The Earth Exchange

The Earth gives generously! The Earth Exchange gives us a chance to give back!

This page tells you about our practice of the Earth Exchange, making beauty for wounded places anywhere at any time. Click for information about our yearly Global Earth Exchange.

No matter where we live, there are places we love that have fallen on hard times: rivers that are polluted, meadows paved over to make a mall… even the tree in your own backyard killed by invasive insects.

Our worldwide Radical Joy for Hard Times network is devoted to showing our ongoing love for these places and our enduring connection with them by making simple gifts of beauty for them. We do this in a simple 5-step process called an Earth Exchange.

  1. Go, alone or with friends, to a wounded place.
  2. Sit awhile and share your stories about what the place means to you.
  3. Get to know the place as it is now.
  4. Share with the others what you discovered.
  5. Make a simple gift of beauty—often a bird made of materials the place itself provides

You can do an Earth Exchange any day for any place you notice that’s fallen on hard times. And once a year, people around the world join the Global Earth Exchange. This year it’s June 16.

There are many ways to make a little beauty for a hurt place. You can sing to it or say a prayer for it. You can hug a tree, place flowers on the gate of a contaminated site, or make a mandala of twigs and leaves. Many people make the RadJoy Bird out of materials they find at the place.

You can give your gift of beauty to this place alone or with a group. You can do it spontaneously or plan weeks in advance. You don’t need to be an artist, you don’t need to haul in materials, you don’t need to mobilize. As we like to say, 10 Ways You Can’t Do It Wrong!

Click here for our Toolkit, filled with ideas and information for making beauty at a wounded place you care about.