It's Earth Day 2019. And while the situation with our beautiful planet may be dire, and may feel overwhelming, we must be strong for her. We must strategize both singularly and collectively on her behalf, today and every day. Because without our support, things will only get worse for her, and for us, too.
This "big blue marble in space"* is much like the human body. Her ecosystems, heating and cooling systems, etc., are self-healing when treated correctly. We haven't treated her correctly. Instead, we've compromised the systems that would otherwise allow her to flourish naturally and sustainably. That's why it's on us - all of us - to make reparations.
Strategies for Earth on Earth Day 2019
What we do singularly is amplified when it's also done collectively. Take recycling, for example. One person recycling makes a difference. A lot of people recycling makes a bigger difference. The important thing to remember is, even as one person our strategies for Earth make a difference.
So... Strategies for Earth on this Earth Day 2019 look a lot like they have in previous years (here, for example), with a couple additions to consider.
Reduce our reliance on single-use plastics
Here, we're speaking of straws, fast-food drink cups, disposable flatware (forks, knives, spoons, sporks), milk and soda and water bottles, produce bags, etc. Plastic Free Challenge speaks to both the problem and the solution. Also, The New York Times published a recent article on How to Break Your Single-Use Plastics Habit.
The thing is, even though they're "easy" and "convenient", single-use plastics are killing our planet. They're the reason why groups like 4Ocean exist, bless them. By thinking, "It's just one straw," we forget that such a statement must be multiplied millions of times over. It isn't just one straw. It's millions of them, every day. It has to stop. We have to stop.
The Earth-Friendly section on my Favorite Things page offers alternative choices to everyday single-use plastics.
Reduce our carbon footprint
Google defines carbon footprint as "the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc." And here's their definition of fossil fuels: "a natural fuel such as coal or gas, formed in the geological past from the remains of living organisms."
So basically, reducing our carbon footprint means reducing our reliance on coal, gas, heating oil, etc.
It's surprisingly easy to make reductions. We could start by purchasing local foods such as what we find at a farmers' market. (Even grocery store chains are making more effort to stock local produce in season.) Why is this helpful? Because local foods aren't transported by freight train, 18-wheeler or airplane for hundreds or thousands of miles.
Another easy option: Taking public transportation or using/creating rideshares/carpools. Even if public transportation isn't readily available in our area, rideshares probably are. And who's to say we can't create our own carpools to and from work, the grocery store, etc.? Why is this helpful? Because it immediately reduces our personal gas consumption. Bonus: It can save us money, plus vehicle wear and tear.
We can make a difference
Each of us, in our own way, can make a difference for Earth by choosing better options. And when each of us chooses better options, we join a far larger collective doing the same. It starts with one and grows to many in a classic ripple effect.
What strategies will you employ on Earth's behalf starting on this Earth Day 2019?
*I loved Big Blue Marble as a kid, and still remember a portion of its theme song - especially the part I quoted above.