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Posts Tagged ‘biodegradable’

 

Wherever you are on our shared rock, I hope you are safe and healthy!

The challenging times we find ourselves in impact all of us–some of us much more than others. Some of us are without a partner, some of us wish we could be. Some of us are homeschooling children, some of us are teaching children remotely. Many people have lost their jobs, and many more have had to scale back their hours and subsequent pay. All of us are living with some degree of fear and uncertainty. Some of us are lucky to live close to nature so we have an escape from the fear and worry that naturally accompanies times like these, while others are isolated in tiny spaces in densely populated cities.

Our current challenges make us all vulnerable, and can drive people apart–making some desperate to hold on to whatever they have or can get their hands on (e.g., toilet paper). However, I’m personally encouraged by the positive, caring unifying sentiments many have shared or demonstrated. I’ve also been uplifted by all the humor people have shared–cuz’ we can all use a little laughter during times like this.

This time also gives pause not only to think about what’s happening, but why, and theories abound linking COVID-19 to overpopulation, a lack of respect for or understanding of nature, even climate change. Some of those connections are more tenuous, but let’s be honest–we have ravaged and abused our beautiful planet home in many ways, and maybe this is her way of crying out or fighting back. Which is why now, on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, is as good a time as any to think about how we can reduce our impact on her.

I’ve had people tell me that unless there’s a sector-wide change (e.g., automative, airline, or agricultural industry), or something overarching, like a carbon tax, that it doesn’t really matter what any one of us does or doesn’t do. I couldn’t disagree more. Think about it… Maybe you choose to do just one thing differently. You’re just one person, but then you share what you’re doing with a couple family members or friends, and your comment influences one or two of them to make a change as well. Then they go on to do the same, and the ripple grows wider. What’s more, when we make a healthy change in one area of our lives, it tends to influence other areas as well (i.e., you’re hard-pressed to find someone on a Whole30 diet who exercises regularly and smokes a pack of cigarettes a day).

The decision to make a positive change leads to exponential growth and has exponential benefits.

I’m sure you’ve seen dozens of lists of what you can do to live a little greener, but if you’re like me, every time I read one, I think of something new or I’m reminded of an area I could do better in. Here’s a handful of old, but still impactful ideas:

  1. Consume less – We live in a society of consumerism, which has proven bad for the planet on almost every level. Maybe COVID-19 has helped remind some of us about what matter most–our health, the health of our loved ones, time spent with our loved ones, etc. Making a conscious decision to buy fewer things and/or buy second hand, helps our planet and our pocketbooks. I’m not sure if this is true of where you live, but where I live, second hand shops are popping up everywhere and are “trendy,” and online stores, such as ThredUp, Poshmark, and Tradesy make clothes shopping guilt-free (or at least less guilty).
  2. Buy local – I confess I love the convenience of Amazon Prime, but when I think about all those separate truck deliveries to my house, I cringe–quite literally. Not all, but much of what I buy on Amazon can be bought at a local store in my immediate area, whether it’s a lawn tool or vegetable. Buying local produce is always better for you and the planet. Given the two little bears I have living with me, I used to buy fresh berries all year round, regardless of where they were grown. However, a few years ago, I stayed my hand as it hovered above the blueberries grown in Peru being offered to me two miles from my home. I couldn’t stomach the carbon footprint attached to those berries, and let’s face it, how fresh could they be after traveling that distance?
  3. Use earth-friendly cleaning products – I made this change over a decade ago and admit the effectiveness of some natural, biodegradable products wasn’t great 10+ years ago. However, there are many more choices available today, and most are equally effective as their chemical-laden, toxic counterparts. The one area where natural products lags is in the clothes washing realm. I have found Method laundry projects the most effective out of the natural options, but even if you don’t give up your Tide or Shout, but you switch out everything else, you’ve still done a lot to be kinder to Mother Earth.
  4. Buy organic and sustainable – whether it’s organic produce, organically grown pastured meat or sustainably-made clothing. Growing cotton uses a lot of water, which isn’t great, but if you buy organic cotton clothing or bedding, at least you have helped reduce the amount of toxic pesticides that leach into our soil and groundwater. The same goes with organic produce. And the more of us that buy organic, the more stores will buy from organic farmers, the more farmers will switch to growing organically, and so on and so on.
  5. Leave your car at home – Walking and biking offer so many health benefits–both physical and psychological, and they obviously reduce your impact on the environment. You probably don’t plan to bike to visit a loved one who lives 30 miles away, but biking or walking to get takeout or to dine at your favorite restaurant (post pandemic), and walking or biking to your local movie theater, ice-cream shop or wine bar benefits your health, the health of your community and the health of our planet.

Please join me in honoring our shared rock, our shared home, by committing to make one positive change today. Every one of us can make a difference, and every bit helps.

Be well!

 

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