I’m writing this post leading up to Earth Day, so it seemed appropriate that I would write about that, however I have this little piece inside me that keeps echoing “but you never do anything on Earth Day to celebrate”
Then I started thinking “well maybe I’ll plant some trees or go clean up our beach”. But then my practical side kicked in and reminded me that I have to work (like most people do on a Wednesday afternoon) and it’s a busy week because we’re going out of town for Peter’s sisters reception (YAY!), so that won’t work.
And then I thought about everyone else in the world, who sees all of the Earth Day events going on and feels guilty about their lack of participation, or like me, wishes there was more time in the day!
If you look on Instagram you’ll see so many beautiful art projects and store events going on, but they just don’t make sense for Peter and I to attend. Maybe if we had little kids or were looking for something to do?
What seems more practical though, is doing little things all year to help improve the earth we live on.
So that’s how I ended up here:) Below I want to share some things you should TAKE OFF your To Do list, not things you have to add to it.
By doing less you get more, and that my friend, is something to be celebrated!
The # 1 thing we can do less of… Consume!
I think if we were more mindful of the things we consume (as well as our actions), we could greatly improve our environment.
Here are 4 things you can “consume” less of….
One of the biggest things you can do for the environment is eat less meat… (wait, are people still doing that? I kid:) But seriously, don’t take it from me, the plant-pusher, a new statement from the U.S Department of Agriculture said this:
“Meat has long been known to be a carbon-intensive food. Last year, a study found that individuals who cut back on or eliminate meat have significantly lower carbon footprints than those who don’t. Meat-eaters, according to the study, contribute 50 to 54 percent more food-related greenhouse gases than vegetarians and 99 to 102 percent more than vegans.”
So there you have it, cutting out or cutting back on your meat consumption is the green thing to do. And for all you plant lovers out there, I’m sure you could cut down on the amount of food or the amount of processed foods you are taking in. I know I can.
I’m guilty of this! I love a new dress or pair of shorts, but one thing I’ve realized (and maybe you have as well) is that nothing material is ever going to be enough; it’s not meant to be fulfilling. Certain stores create very affordable, but poorly made (usually in other countries) clothing, that only lasts a few wears and ends up in the trash (throw away fashion) causing consumers to buy more and more!
The manufacturing of clothing is hard on the environment. I think of pesticides from cotton, harsh dyes, and greenhouse gases from transporting the clothing. Here are two videos that changed the way I thought about purchasing clothing: The Versalette & The Ten Item Wardrobe.
This applies to more than just clothing. Look around your house. I’m sure it contains more than you really need; shopping less means less pollution and waste for our environment. Don’t take it to the extreme, but when you do buy, do it wisely, do it sustainably.
Again, going along with the theme, I’m talking about smaller houses. I’m sure you’ve seen tiny houses? They are very popular right now! I know they might not be for everyone, but I have to say they are way more environmentally friendly, use less land and less energy as well. Building them is also WAY less wasteful. And hey, this girl totally rocks hers! They also don’t require very much electricity and have a very small carbon foot print.
Less driving is better for the environment and better for your health. Peter and I would rather never drive again (amen!), and I’m sure most people would agree. It’s bad for the air quality, the ozone layer, the animals and it creates bunch of nasty toxins!
I suggest living close to where you work or telecommuting a few days out of the week. Carpooling, walking, riding your bike, public transportation, etc. Batching trips and events, using car share programs or simply sharing a car. I bet it would also make for a more friendly environment ;).
So what do you think? Can you find time in your daily routine to do less? Less time ‘consuming’ means more time to enjoy this lovely planet.
*Quick note, I do think Earth Day is a much needed event, it started in the 1970’s to bring awareness to the environmental issues that needed attention at the time. Today it calls so much awareness to important matters and brings people together to do good. The Earth Day network stated that more than a billion people participate in their campaigns every year!!
2 things we implemented last year:
We stopped buying paper towels & we stopped buying disposal paper plates and cups for picnics and other outdoor events.
2 things we will implement this year:
We are going to try and downsize to a smaller place and also make an effort to bring more composting options to our community in North San Diego County.
Happy Earth Day Friends, I hope you have a wonderful day.