Instead of coming together for a group tree hug, this year we celebrated Earth Day virtually. I know it wasn’t the same. There’s nothing like gathering together to show the world we stand for something, but desperate times… The good news is staying apart from each other has helped the planet and it’s probably the only positive we can take after being hit by a deadly virus.
So, let’s not blow this. With quarantines expected to be lifted soon, the silver lining to this health crisis will be black before we know it.
Businesses need to restart but just as we need a plan to protect people, we need a plan to protect the planet too.
Instead of walking away from your laptop precariously placed on the edge of your coffee table, take this time to learn how we can get back to work without botching up the only good that’s come from a worldwide health crisis.
Here’s what we have to do:
Stop traveling so much
Over the last month, humans haven’t been clogging up expressways or flying off to meetings in other cities and this has drastically cut down our CO2 Emissions.
According to Kimberly Nicholas, a researcher at the Lund University Center for Sustainability Studies in Sweden: “Any time you can avoid getting on a plane, (or) getting in a car… that’s a substantial climate savings.”
The thing is, these positive results from staying quarantined won’t last.
History shows us once a financial crisis ends, big corporations crank up the fossil fuels and we make up for lost time. With oil tanking… sorry… the pull to use our cars or buy a cheap plane ticket will be greater than ever.
We must stay vigilant and virtual when it comes to work.
Face to face meetings are so last year, so do your best to convince your company to continue this practice. Now that we’ve realized working remote is possible, get your company to let you do it twice a week or all the time. Just use your time wisely. Now that you know you can do a full body workout in the same amount of time it took you to get to work you’ll be looking a lot better if and when you return too.
Stop buying & using all-things-plastic
Plastics come from oil and with the recent drop in the cost of crude, new plastic will be cheaper than ever.
Don’t be fooled by pretty bottles and fancy logos. Even containers made using recycled plastic use virgin oil elements when being made and regardless of whether it’s virgin or recycled, plastic is plastic. Once it’s made, it’s basically here forever.
Stop buying anything in it and go for glass, aluminum or cardboard containers that are truly recyclable and less likely to end up floating in our oceans. There are great alternatives, so start with your kitchen. Ditch the plastic wraps and go for beeswax, use reusable sandwich bags and stock up on a supply of mason jars. They’re great for storing everything from soup to celery and they make your kitchen look as if Joanna Gaines gave it a Fixer Upper re-do.
Stop buying too much & throwing food away
If you’re not lucky enough to have a community compost program, start one of your own.
Rotting food is a big contributor to methane and green-house gases. When we waste it we waste all the resources that go into supplying it. “Each year, as a country we spend over $220 billion growing, transporting, and processing almost 70 million tons of food that ends up going to waste.”
Stop purchasing too much food and only buy what you can eat. Throwing out those red raspberries that looked so good in the store is a true crime. Think before you purchase food and eat what you buy. Even if your eyes are bigger than your stomach, box your leftovers and eat them for lunch the next day. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with occasionally eating cold pizza for breakfast. Just ask your college student currently living with you.
When it comes to the food you’re buying, try sticking to a vegetarian or vegan diet. More than 100 climate experts agree that “…it would indeed be beneficial, for both climate and human health, if people in many rich countries consumed less meat, and if politics would create appropriate incentives to that effect.”
From pursuing a healthier lifestyle to preserving the planet, there are many reasons to step away from the grill. Not willing to dump it all together? Then wean yourself off and try to eat it once a month. Instead of watching another cat video, check out Tasty for innovative ideas and get cooking healthier.
Stop listening to the Naysayers
Anyone who thinks Climate Change is a hoax is either heavily invested in fossil fuels or a complete Moron.
Ignore politicians promoting business over climate and vote for the ones who are willing to protect the planet. Politicians who stand by fossil fuels only have their own interests in mind. Those supporting renewable energy and a halt to offshore drilling and coal mining have our backs. Vote them in and hold them accountable.
Stop listening to the Media that ignores the Climate
Right now, we can’t avoid hearing about Covid-19. Every five minutes there’s an expensive advertisement from a major corporation telling us how much they care. They throw out catch phrases like “We’re all in this together”, “Uncertain Times” and “We can all stay connected”. They claim to care about us and maybe some of them do but the messaging is all the same and their concerns are beginning to sound insincere. This YouTube video shows what I mean.
I get it. This is a strange time and these companies want to stay in front of us but think of the impact they would have if they used their creative genius to promote saving the planet. Media is powerful and until we see an increase in coverage of our climate, we humans won’t change our ways.
It’s time to make saving the planet look sexy and smart like wearing a face mask out in public or crossing the street when someone’s walking towards you.
Force news agencies to cover the Climate Crisis by writing your local stations, papers and journalists. The Earth and all of us on it are in imminent danger and unless it’s on the news, no one will notice. It sounds like a frame from a comic book, but it’s true and sadly there’s no Superman out there to save us.
Stop saying you’ll do something & just do it
Give to the organizations that are saving us. Sierra Rise, Earthjustice, Ocean Conservancy, Greenpeace, The Wilderness Society, National Wildlife Federation and African Wildlife Federation are great ones to start with. These guys take on the big polluters and hold politicians and law makers accountable.
We have the power to do great things.
In the last month we’ve seen restaurants converting to grocery stores and donating food; neighborhoods applauding health care workers as they head home and even celebrities Zooming from their homes to keep us positive and lift our spirits.
This is our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to exit from this pandemic responsibly. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… we cannot go back to business as usual.
Listen, life is change and without it, we would be stuck in the days of rotary phones and no electric light. Every major crisis should make us better, smarter and wiser. It’s important to move forward by literally consuming less and slowing down. We’ve been given a great opportunity. Let’s not be selfish and blow it.
– Germaine Caprio, MAJAMAS EARTH Company Owner & Designer
Let ME know:
How will you keep Earth Day efforts going through COVID-19 (and after)?
Please share your own thoughts with us – let’s get a conversation started in the comments below!