Earth Day 2022

Once upon a time, in the ancient world, people knew the seasons. They knew where their food came from. They had a relationship with the land. But with the industrial revolution, we not only added absurd amounts of fossil fuel emissions to the planet, but we also industrialized the food system. People no longer had to buy their food from the person who grew it, raised it, picked it, or processed it. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that the industrial revolution was all destructive. But there were most undoubtedly adverse effects. And to this day, we live in the same kind of consumerism-driven economy that propelled the industrial revolution. It seems as if we are unable to stop consuming.

It is probably not news that we are in a global climate crisis. And while we talk about it (and write about it…) at length, we don’t often ACTUALLY CHANGE our behaviors. For example, I have said out loud, “I know I shouldn’t use Amazon, but some things make it so that I have to.” But that’s not entirely accurate. I mean that I’m going to sacrifice a little piece of environmental resiliency in exchange for my convenience. (Typing it in black and white makes it feel particularly bad. But it’s time to get honest.)

What will it take for us to make actual, real-life adjustments to our lifestyles? There are plenty of resources available. Some suggestions I’ve taken to heart are:

  • Add reusable eating utensils to your everyday carry.
  • Always carry a reusable bag.
  • Make your next meal plant-based

And don’t let the scope of the task immobilize you. Doing one small thing is far better than doing nothing. You don’t have to get it all right today. All you have to do is do better today than yesterday.