Happy Earth Month!
Guys this post is late. Like two weeks too late. But my days are all mixed up over here, as I am sure many of yours are too. One of my new mantras is “better late than never” because does anyone really know what day it is? While many things feel ass over teakettle (I have no idea what that means but just heard and now love the saying lol), we should take the time during Earth Month to focus on some positive changes the world is seeing, and some ways we can continue to curb our negative effects on the planet.
From the mess of the world that is COVID-19 has emerged a narrative of beautiful stories of how our planet is responding to its lack of human interaction these days…cleaner air, clearer water, more green space. It’s wonderful that we are allowing Mother Earth to breathe rather than fight the constant stress of us, although sad that it took a pandemic to do so.
Air pollution has been drastically reduced in major smog-producing countries like China and Japan; Los Angeles, CA has reported the lowest levels of air pollution since 1995. Water is running clear through the canals of Venice, Italy, and dolphins are returning to Italian ports, many believe from the lack of water traffic and cruise ships docking. However, the silver lining of a cleaner, greener earth amid this terrible time is a bit tarnished, as our health and safety precautions are also having some detrimental effects on the waste we produce.
We are washing everything more – our hands, our clothes, our food, our parcels – as we should, but as a result, we are most certainly using and wasting more water. Gloves, masks, and hand sanitizers create more waste (and unfortunately more litter), as we are using more of these products. Buying non-perishables means we are buying and wasting or recycling more packaging. Online ordering means bubble wrap and boxes for days.
And while we can’t nor should we stop taking the necessary precautions to protect ourselves from the virus, there are areas we can improve on to try and counterbalance our increased waste in other areas:
- DIY instead of buy – Now’s the time to get creative at home about what you can make to reduce your packaging vs buying. Think anything from coffee to bread, moisturizer to cleaning products. If you can make it, make it.
- When washing more, take shorter showers – we are using way more water than we have before because we are washing our hands and our clothes and everything else more often. To counterbalance that, take shorter showers and limit baths. Wash up quick and get out.
- Take advantage of local options – whenever you can, try to choose local if you have access to curbside pick-up or delivery. Think farms, butchers, greenhouses etc that can help you reduce your carbon footprint by buying products that travel the bare minimum to get to you.
- Reduce your screen time and read a real book – screen time is super addicting right now, and binge-watching shows and binge-scrolling everything is so easy to do. But not only can this have a serious impact on your mental health, you are using and wasting extra power. Try taking the time to read an actual book made out of paper. It’s great for the brain and can reduce your wasted electricity.
- Get your garden on – whether inside or out, growing your food is a great option to help reduce waste and help the earth and the air. Grow herbs inside, or get a full on vegetable garden going in your yard if possible. This could save you money and trips to the store, which about now is a win-win for everyone.
- Keep online ordering to a minimum – while it is tempting to order things online like crafts, projects, puzzles, etc. try to keep this to a minimum and use what you’ve got. Online ordering just increases the amount of packaging you are going through, and almost everything these days is packaged to excess. Try to go through what you have, repurpose when possible, and just say no to impulse buying.
- Eat better to save toilet paper – Yep I said that. Your diet has a big effect on your poop. The better your nutrition, the cleaner your poops should be, requiring less toilet paper. Figure out what foods mess with your poops and avoid if you can. (Shameless plug, but I can help you with this, and am booking virtual appointments right now)
- Do things by candlelight – seriously who doesn’t love a little mood lighting? Reading by candlelight can feel so fancy, yoga and meditation by candlelight can shift and ground your focus, and who doesn’t love a good candlelight cuddle. Even showering with candlelight can feel so cool. And if you use beeswax candles, you are cleansing the air around you, so bonus. Ghost stories for the kiddos by candlelight anyone?
What are other ways you can show some love to our planet? We are all learning how precious life is right now, and the life of our earth is no different or less important. And we are all seeing how our actions can have a positive impact on our air, earth, and wildlife. If we shift our focus from what we cannot avoid during this pandemic, to other ways we can improve our footprint, we can learn to adapt and grow for not only the moment, but also for the future.