“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” ~ Lao Tzu
Mother Earth’s birthday is April 22nd.
This is the day we shed awareness on the problems facing our environment and promote solutions to protect it.
But, do we really need a special day to celebrate the planet on which we’re living? Absolutely not. We can celebrate it every other day of the year as well. However, since we have done so much damage to Earth, we had to choose a day, annually, to remind each other that we must be better at protecting and caring for our environment.
On Earth Day, we can start taking small steps toward protecting the Earth. We might think that one person among billions of other creatures couldn’t possibly prompt a change. But there’d be no change if we all thought that way. If each one of us makes a slight contribution, the impact can be enormous.
Our earth is suffering—that’s the ugly truth. And, let’s be clear, it’s because of us. We have taken our planet for granted. We have taken into consideration our own time on Earth, disregarding the generations to come and the struggle that our planet will have to endure for billions of years.
Who cares about what happens after we die, right?
Well, it’s time to care. The consequences of our reckless actions are manifesting around us each day. We don’t need to look somewhere special to discern the damage that we have done. It’s enough to observe the alarming change of the weather worldwide, the increasing number of natural disasters, and the plastic that’s hideously lurking everywhere.
There are big things we can do to contribute to making our planet better. But, since the majority of us lead busy lives and barely have time for ourselves, we can prompt a change through taking small actions that require little time. What is required, however, are two things: willingness and action.
We all love nature—or at least it seems that way from our social media accounts. We strike a yoga pose in front of giant mountains or on beautiful beaches, and we share quotes about the majesty of trees and the joy of fresh air. Nonetheless, true love is translated through actions.
Here are eight simple ways we can prove to Mother Earth that we love her:
1. Educate, educate, educate.
Educating others (especially the ones who seem oblivious to environmental problems) and our children about the environment is the most important thing we can do. Young people, in particular, should be aware of their role in the survival of our planet. Some of us are idle when it comes to taking action, but so many others are ignorant about what’s actually happening on Earth. This is why spreading the word and educating others, whether through social media or community involvement, is essential.
2. The fewer the cars, the merrier the atmosphere.
Walk, ride a bike, carpool. When we walk, we’re burning calories and polluting less. Awesome, right? Have a bike? Great, work those hamstrings! Also, carpooling is your chance to socialize. And, if you have to drive, drive slower—you’ll reduce the fuel consumption.
3. Why not recycle or re-use?
A variety of things that we throw away can be recycled or re-used. This is why we must think twice before dumping something forever. Pause for a moment before throwing something away and unleash the artist inside you.
4. Remember what the Dalai Lama said.
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” Love isn’t limited to humans and four-legged creatures. Nature has existed for billions of years—way before our species came to life. This is why we must respect it, be compassionate, and show some love. Go on hikes, meditate outdoors, hug more trees (no, it’s not hippie nonsense—trees love it).
5. Remember the word “plastic” the way you remember your own name.
Every day think, “How can I reduce my usage of plastic?” Here are some ideas: get refillable bottles instead of plastic ones, choose cardboard, bring your own eco-friendly shopping bags with you to the market, and never use plastic straws.
6. Two more phrases to remember: unplug and turn off.
Unplug any technology you’re not using in your office or home, and turn off the lights in rooms when you’re not in them. It’s that easy.
7. Listen when the water screams, “Save me!”
When brushing your teeth, scrubbing your body, or scraping the dirty dishes, turn off the tap. Every time we turn off the tap when we don’t need it, we’re saving water.
8. Shop consciously.
Our choices in the market matter. Through consuming and buying only what we need, we help the earth more than we can imagine. And when we do buy things, let’s try and choose eco-friendly goods made in sustainable ways.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman