Updated: Apr 30, 2020
It's the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Celebrating this year from our homes is unprecedented, but we can still show our support. This pandemic has really shown us how fragile and interdependent our systems are, and how quickly the world can respond to protect itself. It has shown that with the temporary closure of factories and less people travelling have made way for clear blue skies and waters around the globe. (Air pollution can lead to reduced lung function, respiratory infections and asthma, BTW.) But what will it look like when everyone returns to life as we knew it, or will it even be the same? Climate change needs to be addressed with the same urgency as Covid-19.
While we are in this momentary lull, we each can lead by example to make effective changes. To do this, it's important to: KNOW what the problems are with the destruction of our planet and its natural resources TAKE ACTION through making personal changes that can start now, at home y
Eat more plants and less (or preferably) no meat. Meat production requires a staggering amount of land and water. Factory farms are also breeding grounds for zoonotic diseases.
Use less, waste less. In these unsettling times, personally I've found that I don't mind wearing the same clothes day after day, which also means I don't need to do laundry as often :) And it's easier to rummage through the pantry and improvise meals rather than going to the shop. I've been more mindful of maximizing foods by cooking root-to-leaf, and always making use of leftovers (aka #stayhomebestovers)
I you do need to purchase an item, buy from small, independently-owned businesses and/or farms. Not only will you get the be supporting the local economy and cutting down on fossil fuels, you will become a part of a community who knows and values you.
Recycle and throw your trash away responsibly. Understandably, there is a crazy amount of waste being generated by staying at home. From extra packaging precautions for grocery items to restaurant meals only available through takeout, take the time to know whether or not these packaging items (like plastic bags and certain # RIC code numbers) can even be recycled through your sanitation program. And, of course, with all the caution taken to protect ourselves from Covid-19, suddenly everyone has single-use gloves and surgical masks. Not only should these last two items be reserved for our frontline medical workers, they're being discarded and have been found littering the streets and in parks and beaches.
SUPPORT organizations who are fighting for what you believe in. This can be done through donations, sharing the awareness, or volunteer opportunities VOTE (and demand the right to vote by mail) for leaders who believe in restoring and protecting our planet. I'm honored to be a part of a community that inspires positive change and to be celebrating #earthdayeveryday with my friends at Package Free Shop and Sierra Club, and want to thank each and every one of you who are following my journey and make this world a better place.