This post was scheduled for Earth Day but then I lost the original file ? so I apologize for the late post.
If you live on Earth – anywhere on earth- you must have heard the phrases “global warming” and “climate change” at least once! Now, whether you agree with the information widely available on these issues is totally up to you. If you don’t agree, I’m curious as to why that is because global warming & climate change is real. One doesn’t need to be a scientist to know this. I live in the upper midwest and can tell how much hotter the weather has been as well as how much milder our winter has been. The changes aren’t subtle; these are some of the effects of climate change and global warming. These changes that I have experienced personally in addition to what I have read, studied and watched led me to rethink how I live, how I treat natural resources and how I view my environment.
196 countries have so far signed the Paris agreement which was agreed upon and officially signed/adopted these countries in 2016. This agreement was particularly monumental as it was signed on April 22nd, a day globally recognized as Earth Day. The Paris Agreement essentially is an agreement between 196 countries to manage a lot of the environmental concerns as well as adopt a plan forward to protect our planet in order for it to remain livable for us and for generations to come.
Signing the Paris Agreement on Earth Day is pretty significant. For those who don’t know, Earth Day is simply a day set outside globally to celebrate mother earth! It was first launched in 1970. The vision was to bring environmental issues to the fore and help people understand these environmental issues. In doing this, it would at least help people focus on being eco-friendlier. On earth day, various events are conducted worldwide with a total of about 1 billion individuals participating in these events. With these earth day events, we are able to shift our focus to biodiversity and holding each other accountable for the protection of nature and environment.
“Earth Day is all about appreciating the uniqueness of our planet Earth with its incredible biodiversity.”
I first learned about the Paris Agreement and Earth day last year. Since then, I have taken little steps here and there to ensure that I reduce my carbon footprint and protect the environment. I have come to realize that there is a need for all of us to reevaluate how we are affecting the planet. I do realize that if I make some changes no matter how small; change my behaviors and refine my perspective towards the planet, I will inevitably be making the planet a better place for us all to live in. Now imagine if we all started making little changes here and there.
So in honor of Earth Day 2017, I am choosing 17 practical ways to be more eco-friendly.
1. Buy eco-friendly products: Pieces of furniture, Household necessities, e.g Towels that are ethically and sustainably sourced, Books: manufactured from recycled waste and from fallen trees, not man-made deforestation.
2. Eliminate products sourced through deforestation especially paper products. In short, Avoid supporting businesses who do not source sustainably or run an ethical business model.
3. Be mindful about littering: most litters end up in landfills which are a major environmental concern.
4. Use eco-friendly cleaners, laundry detergents, and skincare/beauty products: My goal is to minimize the use of harsh and unnecessary chemicals as much as I can. Not only is this beneficial to my skin and overall health, but it is also beneficial to the environment.
5. Avoid pesticides: Pesticides affects biodiversity greatly. A good way to avoid pesticides is to buy organic whenever possible. A huge amount of pesticides is sprayed on our food which is not only dangerous to out health but is detrimental to our environment.
6. Volunteer by advocating for cleaner and greener environment and educate people whenever possible. Also, do my best to donate to organizations pushing for greener and safer environmental policies.
7. Use less water: I will commit to finding ways to conserve water both at home and out in public ensuring that I go out with my own reusable water bottle to avoid buying bottled water in public,
8. Reduce food wastes: This one needs major attention. I live alone but also prefer to bulk buy food items which end up in the trash most of the time. It’s sad to think that I contribute to the ridiculous amount of food being thrown away annually. (American threw away 60 million tons of produce in 2016 totally about $160 million while millions die of starvation).
9. Shop less, Embrace minimalism: I’ve been slowly transitioning to minimalism. I quite frankly don’t think most of us need all the stuff we’ve accumulated. If we all shopped less, that’ll decrease the amount of stuff being mass-produced which is good for the planet and good for us. Wining!
10. Thrift more: If I must shop tho, I would consider thrifting first. I am not a big fan of second-hand items (OCD) but I am learning to embrace this. So I am definitely looking forward to thrifting.
11. Buy organic: This is obviously a no-brainer. though I already buy organic most of the time, I need to be stricter with this and never consider conventional products no matter what. I also need to focus on finding organic restaurants when I do eat out.
12. Donate more – rather than throwing items away, I need to always look to donating first in order for that item to either be reused or recycled.
13. Give more– to eco-friendly charity
14. Walk more and enjoy nature: there’s so much beauty out there. Walking more will encourage me to appreciate the beauty of nature and diversity which in turn would hopefully encourage me to protect the biodiversity as best as I can.
15. Share more: The more I read about these issues, the more I want to share. I hope I continue to do this and hopefully encourage more people to do same. The world could use more environmentally aware individuals.
16. Read! Read! Read!: Awareness is key! There’s a ton of information out there so reading and staying updated is important. Moreover, the more I read, the more I am better informed on these issues. What a mess it’d be to advocate for what I have no knowledge about.
17. REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE: My mantra for this year and going forward.
I hope you consider being more eco-friendly. Our collective actions and behaviors matter! Do share other ways YOU can be more eco-friendly this coming year! Remember, baby steps are a major key to success.