Earth Day or Everyday?
HAPPY EARTH DAY! I don’t know about you, but every year on this day I find myself wondering why it is necessary to have a scheduled day to appreciate our beautiful Mother Earth? Should we not worship her every single day we live and breathe on her grounds?
As human beings we have a responsibility to care for and nurture the planet that we live on - human kind would not exist as we know it today without the planet that we all call home. That is another thing that makes my heart sad... we call Earth our “home” yet we treat it like a landfill. Would you stomp around your home throwing trash on the ground as often as you consume it? Would you abuse the place that protects you and your loved ones and allows you to live as you do? HECK NO! So how can we treat the natural world that way?
I want to share some things that I do around my home and in my daily life to try and do my share to protect our planet. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT perfect and there is always more that can be done to live a more sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle, but like I mentioned in my previous post, Let’s Talk Pits!, it is all about taking that first step. Allons-y!
I know some of you are scoffing at this thinking how much of a difference can it really make? The answer: ALOT. Any electronic that you have to plug in consumes electricity whether or not it is turned on or off. Simply unplugging things such as toaster ovens, TVs, lamps, chargers, etc. when you are not using them can help you reduce the amount of electricity that you consume (and if you need more incentive than saving the planet, it will also help keep your hydro bill low and save you some extra dough from month-to-month!)
TURN OFF THE LIGHTS & OPEN A WINDOW
This will have the same impact as my previous point of “unplugging,” PLUS opening a window for some natural light and fresh air is not only healthy for you physical health but also your mental health! We get so cooped-up in our homes and offices and often don’t spend enough time outdoors enjoying all that our lush planet has to offer. You want to stay inside and play video games rather than ride a bike? THAT IS OKAY! BUT OPEN A WINDOW AND TAKE SOME DEEP BREATHS. The natural lighting and fresh air from the world outside does wonders for setting the mind at ease and keeping your home fresh and free of dust/other air toxins and helps the planet all at the same time… so why not?!
DITCH THE STARBUCKS
Okay, so that was a bit dramatic… I don’t really mean you have to boycott Starbucks, or Tim Hortons, or any other mainstream coffee joint. I just mean that it is the easiest thing in the world to carry your own reusable mug and reduce your daily waste! The average coffee-drinking Canadian buys 3.2 cups per day (source). MATH TIME! If there are 37.06 million Canadian’s and every single person bought 3.2 cups of coffer per day that would make a total of 118,592,000 cups per day. Now I know you are thinking “but Kristyn, not every Canadian buys coffee/tea on a daily basis” and you would be right but this is just an example. Even if half of Canadians only bought 1 cup of coffee per day, that is still a whopping 18,300,000 cups of coffee going to landfills every single day. Although many people think you can recycle these coffee cups, the majority of large scale coffee companies use wax-coated cups that do not biodegrade and therefore cannot be recycled! How can we stand the fact that we are producing that much waste in just one country from just one industry? Travel mugs can be purchased for a reasonable fee. The same can be said for reusable water bottles! There is no need to buy packaged, plastic water bottles in Canada when we are lucky enough to have access to clean drinking water. Still concerned? Get a Brita filter jug for you fridge at home and a Brita filter water bottle for school/ work so you can fill up anywhere! If you are guilty of daily coffee cup/plastic bottle usage then do yourself (and your wallet) and THE WORLD a favour and get reusable drink ware as soon as possible!
GO GREEN WITH GROCERIES
Reusable produce bags are cheap and easy to stash in your car so that they are readily available when you are off to the grocery store. The plastic bags that you find at most mainstream grocery stores add up quick and it is so unnecessary to use as many as we do! We wash our produce before we eat it anyways so opt for no bags or a reusable cloth one (which you can even get at the dollar store).
Think of the Fish!
This one is for all of you pop lovers out there! Ever buy a pack of pop and throw out the plastic rings that hold them together? STOP NOW. Those plastic rings (along with countless other forms of plastic waste) end up in our lakes and oceans and get caught around the necks of countless species. Help keep our oceans safer for the life forms that call it home and be sure to cut up each ring before RECYCLING them.
WARNING: LADIES I SPEak directly to you now
If you haven’t heard of the Diva Cup GOOGLE IT AND THEN GO BUY ONE!! Seriously… stop reading this and go buy one now! I have been using it for almost a year now and I will NEVER go back to using tampons/pads. This SAFE, reusable, silicone menstrual cup is the biggest life changer (AND MONEY SAVER) that I have ever encountered. TMI ALERT: I calculated that I used to use about 16 tampons and 4 pads per-period - that is 192 tampons and 48 pads a year!!! Now, I have an extremely light and short period so imagine how many tampons and pads my not-so-lucky sisters go through during an average 5-7 day period!? EXCUSE ME!? Not only are feminine hygiene products extremely over priced (which is a whole other rant for another post), but they also cause so much waste each year! A little apprehensive? So was I! But trust me it will be the best, eco-friendly lifestyle change you could make!
There are hundreds of other ways that you can live a more sustainable lifestyle and help to make the world around you be a cleaner, safer place for all life forms, but for today I will leave you with the short list above. Please take a moment after reading this post to sit down and really think to yourself, how much waste do I produce daily and how can I keep doing better?
No matter how old we are, what we look like, or where we are from, the one commonality we all share is our home: Earth. We each need to do our part for the planet (and all of its creatures) to help ensure that this beautiful planet will still be a viable home for future generations of humans and animals. There is no “Planet B.” We can’t just leave when the air gets too polluted to breathe and the climate heats so high that we cannot step outside. If you are a human-being then you have a responsibility to this planet. She takes care of us - she gives us air to breathe, water to drink and land upon which to build our wildest dreams. She keeps us alive yet we are killing her. It is far past the time to think about change. It may even be too late to reverse the damage we have done. But it is never to late to try to be better and rescue this blue and green sphere that has given us, and millions before us the beautiful, delicate, gift of life.