By Laura Coffee, Marketing &Owner Services Manager, Co-op Owner
Earth Day is one of my favorite holidays. Every day we walk on the earth, breathe in the air, and drink the water* that our planet provides. We’re lucky that most of us don’t have to stop and think about these things. They’re just THERE. Even when it is buried under layers of concrete the ground beneath our feet supports us. In most parts of our country you can step outside and take a deep breath without having to check the daily air quality report. And whether you turn on the tap, grab a bottle, or pour a glass from the pitcher in the fridge that life-giving water is there and ready to hydrate and sustain us. We should marvel at these little miracles. They surround us all the time and Earth Day just serves to remind us how remarkable they really are.
Not everyone is this lucky. There are places where these things are not true for people right now. And there were times in the past where they weren’t true right here. Earth Day came into being during a period when Americans were increasingly aware of their own impact on the environment in which they lived. They wanted not only to prevent further damage to their own surroundings, but also to improve the world for generations to come. What began as a bi-partisan national movement slowly grew to become a global celebration of this amazing planet. (Learn more about this history here.)
Earth Day is more than just a note on the calendar or a Google doodle to be vaguely acknowledged and quickly forgotten. It is a call to action, a chance to take joy in the world around us, and a reason to renew our commitment to the differences we can make. The obstacles facing us can seem overwhelming, but they aren’t. If the original founders of the Earth Day movement could create changes that would transform a burning river into a clear, clean, thriving ecosystem, we can do it too. We can not only save our planet, but improve it for future generations. How? It’s simple.
- Do something small.
- Do it again tomorrow.
- Keep learning and improving.
- Don’t give up.
We’re in this together, on this planet together, and together we can make it a better place to be, one small thing at a time.
Need inspiration? Here are some small things you can do today:
- Pick up a piece of trash and dispose of it properly every time you go for a walk.
- Use a reusable bag. (Just be sure to wash it.)
- Plant something. (Bonus points if it feeds a pollinator.)
- Compost something.
- Fix something instead of replacing it.
- Mend or alter old clothing.
- Call an elected official and tell them environmental issues matter.
- Turn off or unplug a gadget that you aren’t using right now.
- Choose more sustainable proteins.
- Get a breath of fresh air (even if it’s just through an open window) and think about how amazing the earth really is.
- Find out where your food comes from.
- Sign up for a local CSA program.
- Join the Co-op. (It helps support projects like this one.)
- Switch to reusable water bottles.
- Turn off the light when you leave the room.
- Calculate your carbon footprint.
- Create a space for wildlife.
- Use a clothesline to dry things.
- Walk or bike when you can, consolidate errands when you can’t.
- Encourage someone else to reduce, reuse, recycle, or repurpose.
- Call your favorite company and encourage them to do more for the environment, or thank them if they are already acting responsibly.
- Fix your leaky faucet.
*Have you been staying hydrated today?