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Observe Earth Day: What You Can Do + Resources

I am saddened that we, humans, are destroying our oceans, our eco systems, our life source, our earth’s energy.

Deforestation and the conversion of wild spaces for human food production + luxuries have largely been blamed for the destruction of Earth’s web of life. Forests & wildlife are being replaced with more humans & human luxuries and with trees being one of the largest producers of oxygen, humans & animals are in grave danger.

Human action is threatening millions of plant & animal species with global extinction. Millions. Pollution and human luxuries are replacing our wild lands, fresh soils, breathable air, and clean water.

Our quality of life eventually will be severely impacted and the lives of future generations are being threatened and effective action needs to be taken by all of us. It is crucial that we support the earth we live on and the earth will will be living living on for years to come.

I am also hopeful because I know there are beautiful companies and dazzling human beings who give a fuck and are willing to take action and inspire change. I celebrate and feel gratitude for each and every soul that offers their energy, their voice, and monies to help reverse some of the damage that has been created. Together, we can create change, below is a list of actions we can all take right now.

Take Action

PLANT A TREE – Trees fight climate change and clean the air you breathe + they can live for hundreds of years so when you plant one, you are offering a gift to future generations. Planting a tree is easy; you can ask your local plant nursery for recommendations if you aren’t sure what type of tree to plant. The nursery can guide you on how plant + care for your new tree. Another resource is this article: How To Choose & Plant A Tree

PLANT BEE FRIENDLY FLOWERS – The majority of the crops we grow + eat rely on pollinators such as bees & butterflies. The bee & butterfly population is rapidly declining worldwide which is quite scary because without pollinators, our ecosystem would fail and humans wouldn’t be able to exist! If you want to help correct this problem, you can start by adding any of these bee-friendly, easy-to-grow perennial flowers to your yard or garden: Coneflowers, Lavender, Chives (a favorite of mine!), Poppies (stunning!), Black-eyed Susans, Milkweed (attracts Monarch Butterflies), Sunflowers, Peonies. My favorite place to buy seeds is Baker Creek Heirloom but I suggest you use your local nurseries as well, they should stock flowers that are native to your area.

STOP USING PESTICIDES – The number one threat to pollinators is pesticides. Not only are they toxic to bees, butterflies, and other insects, but they’re also systemic which means these poisons make their way throughout the entire plant – including the pollen and nectar. How you treat and manage weeds is important as well, as many quick acting chemical herbicides contain very potent + harmful chemicals. Consider pulling your weeds the old fashioned way: by hand. The key to success with hand weeding is to do it regularly to avoid it getting out of hand and overwhelming and to start early in the year, like now!

JOIN A CSA – CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture: it’s a farm in which individuals purchase a “crop share” for the growing season, supporting local farmers & supplying their families with organic veggies grown within their own neighborhoods. During season, share members either visit the farm weekly and/or pick up their shares at a pre-determined location. To learn more about joining a CSA + resources: Why Join A CSA

CHANGE YOUR EATING HABITS – Animal-based food is responsible for around 30% of greenhouse gas emissions globally – meat production emits more atmospheric gases than all forms of global transportation – and if we don’t take action this number is expected to grow. Consuming less meat or ditching it altogether can help lessen your personal carbon footprint on the earth. If you do consume meat, purchase meat that is antibiotic + hormone-free to avoid unnecessary chemicals that damage your body and our earth. Only buy fish that is wild caught and from sustainable fisheries you can trust like Peeler’s Wild Alaska Seafood. Ramp up your consumption of organic, local-grown produce and eat foods that are in-season, try to avoid produce that has traveled far & wide to reach you. Support restaurants that support local farmers, don’t be afraid to ask questions about where your food is coming from or how it is prepared.

