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Create a Staycation: My 2019 Resolution


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Nature Conservancy for IZEA Worldwide. All opinions are 100% mine.

Almost every year my New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. Unfortunately, I don’t always stick to it. So this year I chose a more creative 2019 resolution inspired by The Nature Conservancy (TNC). I’m going to help the planet and create a staycation in my very own yard!

Backyard Garden Pond with Pebble Beach


After downloading and reading the free Everyday Sustainability Guide from The Nature Conservancy, I realized that I could truly help the planet by enjoying a staycation – which is a vacation at home or close to home. I made the first step this past summer by adding a koi pond in my backyard.

The Everyday Sustainability Guide from The Nature Conservancy


Until I read the guide, I didn’t know that flying less is the number one thing you can do to combat climate change! Who needs to fly somewhere exotic when you can have paradise in your own backyard?

Backyard Garden Pond and Waterfall


According to the Everyday Sustainability Guide, a staycation can also be “vacations” close to home. Like a picnic in your local forest preserve or visiting nearby points of interest. Since I’m just an hour-long train ride to Chicago, it’s easy to enjoy a staycation to the big city!

Aquascape Waterfall at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago


In addition to our garden pond area, I plan to create zones in our yard to develop the total staycation experience. So far, my to do list includes the following:

  1. Plant a butterfly and hummingbird garden.
  2. Create a shade garden.
  3. Enlarge the flower cutting garden.
  4. Create a cozy fire pit area.
  5. Install a gravel patio for al fresco dining.
  6. Add a dry river stream to manage storm water run-off.
Backyard Garden Pond with Deck


Helping the environment by not flying (which I’m not a fan of anyway) really appeals to me. Not only that, but I’m creating a habitat for critters like birds and bees.

Consider creating your own unique destination spot in your yard to improve your life and the world around you. Maybe you hang a simple hammock between trees to create a cozy reading corner. Add a fountain or small waterall to enjoy the soothing sight and sound of water (it also provides a place for birds and butterflies to refresh). 

Plant your favorite flowers to encourage pollinators to visit. Create a patio with permeable pavers underneath a cafe table. You’ll enjoy dining outdoors while helping rainwater to seep back into the ground as opposed to running off into a sewer system. There are so many ways you can turn your backyard into your personal staycation in 2019.

The Everyday Sustainability Guide from The Nature Conservancy has lots of great ideas for everyone to help the environment in 2019. Download the guide by entering your name and email to read the tips and get motivated to start now.

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  1. You have a beautiful backyard so why not enjoy it? I love the water feature you added. The older the Urban Farmer and I get, the more we like to stay home. It’s a comfort.

  2. We did a staycation 2 years ago and loved it! We saw some fun local attractions and ate at some new to us restaurants and we slept late and had do nothing days. I especially love that last picture you posted. The deck by the stream really makes its feel more exotic.
    🙂 gwingal

  3. What great ideas! I love this post. And I had no idea reducing our flying time was the number one way to combat climate change. Your backyard is beautiful! In the last couple of years, my hubby and I built a new patio with a koi pond and waterfall adjacent to it. We are so enjoying it. I’ll have to send you pictures this spring when things look a little better than now.

  4. I love your backyard and your beautiful water feature. I do not like to fly either and there is quite a lot to see right here in my state of Oklahoma and it is looking better as i get older.

  5. Oh Yes ! I like your idea. It’s the packing and unpacking of traveling that I don’t like. When on vacation, and it’s time to come home, my spirit is all ready there it’s my physical body that’s still in the transportation mode.

  6. I’m not a fan of flying either. The claustrophobic and crowded, germ-ridden atmosphere make it so uncomfortable for me that I vacation away from home very seldom – maybe once every 5 years. Rather than fly somewhere, I would love to travel either by train through the western mountains and deserts, or take one of the riverboat tours down the Mississippi. I also love to drive, so that isn’t out of the question either, since I’m retired and only need to consider my furry children when leaving home for new adventures. Oh yes, then there’s the little matter of $$$$. :>)

  7. I have a Butterfly garden and a shade garden. I will be working on both this summer.
    See you in the garden…Well, at least on PINTEREST!!!!

  8. Great ideas, Jennifer, and your beautiful yard is paradise! Never knew that about flying! This post made me want summer to come quickly, so I can go outside and sit in my yard, too. Great dreams on this cold morning! 🙂