In this hyper-social era, we have the ability to access a multitude of news stories, initiatives, and causes-it can seem like there are hundreds of issues we can choose to support or ignore. Via tv, radio, social media channels, email - there are so many calls to action coming our way at any given moment. At times, it's hard to know exactly where to put our energy to garner the most impact. However, if we really tap into what the earth has been going through as a result of our lifestyles-the answer is very clear-caring for the Earth has to be a top priority.
Everything from the misuse of fossil fuels, strip mining, deforestation, the lack of innovation in big industry, the toxic use of chemicals have all contributed to the rapid deterioration of our beloved planet. This all has a devastating effect on humanity as well as the animal kingdom. As we work hard to improve human rights and animal rights, we would be remiss to forget about the being that houses, feeds, and keeps us.
This Earth day, let's pledge to make a few changes and work together to take care of our planet. Here are just a few easy ways you can get started:
1. MAKE RECYCLING A PRACTICAL & CREATIVE PART OF YOUR LIFE
In the past it was pretty difficult to keep up with the recycling game, but now there are so many initiatives city-wide and even nation-wide, that can help. Most homes/buildings have a recycling system in place, but as individuals, we also need to make sure we're separating our recyclables before they go to the sorting room or the curb. Make sure to keep a separate bag/bin in your home for plastics and other recyclables. It may seem bulky to have multiple bags/bins by the trash can, but there are so many stylish solutions out there now-you're sure to find something that suits your taste. For more home recycling tips click here.
2. GET OUTSIDE AND WALK MORE OFTEN
Did you know our use of fossil fuels for gas, heat and electricity is one of the biggest offenders of the environment? Due to the CO2 emissions coming from the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, (trees release CO2 when they are cut down) we're experiencing severe climate change. These changes are the result of all of those emissions being trapped in the Earth's atmosphere. The trapped gases are over warming the Earth, creating what is known as The Greenhouse Effect. It's leading to some pretty crazy weather patterns and natural disasters. To help stop this, we have to move away from fossil fuels and the unsafe extraction of natural resources. A simple way individuals can utilize less fuels is to get out of the house, walk more often, bicycle and try to take public transportation. Try to do this whenever you can-getting your family and friends on board. You'll be using less electricity by being out of the house, and thankfully there's no need to go to the gas pump when you're either on your own two feet or two wheels.
3. GROW A LITTLE ON YOUR OWN
Gardening is surprisingly simple and good for the soul! There are so many creative ways to start a garden. Whether you're in an urban or more rural environment, start small and stay dedicated. In time, you'll have a sense of empowerment and connection to the Earth that is invaluable. Gardening from the windowsill to the backyard plot can teach us a lot about love, patience and the ecosystem! It's also a great way to make sure your food is grown responsibly. Make sure to use green, pesticide free methods. We also recommend growing plants that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbird whenever possible. Not only is it magical to start getting beautiful garden visitors, but we need to save these visitors for our own wellbeing. Another great idea is to grow some of your favorite food staples. Our food supply is under attack and there's nothing more empowering than taking control into our own hands.
4. VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLAR
We're way more powerful than corporate interests would have us think. Once you embody the notion that every time you spend money/contribute your energy you're taking a vote, you'll realize just how effective voting with your dollar can be. For example, just by choosing to buy organic, the general public contributed to the growth of organic food sales by 8.4 percent. Meaning there are more and more farms complying with organic standards of food production-all of this contributes to a healthier environment via the soil, the air and the food supply. It's also important to align your dollar with companies that do clean business locally and internationally. Companies that create awful conditions for humans, companies that constantly spill waste in the rivers and oceans or take advantage of the earth for pure profit with devastating mining tactics are the ones that we need to actively and innovatively limit our contributions to. Click here and here for a list of some the best companies in sustainability to support and Click here to learn which companies you can move away from.
5. BE A FORCE FOR CHANGE
We're getting past the tipping point in our planet's fight for survival, but hope is never lost. It may seem like there are many powers that be that are placing profits before humanity, but good people are standing up and fighting. If you want to contribute in a meaningful way, join forces with those taking positive action by becoming involved in environmental rights organizations. You'd be surprised how much you can add to the initiatives from the comfort of your own home. Some of our favorites orgs are:
- NO FARMS NO FOOD
- GREEN PEACE
- NEXT GEN CLIMATE
- NATURAL RESOURCE DEFENSE COUNCIL (NRDC)
- SAVE THE JUNGLE AND DONATE TO PLANT TREES IN PUERTO RICO
- For a list of more amazing orgs that champion the environment, click here.