Big Rona ain't stopping the show as we continue to be more eco-conscious in our daily lives. Since 1970, Earth Day's mission has been to build the world's largest environmental movement to drive transformative change for people and planet.
In my younger days, I remember looking forward to Earth Day at school because it forced me to think outside of my bubble and come up with my plans to save the planet. Once I got to high school, and all I cared about was fashion and boys, that fire I once had to make the planet a better place wasn't lit anymore. But now that I have a better understanding of what Earth Day really means and how climate action will effect generations to come, I have got to make this Earth Day count.
Our current state of normal includes a pandemic that took us by surprise. Before that, we were startled by the brushfires in Australia and then the locusts swarming Africa. These are all signs that we must take climate change more seriously. When we all make an effort, we make Mother Earth proud.
From shopping with a purpose to plastic audits to simply supporting your mental health, we have some feasible ways to show love to our beautiful planet.
Plant a tree or start a garden.
We could all use some therapeutic activities while social distancing and one way to celebrate Earth Day is by planting a tree or starting a garden. Planting a tree helps reduce our carbon footprint but also provides beauty for nature. You have a slew of choices from Ash Trees to Cherry Trees. When planting a tree, it is essential to find a great location that will allow the tree to grow without interruption.
As for your new garden, it has endless benefits. Just ask our forever First Lady, Michelle Obama. She wrote an entire book on the impact gardens have on the well-being of our children. Looking for inspo? Read her book, American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America. By starting your new garden, you can rest easy knowing your produce is free of pesticides and you'll have food right outside your door.
For a beginner's gardening starter kit, you'll need:
- Seeds or young plants.
- Soil-tilling equipment.
- A shovel and spade.
- A garden hose.
- Fencing materials.
For apartment-dwellers who still wish to give back to Mother Earth but can't plant a garden of their own, look into initiatives like One Tree Planted and Plant a Billion Trees for ways you can get involved. Your health and well-being can also flourish indoors with the help of house plants. Don't know where to begin? Check out our article "These Easy To Care For Plants Can Thrive With Little To No Sunlight".
Use refillable water products instead of plastic water bottles.
Truth is, we have a love affair with garbage. We don't always think about how much we contribute to waste if it's not at the forefront of our minds. More than anything, being aware can change your outlook. Single-use plastic has to be the type of waste we dispose of the most and one feasible way to make a difference is to replace your plastic bottles with refillable water products. This simple but impactful change can be achieved through a reusable bottle made of stainless steel, glass, or safe aluminium, a filtration system like Brita or an advanced faucet water filter like PUR.
Shop smart and sustainable.
Being home more makes you want to shop online more. But if you're going to shop, make sure it's sustainable. We found a few products that will do our planet some good. Many of these brands are dedicated to combating climate change by making their products compostable, keeping the consumer informed, donating to climate change foundations or using recycled plastic bottles to create sustainability:
- VELDT Inc LUXTURE AARDE Watch
- BAGGU Resuable Grocery Bags
- Swaggr Recycled Socks
- Love Beauty and Planet Muru Muru Shampoo Bars
- YIHONG Reusable Stainless Steel Metal Straws
- To-Go Ware Bamboo Travel Utensils
- S'well Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- Croon Cleansing Fibers
- AGOLDE Criss Cross Upsized Short
- Antidote Mykilim Dune Handbag
Rethink the way you view transportation.
One positive thing to emerge from the stay-at-home orders is the decrease in carbon emissions. Social distancing is low-key helping climate change because the whole world has been forced to flatten the curve. By not being on the roads in our vehicles and hopping on flights, we are reducing greenhouse gases. Right now, we are only using our cars to go out for essential runs. What if chose to bike instead to further drop air pollution? CNBC said that cleaner air has saved about 50,000 lives in China alone over these past few months. Biking also allows you to make your lungs and muscles healthier and stronger. We affirm that we are coming out of quarantine smarter and healthier by simply being intentional with the way we treat Mother Earth.
Go plant-based for one meal.
I was today years old when I found out that factory farms in the U.S. produce 300 million tons of waste each year. That's just the United States. By choosing more plant-based meals, we can be more intentional about our carbon footprint and create a better climate environment for our children and our children's children. Try this easy but tasty recipe this week.
Support your mental health.
We are living in unprecedented times. Never in a million years did I think we would be experiencing a pandemic like this. Everyone in the world is greatly effected by this one thing. Our mental health along with our physical health has to be the most important thing at this moment. Flattening the curve has costs us normalcy and there's no harm in grieving the loss of normalcy. With the weight of the pandemic and climate change weighing heavily on our hearts and mental, we have to be gentle with ourselves.
Be sure to do things that bring you joy. As we celebrate Earth Day, make sure they are eco-friendly. Check out some ideas below:
- Do 15-minute daily meditations and keep a gratitude journal.
- Hand-write letters.
- Take time to stop, smell the roses and read the signs.
- Watch movies with a friend (virtually).
- Create some DIY house decorations.
- Experiment with watercolors.
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Featured image courtesy of @thjeneralist/Instagram (gave permission)