These are difficult times. Doing what I prefer to call ‘Physical Distancing and Socially Connecting’ in order to flatten the curve of COVID-19 and save lives has not been easy. Many of us are out of jobs and have lost not only our income, but also our health insurance. And of course many have become ill and even lost their lives. But we WILL get through this. Maybe in the midst of horror there can be some light. Maybe we will re-define our priorities and focus on what’s really important.
On this 50th Anniversary of the first Earth Day it is important to notice one good thing that has come of the quarantine. Less pollution. Fewer cars on the road, planes in the sky and industry on pause has meant less carbon dioxide pumped into our skies.
Los Angeles – Before and After Shelter in Place Orders
China – Satellite images of pollution reduction
India – Himalayan Peaks visible for the first time in 30 years
The Earth is breathing. The question is – ‘What do we do about it?’ Do we go back to ‘normal’ and continue to pollute our home, planet Earth?
What if, instead, we took this opportunity to change our behavior going forward? What if we drove less and walked and biked more? Flew less and took the train or bus more? Bought electric cars and held our legislators accountable for passing legislation on Climate Change? Are you with me? I think we can do it!!
In the meantime, what can we do NOW while we are physically distancing?
Reducing our Carbon Footprint is one thing we can do. What is a Carbon Footprint? Here’s the dictionary definition:
“the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc.”
So, what does that mean exactly? It essentially refers to our personal contribution to the carbon emissions that cause Climate Change. Here are some ways that each of us can have an impact:
Ten Things You Can Do NOW to Help the Environment
1. Plant Trees – Trees consume carbon dioxide and emit oxygen
2. Eat a plant-based diet or have one ‘vegetarian day’ a week.
3. Start a vegetable garden from seeds in your house. When the weather warms up you can dig your garden and grow your own vegetables!
4. Reduce household water waste – install efficient shower heads and toilets. Turn off the faucet when doing dishes or brushing your teeth. Take shorter showers.
5. Upcycle, repurpose and REPAIR clothing and household items instead of buying new or discarding them.
6. Reduce the amount of plastic packaging in the products you buy.
7. Eat locally produced food to reduce the ‘Food Miles’ it takes for your food to travel to you.
8. Tell your legislators to act on Climate Change legislation.
9. Join environmental groups like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council or the World Wildlife Fund.
10. Follow Teen Climate Change activists on social media. Greta Thunberg, Autumn Peltier, Mari Copeny, Xiye Bastida, Isra Hirsi, Bruno Rodriguez, Helena Gualinga, Jamie Margolin, Jerome Foster II, are a few to check out.