When I was born the global population was roughly 2.8 billion. Today, in 2018, we are at 7.6 billion.
Think about that. Nearly 8 billion people. That is a lot of people for one little planet to support.
On April 22nd, the government gives us a day to remember the Earth. Big whoop. I’m not a tree hugger or a protester. I don’t get in people’s faces and demand that they change. I prefer to live by example and save my blood pressure.
Most of us don’t think about what we use up, what we eat, or what we wear. We were never meant to know. That’s the insidious role manufacturers and retailers play.
Corn is the perfect example. It’s cheap because we’ve learned how to produce corn with GMO seed, specialized herbicides, and modern machinery that takes the place of human labor. From here, scientists have discovered how to make hundreds of everyday foods and fuel with corn byproducts. Cows are fattened on corn–an unnatural feed for them by the way.
Cheaper feed for them means cheaper food for us. Not better. Not healthier. Cheaper.
It’s hard to turn down a 99 cent hamburger when buying grass fed beef is so much more expensive.
I get it. The system has rewired our behavior with monetary incentives. If we want to make rent, the 99 cent hamburger is a cheaper option.
Maybe we can’t beat the system, but we can make it harder for them to win by doing little things.
• Wear clothing made of natural fiber.
• Buy local
• Reduce the amount of plastic in your life.
• Grow a garden, even if it’s just a potted tomato plant.
• Before you toss out something, ask yourself if it can be donated, recycled, or reused.
• Pick up a piece of trash on the ground.
• Buy used.
• Borrow or rent.
I can’t change human nature, the government, corporations, or the mindset of billions, but I can quietly do little things that nudges the system the other way.
Earth Day was created in 1970. One day to bring awareness for a healthy, sustainable environment. I’ve disliked Earth Day almost since its inception. Not the concept, but the mechanics. One day to remember the Earth like it was a birthday card to a smelly, old aunt. If you want change, just go out and do it. We don’t need a special day for it.
Earth Day is a lot like all the other mock lovey-dovey things we do one day a year to show we care. Instead of giving Earth a holiday, give it a break.
Every day should be Earth Day. And that’s as hippie-dippy as I get. 🙂