Today is the day. The 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The day that we celebrate the earth.
Unfortunately, we are not following through on our Earth Day promises. Climate change is no longer just a looming threat, but an eventual cause of demise for the earth. And the current pandemic we are dealing with is fully tied to the climate and the way we, as humans, have treated the earth.
If you recycle, that’s great. If you reuse, that’s better. If you reduce, that is fantastic. But what else are you doing on the individual and family level to make a REAL difference for the environment? Here are some things that you can do, and that we NEED to do, in order to heal the earth and save the human race. Yes – it is THAT serious – this is not hyperbole – this is real.
Eat less (and eventually zero) meat
I realize that this is a difficult thing for people to even consider, let alone put into practice, but changing to a more plant based diet and eventually to a full vegan way of life is one of the things that can seriously help heal the earth and support our species survival. Eating more greens and less fatty meat is also better for humans, in general, but it helps the earth heal as well. Click here for more information on this from Greenpeace.
Shop local instead of online
I totally get that right now it may seem impossible to buy local, because we are in the middle of a pandemic and need to stay inside except for essential work and shopping. The thing is – there are still local merchants that are trying to adjust to this current state of the world by offering delivery or curbside pickup for customers. Need a book? Buy from a local bookseller. Need groceries? Try curbside pickup or delivery from a local grocer. Need takeout? Try curbside pickup from a local restaurant that could use your business. Need toiletries? Put in an order at your local pharmacy and pickup curbside.
If possible, shop in person through touchless pickup and stop ordering goods and services online. This helps local businesses AND allows the earth to not be bogged down by all of the travel necessary to order online and receive at your door. Yes – there are things may have to order online, but in general, if there is a local alternative for it, please try to purchase from those vendors.
100 mile diet
This is an old concept that seems to have fallen out of fashion a bit. Searching online for the 100-mile diet, brings up very few recent articles or resources. In the past, there was a 100-mile diet map online that you could use to determine your circumference of eating, but it has disappeared from the internet. The most useful resource I found online was here.
The basic gist of this diet is to only eat foods that you can acquire from within a 100 mile radius of your home. My suggestion would be to try and grow some of your food in a garden or pots, if possible. You can grow many herbs and veggies in windowsill gardens, so you don’t even need a large garden plot to grow a few items. You can also join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm or food co-op to buy directly from farmers in your area. Farmers markets can also be good sources for local food, without the cost of joining a CSA.
Learning to can will also help to sustain your 100 mile diet goods through the seasons when you cannot grow specific fruits and vegetables. Some folks decide to eat seasonally, which means you would only eat the foods that are actually in season.
Overall, this technique helps to lessen the strain on the environment because you are not buying foods from other parts of the country and contributing to the pollution that is caused by shipping foods around the world.
Stop buying fast fashion
Fast fashion is horrible for the planet and for the people who produce it. Buying clothing that is basically disposable puts a huge strain on the environment and contributes to the poor working conditions of those making the pieces. One of the best people to follow, if you want to learn more about changing your fast fashion habits, is Aja Barber. Check her out and start rethinking your buying behaviors. The earth will thank you for it.
Heed scientific warnings
There are, of course, many other things you can do to help the planet heal and perhaps change the course of climate change, but the most important thing that we ALL need to do is listen to the scientists. Believe them. Heed their warnings. Start following their suggestions to change course before it is too late.
As we can see from this current pandemic, there are reasons for us to do better. The earth is giving us a signal that we need to listen to the experts. Science is real. Climate change is real. Humans are killing the earth and unless we change course now we will have to live through many environmental crisis situations in the future. So – c’mon people! Let’s get our shit together and take care of mother earth. This is, after all, the only home we have!
Go forth and make some big changes for the earth!
Peace and Happy Earth Day.