We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it for our children. - A Native American proverb.
As the climate crisis becomes ever more serious, each Earth Day that comes along takes on extra significance. Started as a grass roots movement and established on April 22nd, 1970 in the US, this annual event brings together millions of people from around the world in support of the environment, highlighting the urgent action we need to take to save our planet.
While Earth Day 2022 celebrations may look different this year with the pandemic still looming, it’s crucial that we don’t overlook the event’s true meaning. A report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in August 2021 describes a “code red for humanity”, with scientists warning that temperatures are set to rise beyond 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels this century (a scenario that would have catastrophic effects worldwide). I know that the magnitude of the problem feels overwhelming and calamitous but we simply cannot shrug in helplessness and look away.
I trust that if you’re reading this blog post and subscribe to most of our ideals, you already care deeply about our planet and are doing the basics and practicing the 7 R’s of sustainability, making your daily life a little bit greener.
The seven R’s are to:
- Refuse to purchase single-use/disposable items or purchase products that are over-packaged.
- Reuse what you can instead of purchasing something new.
- Repurpose items to give them new life.
- Rot food scraps and yard waste to create compost instead of trash.
- Repair broken items instead of replacing them.
- Return items to companies with take-back or buy-back programs rather than disposing.
- Refill reusable bottles and cups rather than drinking from disposable bottles.
And maybe you’re even planting trees and pollinators in your yard, growing vegetables and minimizing your meat consumption. You’ve even moved to shampoo bars, bar soap and ditched your liquid dish soap. The list is long and I know you care, so it’s time to take another mighty step. No I won’t use that dreaded word activism, but if you want to truly save the planet it’s going to require a level of discipline and a determined, organized effort on all our parts.
- First, read the darn report, or parts of it anyway. If you don’t want to read it, ask yourself why!
- The global agreement signed at Cop26 in November 2021, was a huge disappointment, showing the magnitude of the challenge we face. Which in turn makes the importance of reaching out to your Government representatives even more urgent. Find a local group committed to environmental health and get involved in whatever small way that you can.
- It might also be time to start giving your dollars to environmental groups that have the most impact.
- Support political candidates that make the environment a priority. What’s the point in worrying about taxes if the entire planet implodes.
- Support local and other businesses that subscribe to the importance of sustainability and climate change
- Time to talk to friends and family who are on the fence or even skeptics. Stick to the facts and try hard to leave the emotions behind. That’s a hard one for me, but here’s a fabulous resource with all kinds of great information. Created by Mothers who are scientists and care about leaving a healthy planet to their children The Science Moms They even have a downloadable guide with tips on how to talk to folks about climate change.
I’ll pause here for the time being as the To Do list is long. Will save my other thoughts for later posts. If you have other ideas, you know I'd love to hear from you anytime.
I’d love for you to pick a couple of ideas and really commit to them all year long. Sharing your commitment with a friend or two will make it fun and will provide an element of accountability too.
And lastly, I’d like to urge you to treat every day as though it’s Earth Day.