Earth Day Challenge — N.3: Contribute
EARTH DAY HAS ARRIVED!
And what a sweet day it is. If you need a quick rundown of what we've been talking about in this post series leading up to earth day (or a bit about Earth Day itself) check out the first post in this series!
As I was sitting here wrestling with these posts, asking myself questions like “why is this even worth writing about?” and, “what do I hope to accomplish with them?” I just kept hearing the word Longevity.
What is the point? Longevity.
Why is it important? Longevity.
What’s the goal? Longevity.
We live in a world with a ‘here and now’ mentality. It’s all about what we want in the moment and we often give little thought to the future, or the impact we are having on it. When was the last time you stopped and asked what the world might look like for your children? or your children’s children? Or even for you in 50 years?
The negative impact we are having on our world can be overwhelming to think about, but I like to remind myself that it’s not the end all be all. Big process in made with little steps. And with each little step, we have the ability to take action and make change, for the good, which is what Earth Day is all about.
So, for part three of this post let’s take a peek at our last Good Life Bucket: Contribution.
Jonathan defines your contribution bucket as being about “contributing to the world… in a way that is meaningful, in a way that matters and allows you to feel like you matter.” So, how are you contributing? And how can you contribute in light of Earth Day? How can you take one step in the direction of change?
One thing I like to remember when it comes to implementing/choosing change to choose action that is, well, actionable. If you know you won’t follow through, than it’s probably not a small enough step for you. And small is ok! PLEASE KNOW THAT SMALL IS OK! It’s helpful to remember that a minute change in trajectory now will always create big change in the long run. And, the good news is it’s easy! It might take a bit of intentionality to move into a new habit, or create a bit of change in your every day, but it’s worth it if it alters the flow of your future and the future of this planet.
In light of Earth Day and our challenge to fill our buckets with things that help drive the message of Earth Day; connection, sustainability, awareness...
here are a few small steps you can take to help get you in the spirit of Earth Day, Every day!
Pick Up Trash
Our buddies over at Keep It Wild Co, which we mentioned in our last post, are hosting wilderness cleanups all over the place and if there isn’t one in your area, they can help you host your own! But it doesn’t have to be a big deal every time. Have you ever paid attention to how much trash you walk by every day? What if instead of cringing as you walked past, you grabbed that water bottle, or that chip bag and threw it away! That’s one small step in a VERY beautiful direction.
Use Reusable Bags
I want to write a whole post on this bad boy, but for now, I’ll start here. Honestly, it was sort of a sweet little wake-up call when I started my research on reusable grocery bags. I'm a big fan of reusable bags, but I also, almost always, forget them at home and opt for paper at the store. It's a feel-good thing, thinking I'm doing the earth a service by choosing a biodegradable, renewable resource. Which would be fine and dandy, if that were the long and short of it.
Turns out that the production of paper bags is actually more harmful than the production of plastic bags. It requires more energy, more water and creates more air pollutants to make paper bags than to create plastic ones. You would have to use your reusable bag somewhere around 200 times to offset the negate the environmental impact of using a plastic bag. Which seem like a lot— which IS a lot— but, judging by The Great Pacific Garbage Patch alone I think it’s fair to say that we owe it to ourselves, and our planet, to be a little more intentional with our existence.
Don’t hear me wrong, this isn’t me advocating for plastic bags, they suck. and they’re an aesthetic nightmare. What I am saying though is that if we take a second to get educated, and to follow through (and not just do what’s easy), we could make a serious impact for the good. Buy your reusable bags, and USE them!
Buying Tupperware? Try Glass. Need a water bottle for your hike? Try buying a reusable one instead of grabbing a plastic one at the store. Little swaps like this make a big difference.
Eat Less Meat
Okay, okay, calm down. I’m not suggesting you become a vegan (or am I?) but! according to a study led by Gidon Eshel of Bard College meat consumption has a bigger impact on our carbon footprint than cars. If you’re a raging carnivore, that’s a pretty big deal. One that might be worth considering how you can make a small change in your consumption on behalf of the planet.
Practice Conservation (And Mindfulness)
For a long time I thought this was common knowledge, but I guess my mother was just a stickler for energy conservation (also known as not wanting to pay a million dollars because I left all the lights on.) I learned real young to turns lights off when I left a room or to turn the water off as I was brushing my teeth. You can also help conserve energy by unplugging devices when they are not in use! They’re baby steps, but they’re steps nonetheless!
and, as always, stay wild xx