CONSERVE WATER – Americans use more water per person than almost anywhere else in the world – more than 3 times as much as Chinese and 15 times more than the Danish. Eek. Some simple ways to conserve water (that have a huge impact) are: turn off the sink while brushing your teeth, install a rain barrel for outdoor watering, water your lawn before 10am and after 6pm when then water is less likely to evaporate from the sun, use a slow flow shower head, take short showers, fix leaky faucets, never pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it – use it to water your indoor plants, only do laundry when the load is full. Water conservation has become essential in all regions, even where water seems abundant because our water resources are finite, and they are getting smaller every year.

Earth Day

DONATE YOUR MONEY OR TIME – There are no shortage of charities out who spend their time, money, & resources to make this world a better place but their time & resources are not finite and they need our help! Consider supporting charities such as Western Resource Advocates (I worked with this organization for 2 years and they are incredible folks advocating for the west), charity: water (100% of your donation funds clean water), Earthday, or The Nature Conservancy through cash donations, volunteering, fundraising, advocating for climate change, supporting a campaign, sponsoring a community, or asking your employer to get involved. On Earth Day 2020, I partnered with my company to raise $2000+ for The Nature Conservancy through a virtual Earth Day Yoga Flow. Click here to view the flyer for inspiration.

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE – Reduce the amount of waste you produce. Only buy what you need. Choose products with less packaging. Buy in bulk. Look for items you can re-use. Reuse items as much as you can before replacing them. Refill water bottles instead of buying new ones. Purchase vintage or second-hand clothing. Ditch plastic bags and choose reusable, eco-friendly bags instead. Recycle items wherever possible. Materials that can be recycled include glass, cardboard, aluminum, lead batteries.

DETOX YOUR HOME – Some household cleaners are among the most toxic products in your home. Not only do thousands of chemicals from cleaning products wash into streams and rivers, affecting our food chain, but they can also be the cause of many health problems such as respiratory irritation, headaches, cancer, and hormone disruption. Before I ditched harsh chemicals in my household via harsh cleaning products + artificial fragrances, I didn’t realize the sweet + gentle way that using clean, safe products would transform my life. I now make homemade disinfectant solutions, cleaners, sprays, smell goods, and even perfumes with ingredients such as baking soda + vinegar + witch hazel + essential oils, and you can too. To get you started: 8 Recipes For Cleaning With Lavender. For more resources, click here.

INVOLVE THE KIDDOS – Get your kids involved in learning about our planet, global challenges, considering solutions, & taking action. Wide Open School + Tinker Lab have plenty of resources + free activities: Earth Day Activities + 50 Earth Day Activities For Kids

CUT THE CORD, GET OUTSIDE – Reducing the use of electricity in your home can benefit the environment, conserve resources and save lives. When you consume less power, you reduce the amount of toxic fumes released by power plants, conserve the earth’s natural resources and protect ecosystems from destruction. If this isn’t reason enough to cut the cord, get outside, & keep your body moving, I don’t know what is.

READ INSTEAD OF STREAM – Browsing the internet and streaming services come with a small cost: the carbon emitted from our devices account for about 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions. For the sake of the planet, dust off that book you’ve been meaning to read, and get to work. Join me on Goodreads to find new + interesting books by browsing personalized recommendations based on books you’ve read and your favorite genres, see what your friends (me!) are reading, & keep track of what you’d like to read. Find my favorite Earth Day relevant reads here.

SPREAD THE WORD – Please share this blog post with your friends + family & involve them in efforts to care for our earth.

CONTRIBUTE RESOURCES – In the comments section of this blog post, add any additional information, blog posts, insightful instagram accounts, books, and resources that you are privy too.

When we honor the earth, we honor ourselves.

L.M. Wilde

sources: Humans Are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace, New York Times; 11 Ways Humans Impact The Environment, Interesting Engineering; Humans Are Causing Life On Earth To Vanish, Natural History Museum; Why You Should Avoid Chemical Weed Killers and What to Use Instead, Non-Toxic Munchkin; How Meat Contributes to Global Warming, Scientific America; Why your internet habits are not as clean as you think, BBC; How Does Saving Energy Help The Environment, Save On Energy

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