Does anyone else feel as if they’re living out a Stephen King script? Right now it feels like the beginning of The Stand but pretty soon, it could turn into Groundhog Day. I’m just hoping we don’t hit World War Z. I know, those last two aren’t his work.
Coronavirus or COVID-19 is changing everything. When we heard a bad virus was killing people in China a month or so back did we worry about it before it hit Seattle? For those of us not living in Seattle, did we even worry about it then? I mean, they have a wall of gum. Something like this was bound to happen…
Hearing bad news is like watching a disaster movie. Until we feel the impact, it just doesn’t seem real, but now that the virus is creeping into all our lives, we’re beginning to take notice. Universities are closing… I bet the campus bars are packed… companies are restricting their employees’ hours and stores are running out of basic supplies. Some people are already isolating themselves. It’s the right thing to do, but why hasn’t there been a similar response to the Climate Crisis?
I know, listening to scientists is as interesting as going to their classes but when UN Scientists warned us Climate Change would start impacting our lives back in 2007, we pretty much ignored them. Even after receiving the dire message they sent us last year, you know the one… that we’ll lose over one million species by 2030 if we don’t change our behavior… we’re still not doing much to save ourselves.
They’ve even used pictures of fuzzy, endangered Panda Bears to try to engage us… again, they’re scientists, not designers… and yet, we’re still seeing grocery stores using plastic bags, restaurants using Styrofoam for take-out and beauty supply stores packed with products bottled in heavy plastics that are no longer recyclable. Even a very smart 14 year old girl begging our world leaders to act doesn’t seem to be doing much.
Why not? It must be that people don’t see a direct connection between their health and the health of our planet. So let ME make this clear for you.
When our planet’s in crisis it puts our health in crisis too because everything we need to survive comes from nature. Our very well being relies on keeping Earth in a healthy balance. So why aren’t we reacting to the Climate Crisis the same way we are to COVID-19?
Sure, it can make tornadoes materialize in places they’ve never been before but those types of things only happen to “other” people.
Yet, the threat is real for all of us.
So I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out a way to get thru to people and then I came across Tim Dickinson’s article in Rolling Stone Magazine. If this story doesn’t wake you up, then maybe you’re already craving fresh brains.
In the very first paragraph, Dickinson quotes Tom Udall, a guy he calls a “New Mexico Democrat with a fondness for white cowboy hats and turquoise bolo ties” saying, “We are consuming a credit card’s worth of plastic each week.”
Did you get that? A full credit card’s worth of plastic is entering our bodies every week and yet, no one seems to think twice about buying absolutely everything bottled in it. But that’s not the only problem.
We keep relying on fossil fuels when renewable alternatives are cheaper… yup! We insist on driving big ass, gas guzzling cars when hybrids and electric vehicles are better than ever. We even ignore the cancer risk to ourselves and our families when we spray pesticides on our lawns and support industries that continue to use them.
I get it… Changing our ways is a pain. It takes a lot of energy and planning. It’s just easier to say we care while we continue to ignore the planet’s warning signs. The earth is pissed my friends and it’s doing everything it can to make us aware of that. Still, we refuse to act because until we get cancer or have our house blown over, we just can’t grasp the reality of it.
But now that we’re hearing about people living close to us getting sick and even dying on a daily basis, we’re thrown into action… and do you know why? Because we’re all directly impacted. Like it or not, this virus is making our life a little scary and it’s definitely becoming pretty inconvenient.
97% of the world’s most brilliant climate scientists believe Climate Change is real and the effects of it will negatively affect the health of not only our planet but everything on it… like us. That’s why we must address Climate Change as a humanitarian crisis, the same way we’re addressing the Coronavirus.
Although it feels like one big, long snow day, I’m not happy to be facing a pandemic. My daughter’s senior year of college is ending abruptly, and she may miss the experience of walking across a stage to get her college diploma. It’s just one of so many ceremonies that may be lost. No major sporting events, no face-to-face sales meetings, no Chai-Tea Lattes waiting at the airport gate, no community events. NO COMMUNITIES! If you’re feeling isolated now, just think about having to stay inside to avoid toxic air weeks at a time, the way people already do in China… well did in China before the Coronovirus hit. The silver lining to China shutting down has been the drastic decrease of toxic pollution coming from it.
