Take the time this week to go to a natural place. Could be a trail, beach, park, forest, or a lake. Sit quietly. LISTEN. The longer you sit, the more you will hear. Do you hear water trickling down a stream or insects humming? Or maybe you hear a branch creaking or a wave crashing. Are you lucky enough to hear a hummingbird whistling by? Or a critter scampering about?

But there are probably other noises too: anthropogenic noises – those that are human made. And in our modern world, finding quiet places is getting harder and harder. This noise pollution is becoming a real problem for our health and the health of wildlife. You can read more about it here.

So you might be wondering (rightfully) how listening is helpful. When you listen, you become aware – aware of not only the variety of natural noises but the problem of anthropogenic noise. This awareness can lead to understanding, caring, and action. Environmentalists, scientists, and activists are all working to preserve quiet places, including an organization called Quiet Parks International. These people are working on an international level to protect quiet places and parks from the larger problems of transportation, urban, and industrial noise. But in your own adventures, you too can be part of the movement to protect the quiet. When you are out in a natural place, keep your voice low. Don’t fly drones. Keep the music off. Encourage others to do the same. Because, it’s #YourPlanetToo.