Earth Day is still months away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about what you can do to protect the environment, both here in the beautiful Catskills and beyond. There are small steps we can take every day to be more eco-conscious, such as recycling, being mindful of electricity use, and the like. But committing to an overall greener, more sustainable lifestyle requires more in-depth knowledge and action. This is why Frost Valley YMCA will be hosing the Roots of E.A.R.T.H. Retreat on April 10-12.

This weekend will focus largely on matters of “E.A.R.T.H.” — which stands for Environmental Awareness & Resources Towards a Healthy lifestyle — with the broader goal of inspiring communities to protect the environment and support the sustainable living movement. Seminars and workshops will highlight attainable solutions to pressing environmental issues, while fun, interactive programs will encourage creativity and exploration of the natural world.

In between sessions, take an educational hike to learn about wilderness protection or to discover native medicinal plants; tour a garden and greenhouse to gain wisdom about year-round agriculture and composting; enjoy do-it-yourself projects, such as natural tea making; and attend Energy Quest, which explores energy use, efficiency, and conservation. Frost Valley favorites will be available for personal development as well, including climbing, archery, canoeing, arts & crafts, and more. There will be live music in the evenings and the option for laid-back discussion or networking.

This article was originally published in the Tri-Valley Townsman, 2015.