Today is Earth Day, and its intent has never been so necessary.
The Health and Stability of Earth Isn’t a Given
It’s convenient to imagine that it is; that Earth is functioning well and doing her Earthly thing as a matter of course.
It’s inconvenient to consider that it isn’t; that measures and practices within our control are contributing to her ill health and instability.
And yet, if we don’t acknowledge Earth’s fragility as a living and breathing organism, much like a human, then we continue to move ever closer to her sooner-than-necessary demise.
In many ways, it’s like choosing to go all-in with the Standard American Diet (one of the worst in the world, by the way), knowing it can shorten our lifespan by a good 10 years or so.
Why choose that over a thoughtful diet consisting mostly of whole foods, which can extend our lifespan by a good 15 years or so?
Hold on, now. Don’t shrink back or get anxious. This may feel like a lot. I get it.
Before you get overwhelmed, consider these five super-simple things you can do.
It’s a monumental task to consider, never mind undertake. And we are, each of us, only one person. What good can one person do in the face of such a task as healing and caring for Earth?
One Person Can Do a Lot (More Than You Might Think)
Here are five ideas that come to mind:
1. Honor Meatless Monday. Once a week – just once! – don’t eat meat.
This one thing alone can have a dramatic impact when you consider that it takes approximately 1,850 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, and approximately 39 gallons of water to produce one pound of vegetables. (Learn more about the impact here.)
Whether or not your town/city offers a recycling program, make it your mission to recycle like it can help save the planet you live on. (Hint: It can.) Also, there’s a feel-good quality to recycling. Who doesn’t want to feel good?
3. Install a rain barrel.
If you have a yard, and that yard – whether or not you have a garden on it – needs watering, a rain barrel is a fantastic way to get the job done, save water, and keep your water bill (if applicable) down.
There’s no need to get all fancy. You can create one using an inexpensive plastic garbage barrel from your local hardware store.
4. Plant a tree.
It may sound Earth-Day cliché, and yet planting a tree is a gift to Earth that keeps on giving to Earth – and to you, too. Here are the Top 22 Benefits of Trees to nudge you along.
5. Plant a garden.
Whether it’s traditional, or raised-bed, or vertical, a garden supports localized food, which supports Earth’s sustainability. It also provides you with a super-cheap way of adding fresh produce to your diet and fresh herbs to your meals.
Check out my See How My Garden Grows board on Pinterest for inspiration. You might just be amazed.
See? Five ideas that can help you and Earth, simultaneously. It tends to work that way. (And by the way, the number five resonates with change – positive change.)
Other Links with Earth Day-Friendly Ideas to Consider and Implement
How to save water on this drought-ridden Earth Day ~ Lindsay Deutsch and Veronica Bravo for USA Today
8 Ways to Make Your Next Grocery Trip Green ~ MindBodyGreen
10 Things You Can Do to Help Save the Earth ~ Katie Lambert for How Stuff Works
20 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with Family. ~ by Katie Schellenberg for elephant journal
22 Easy Ways to Save the Earth ~ Richard Banks for Southern Living
25 Easy Ways to Help Save the Planet ~ Victoria Scanlan Stefanakos for Real Simple
Earth is our home, and yet too often she’s treated as though she’s a paper napkin, or a Kleenex. We get the use out of her we can, and then toss her away for trash.
There’s only so much of that type of behavior she can take, and I think it’s fair to say, based on the obvious (and less obvious) changes happening to her basic infrastructure, that she’s reached her breaking point.
We can help to turn her away from the path of destruction she’s currently on. Each of us has the ability.
I hope you’ll help – today, on Earth Day, and every day.