike – 1. Take a pause every 15 minutes – maybe for stretching or deep breathing – just to really inhale the experience or 2. Bring a picnic!
- Garden – 1. Plant only local seeds or 2. Guerilla garden! Scatter wildflower seeds on an abandoned lot.
- Bird Count – 1. At a bog or 2. At the local landfill *Upclose view of environmental issues!
- Wildflower Count – 1. Count by colour or 2. Count only native species.
For lovingly (mostly) volunteer tended trails country wide, check out this link https://www.trailforks.com/region/canada/
VIRTUAL (ROAD) RUNNING EVENTS
5k/10k Virtual Running Events – https://canadarunningseries.com
Vancouver: 5K Coffee Club: https://raceroster.com/events/2021/39573/5k-coffee-club
There are countless apps to help you explore the great outdoors near you, our favourite is Alltrails.
10 ESSENTIALS FOR HIKING (explore online for more detailed breakdowns):
- Appropriate footwear
- Map and compass/GPS
- Rain gear and dry fast layers
- Safety items (light, fire and a whistle)
- First aid kit
- Knife or multi-tool
- Sun protection
BIRD SPOTTING – Here’s a list of apps that help identify our feathered friends:
- iBird Pro Guide to Birds
- Merlin Bird ID
- Audubon Bird Guide: North America
- Peterson’s Birds of North America
- Song Sleuth
Use the Greater Victoria, BC Flower Count technique as a guide, and explore the wildflowers flowers in outdoors near you! You could even do a neighbourhood challenge, to compare each neighbourhood and the one with the most blooms wins! Bonus points for most native blooms!
GETTING SUMMER READY
Vinyl Deck Cleaning – a solution of Live for Tomorrow’s “Elbow Grease” All Purpose Cleaner in hot water (1/4 cup to 4 litres / 1 gallon) and a brush will do the trick to remove the usual winter-build. Got some algae or stains from garden pots, spray some Elbow Grease directly and leave for a couple of minutes (don’t let it dry), then scrub with the brush and rinse with the garden hose. Will be clean in no time!
Need a solution to clean your summer toys (bikes, SUP, kayak, boats, tents, etc)? – a soapy mixture of Live for Tomorrow’s “Dish the Dirt” dish liquid in warm water will do the trick and no need to worry about the drain off of the solution on the environment… it is non-toxic, made from plant and mineral based ingredients.