From the Vault: The Call of the Great Outdoors

The outside is calling you.

Not to get all Jack London on you, but this is a great time of year to listen to the call of the wild and shun one of humanity’s greatest inventions, the roof. In celebration of both spring and Earth Month (here are a few reading suggestions for the latter), let’s take a stroll into the EcoSalon archives in search of anything that might pry us off our computers and gadgets – just for a while.

Think Facebook isn’t a big time-sink in your life? Try adding it up. The average U.S. Facebook user logged a rather horrifying seven hours and 46 minutes per month as of August 2011, and that figure has probably risen since then. Imagine if you spent all of that time on something that makes you feel genuinely happy, grounded and relaxed. Here are 20 suggestions, from letter-writing to exploring your neighborhood.

20 Things To Do Instead Of Being On Facebook

The technology that so many people rely on to do their jobs has undoubtedly made us more efficient and, for that reason, it’s likely not going anywhere. That means many people will never have jobs that require using their hands for much more than typing and clicking. But that doesn’t change the fact that human beings were designed to create more than just tweets and word documents.

7 Ways T0 Get Your Hands Dirty

Take up urban foraging. Who doesn’t like free food? Learn about wild, regional edible plants or befriend a neighbor with an overloaded fruit tree going to waste. Augment your diet with fresh, free foods!

Broke? 20 Fun Things To Do Without Spending A Dime

Hundreds of sick pelicans have fallen to the ground from Mexico to Oregon, smashing into cars, boats and beaches, and experts are baffled. Authorities have ruled out domoic acid poisoning, which has affected wildlife before. It’s nothing short of a mystery. Surviving pelicans have been found in yards and on roads, disoriented and weak. So far, experts think the cause could be anything from unknown poison contamination to exposure to the toxic run-off from the recent Southern California fires to malnutrition due to evaporating fish stocks.

Though the exact cause is a mystery, it’s almost certainly due to human impact. And, it’s only the most recent case in a slew of disturbing mass animal deaths around the world.

Pelicans Are Falling Out The Sky (And Other Mysterious Mass Animal Deaths)

Gardening is hot, hot, hot. And why not? Planting a few seeds on your deck or in your backyard yields delicious, organic results – and money savings, too. Besides, April is National Gardening Month! You know the basics of how to start your own vegetable garden, but where do you go from here? Here are some crops that even the least green thumbed among you can tackle, and tips on how to make them flourish.

The 10 Easiest Vegetables To Grow At Home

If you’re taking a stroll through the English landscape…Andy Goldsworthy wants to stop you in your tracks.

He’s a British sculptor, photographer and committed environmentalist, and he likes arranging things. He turns random piles of stones into gravity-defying structures and scattered leaves into dazzling gradiated rainbows. He tracks lines and curves upon the ground where none should exist, stacks ice in the unlikeliest of places, and puts patterns and colors into the landscape that would make any onlooker rub their eyes. And the true magic of his work is that for a second – just for a second – you believe it’s the work of nature. What would your first thought be if you encountered these in the wild?

Andy Goldsworthy’s Amazing Works Of Art

Images: photosteve101sir mervs, sun dazed, Ron Dressel and paolobrandao.


Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.