Thursday, 21 April 2016
What to do on Earth Day
I'm super excited to go pick up garbage tomorrow, in honour of Earth Day! There're several things YOU can do tomorrow, however we should do these things more often, if not every day. Maybe we should celebrate Earth Day like we do birthdays, wherein we reflect upon the year that has passed, and the year that lies ahead of us. That way, we could make more conscious effort towards taking care of the planet. So here I have three super EASY Earth Day missions for you:
1. Clean Up Your Neighbourhood~
Whether you do this by yourself, organize a group, or go to a trash-collecting event, any amount of clean-up on roadsides, parks, or even in your yard, is necessary. Put trash in its place, and all that jazz. This prevents it from getting into waterways, harming animals, or even people. Bonus points if you use gardening gloves or another type of glove that is washable/reusable, as opposed to trashing a pair of rubber gloves.
2. DON'T Shop.
The only exception in this case is if you're shopping secondhand. We consume so much and throw away products so quickly that the Earth can't keep up. We use so many plastics, synthetics, and non-biodegradable materials in the production of housewares, clothes, textiles, and literally everything we consume. Even the plastic packaging on foods and even produce (think of those little stickers on your bananas!), are not doing us any favours, and end up in all the places they're not meant to be. We would suspend garbage in the air if we could, and actually, we do that in the form of emissions/pollution. Fabulous. So, all of this said, when you DO shop, buy quality over quantity, make do & mend, and don't forget your reusable shopping bag.
If you watched the video in my previous post, The Story of Stuff, then you'd know that we are no happier than we were in the 1950s, despite having bigger houses and more belongings. We are led to believe that shopping makes us feel good, but it doesn't. Often times, we feel guilty after shopping because it is so easy to overspend in a consumer-driven society. Find true, long-term happiness in your life instead. :)
3. Use Less Electricity!
I don't know about other areas, but in Ontario, over half of our electricity is powered by nuclear energy (source). We do not currently have many responsible disposal methods for nuclear waste (a by-product of nuclear energy), so it is stored in metal containers and often shipped by transport truck (with the possibility of crashing,thus damaging the waste), and buried in the ground. One of my final projects last semester was inspired by Chernobyl's effect on nearby town Pripyat, in the Ukraine. Reading the stories of the people who suffered - and continue to do so - inspired me to look into the use of nuclear energy in my area. Turns out, a new nuclear waste dump is set to be built in Ontario, right next to Lake Huron. Isn't that ridiculous? I urge you to check out http://www.stopthegreatlakesnucleardump.com/, educate yourself, and sign the petition against its construction.
With all the viable renewable energy sources available, there're few excuses for something like this. Unless we come up with a responsible way of disposing of nuclear waste, we don't really have the right to use it. Anyways, using less electricity won't stop the use of nuclear energy, however in the grand scheme, we'd use less nuclear energy. So, don't forget to turn off your lights and unplug your unused electronics this Earth Day!
Thanks, and enjoy your Earth Day! Make it your every day!