The power of gratitude is a beautiful thing.
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Bringing the outdoors inside is trending. From fresh farmers market bouquets to succulents galore, Pinterest-worthy plants are all the rage. But, it’s not just about beautifying your space– there are some unbe-leaf-able benefits for your well-being when you go green. Fresher air. Fewer toxins. Good vibes—it’s a win-win.
If you’re looking to create a mini-urban jungle but are afraid your busy schedule, non-existent green thumb, or notorious plant killing history has you doomed, don’t fret! We’ve got four low maintenance, indoor plants + care tips to spruce up your place. Earth Day will be every day in your home with this effortless greenery (no prior plant experience required).
There are more than 650 types of air plants (Tillandsia). Yep, you read that right. 650 varieties that can grow (and successfully live) without soil—perfect for all of us who are can’t keep plants alive (*raises hand*). With air plants coming in all shapes and sizes, it’s easy to find one in-store or online to fit your color scheme and personality! And with hundreds of fresh ways to decorate with air plants, it’s easier than ever to spruce up even the smallest space. Consider air plants your little fun (and funky!) friend.
Care Tips: No perfect lighting needed. Air plants don’t ask for much, which works for even the busiest schedule. Besides gently misting your air plant with water every few days, it is essential your Tillandsia gets a “bath” every two weeks. That means submerging your air plant(s) in water and letting the plant sit there for about 1 to 3 hours, depending on how dry your air is. Too much dampness can kill an air plant, so after soaking shake off the access water and let the air plant dry in a bright spot for at least 4 hours.
Prickly, resilient and perfect for the most inexperienced green thumb, cacti are an easy and efficient way to add plant life to your home. Not to be mistaken with succulents, cacti are your healthiest relationship! Not only will they tolerate you, but they will also stay alive by your side for years to come. Consider your cacti a make-your-home-better investment.
Care Tips: No surprise here—cacti need direct sunlight and sandy-type soil that drains well. While watering routines depend on the type of cacti you choose, a little (occasional) water goes a long way. Think desert. Personal favorite cacti? Gymnocalycium. Not only does it have a deep green color with quintessential spines (yep, for this New York girl, cacti must have spikes), you get a bright flower bloom!
A relative to the sturdy cacti, succulents are the perfect first plant. Easy to maintain in most home environments, succulents come in all fun shapes and are totally hip thanks to social media. They also make a great desk ornament at work. With funky pots (animal head planters, anyone?), succulents will step up your decorating game and thrive if you give them a little love—just not too much light because they can get sunburned.
Care Tips: If planting at home, you’ll get a leg up on the competition by using succulent potting soil. On the hunt for a hanging basket succulent? String of Pearls is the way to go. This succer is a stunner and will grow fast. Another favorite? Zebra Haworthia. Great for any tabletop (or desk) and non-toxic to dog and cats, this little green wonder has such a cool texture.
There’s a good chance you remember this plant from your mom or grandma’s house. With an impossible-to-kill reputation, spider plants are back with a vengeance—as long as you don’t overwater them. A flowering perennial, spider plants will make any space feel like a jungle oasis. Oh, and they propagate like crazy and are perfect for that macrame hanging planter you’ve been eyeing at Urban Outfitters.
Care Tips: Spider plants thrive in indirect sunlight. They also love humidity. If your spider plant ends start to brown, that might mean they need more water (or a little fertilizer). Also, once a spider plant flowers, it will produce “babies” (called “spiderettes”). If you’ve got a friend eyeing your spider plant, clip off a spiderette and have them place it in water. Once roots grow, they will have a spider plant of their own!
For the first time ever, the globe will be watching surfing take center stage at the 2020 (postponed to July 2021) Olympics. People from all over the world will be appreciating the sport, many for the first time.
This symbolizes the surfing community breaking through centuries of negative stereotypes. Though conditions play a big part in the sport, the biggest hurdle the athletes will have to overcome to see success is mental. The winner will be the one who chooses their waves wisely with their understanding of the conditions and ability to intimidate and therefore overcome components. Meanwhile, they will be challenging themselves to emerge from crashing barrels, fly into the air, and land on the shifting surface gracefully. No big deal.
You’ve probably heard the invention of a wave pool, which creates the perfect man-made wave. In 2007, Kelly Slater founded his wave company with a passion to build the perfectly rideable wave at his surf ranch. It was debated whether the Olympics should be held in the ocean or on a manufactured wave, with many differing opinions on what would be right. The decision was made, and the event will take place in the sea, at Tsurigasaki Beach in Japan, about 40 miles east of Tokyo, where the rest of the 2021 games will be hosted.
As you watch, take a moment to reflect on the century of effort for this to happen. This initiative can be traced all the way back to the 1912 summer games that took place in Stockholm. Duke Kahanamoku, known as the father of modern surfing, won three gold medals in swimming, and while accepting his medal, he expressed that it was his dream to see surfing be added. To add fuel to the fire, International Surfing Association, recognized as the surfing world's governing authority by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), began lobbying for the inclusion of surfing in the Olympics in 1955.
Surfing is a multidimensional sport unlike any other. Nothing compares to paddling out to the serene silence that awaits beyond the breaking waves. Once you get out there, you immediately escape the many annoyances ingrained in everyday life—the constant notifications on your phone and laptop, your back-to-back schedule, answering to other people. You’re no longer on the time that your watch reads, you’re on mother nature’s time. You’re also no longer in control of your surroundings. Now, all you can do is surrender and wait for the next set to come, while trying to position yourself for when it does.
The high from catching the perfect wave is so addicting that surfers would fail on one hundred in a row just to catch that one. After you catch that perfect one, you replay it in your mind for the rest of the day.
A successful session is reliant on so many factors of mother nature—a force way bigger than us. For ideal conditions to exist, a good-sized swell must approach from the right direction, the wind must be flowing offshore, and you have to time your session right with the ebb and flow of the tide.
The sport is always teaching you life lessons. It is humbling, even if you’ve been practicing it for many years. One reason why it takes so long to master is that the conditions are going to be different every time you get out there. You might have caught a million yesterday, but today makes you feel like a kook because you can’t land one decent wave.
The community of people that you become a part of when you surf is special. A shared obsession with the ocean that brings you to dive into the water at dawn to get a session in bonds you quick. When you’re out there, you’ll find yourself interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds. People enjoy sharing the stoke of the sport. When you see someone out there teaching somebody new, you’ll encounter them cheering at the top of their lungs when they catch a good wave, and as you look around, you’ll see smiles all across the lineup. The other day, I caught a long wave in to be met with a cheering crowd of locals who frequent the spot that I do. When I got to shore, a local showed me their secret stash of hot packs to access in case I, or someone else, gets stung by a stingray when they aren’t around.
Being out in the ocean and abiding by her rules gives surfers a deep love and connection to nature. It’s common to see sea animals out there, like dolphins, stingrays, and fish. When you have an encounter, it’s a reminder that we are invading their territory. It sucks when you see trash floating in the water, or on the sand in its route to the water. It’s a sad reminder of the negative impact that humans can have on natural environments. It inspires you to pick up trash and advocate for sustainability so that we, as a collective, can take care of the beauty that we are lucky to have access to.
Tune in to see surfing break into the biggest international sporting event in the world beginning on Saturday, July 24th.
Do you live by the ocean? Paddle out with an instructor.
Don't live by the water, but still want to train for your next surf trip? Consider these classes.
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