Maybe it’s taken this virus to make us realize we can live without relying on the mass production of goods polluting our planet. Maybe sticking to keeping industry smaller and local is the lesson learned here. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll all start supporting the little guys doing things right and trying hard NOT to kill us.
Regardless, I think we need to take this Coronavirus as a warning. For those of us who survive it, and most of us will, we must look at how it’s impacting our lives and apply this experience to how Climate Change will eventually impact all of us if it hasn’t already. I’m obviously no scientist, but I believe these two things are related. I’m convinced we wouldn’t be facing a pandemic had we not destroyed our planet and unearthed a pathogen, but again, I have no scientific data to back this theory up… yet…
What is fact is someday, in the very near future, if we don’t make major changes to our behavior now, our lives will be changed forever. The resources we rely on will become unavailable and the basic things we take for granted will be harder to get. It won’t just be toilet paper people are fighting over, it will be much more important stuff like clean water, fresh food and shelter.
I for one, don’t want to live worrying about whether or not my children will be living their lives in a Mad Max kind of world.
So, take this virus as a learning experience. Actively THINK about what you’re buying every time you’re standing in line at the grocery store.
Did you bag those peppers in plastic or did you bring your mesh produce bags? Did you buy almond milk that puts our bees at risk or oat milk that doesn’t? Are you planning on eating red meat for dinner or will you give meatless meals a try?
These small changes, collectively, have big impacts and nothing will fix our planet if we do nothing to help it. We all must act, and we must act NOW so check out our list below* and start with these easy changes.
It’s time to look at Climate Change in the same way we’re looking at the Coronavirus. By ignoring the warnings, we’re only harming ourselves ’cause it’s not just a deadly virus we risk putting into our bodies.
Last time I checked credit cards weren’t recommended as an important part of our daily diet either.
– Germaine Caprio, MAJAMAS EARTH Company Owner & Designer
* 6 Ways to Help the Planet Now *
Make A Grocery Shopping List (Weekly & Monthly)
Include products you use regularly along with anything else you can anticipate. Only buy what you actually NEED and stick to it!
From food to clothing… find stores that stock locally-made products and bring your re-usable bags. Try not to order online, but if you must, order multiple items at once from the same supplier. This will make it worth the packaging, help save on shipping and cut back on the amount of fuel it takes to deliver your order.
Buy In Bulk & Seek Out Refillable Options
It may cost more up front, but buying in bulk actually saves time, gas, packaging and is more convenient. For food bulk items head to grocery stores that encourage bulk shopping and stock up in-store by bringing re-usable containers and filling them up with anything from produce to nuts and spices. For paper products, consider buying in bulk from eco companies like Who Gives A Crap? that offer sustainable toilet paper, tissues and paper towels that are never wrapped in plastic regardless of how much you get.
Cut down on ordering food from meal delivery services or picking something quick up for lunch. This helps to eliminate take-out packaging. Learn how to meal prep, freeze pre-made meals and prepare easy grab-and-go snacks so you don’t have to buy those flavorless frozen options or even worse – take a trip to the vending machine. For those special occasions that you eat-out or order-in, make sure you opt out of plastic utensils and containers and ask for or bring your own re-usable ones.
Audit your cabinets and closets to find out what’s hiding behind those doors. When you’re done with those cleaning supplies packaged in plastic, re-use the bottles and fill them with your own DIY mixtures.
Care What You Wear
Invest in eco-friendly companies like MAJAMAS EARTH. You’ll get 10 times the wear out of a well made garment and that more than pays for a fast-fashion piece you’re likely to wear only three times. Like ME, even eco-fashion brands have great sales so you won’t have to pay much more for a lot more quality. Check back to your favorite sites often or get on their mailing list so you never miss a deal.
For more conscious companies, visit our blog Eco Brands To Brag About.
Let ME know:
How are you practicing sustainability during this climate crisis?
Please share your own thoughts with us – let’s get a conversation started in the comments below!