Earth Day, Earth Week, Live That Earthy Crunchy Life
This Saturday is Earth Day. While it's important to celebrate the planet on this day, it's also equally important to remember how we can live an earthy crunchy life every day, not just on April 22nd.
There are a lot of little things we can all do in our everyday lives that with conscious effort, day by day can make a bigger difference. I do believe that the most effective change will have to come from policy - national and international - but until those pieces come together, we are not hopeless. There is much we can do on our own and in our own communities together.
1 - Recycle. Recycle at home, and make a point to recycle when you are out and about. Most restaurants and coffee shops have these options now, making it easier and easier to dispose responsibly.
2 - Eat less meat. Production of meat consumes lots of water and resources. It's a drain on the environment, and eating less of it conserves more than just cute fluffy animals.
3 - Shop at your local farmers market. Local produce travels less miles, helps local farmers and preserves the physical health of the land by promoting biodiversity and avoiding the mass effects of factory farming.
4 - Bike more, drive less. Public transportation and walking are some of my other favorite options. I'm slowly trying to break up with my car little by little by biking, walking and getting to know the local bus lines. I really enjoy traveling this way too, as I get to see more of my neighborhood up close and personal.
5 - Unplug unnecessary electronics and don't invest in unnecessary electronics. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I really hate unnecessary electronics like candle burners, for example. I am often asked if I make wax melts, and though I've toyed with the idea, I've decided against it because I really don't support the use of unnecessary electronics.
6 - Shop consciously. One of my favorite podcasts, Just Pop Fashion, talks a lot about this. It is impossible to keep an eye on the entire production chain, to have a thorough understanding of all the complex dimensions and ripple effects of our materials economy. The industry is too big and the world is too interconnected to track it all. What we can do though, is slow down and look closely at how things are made, what they are made with and who is making them to ensure our dollars are going to companies with policies and missions we can stand by. Here, we try to be very transparent about our process and policies. Read about it here.
There are many many other things you can do to help the environment - buying organic produce, supporting sustainable design, buying vintage or handmade, but the most important thing you can do is to live more consciously. Don't default into buying plastic water bottles everywhere you go - pack a reusable bottle in your bag. Throw in a spare reusable grocery bag while you're at it. Really look at the decisions you make every day - to drive to work, to leave a light on or to buy a cup of coffee instead of making it at home. Every day we make a million tiny decisions by default that could be made differently with more conscious effort to curtail our impact; to minimize our effects; to live with the Earth instead of against it.
So this weekend whether you're marching for science, cleaning up your local watershed or enjoying a nice bike ride, remember your effort, and make a commitment to keep it up even after Earth Day is over.