You know, for all she does for us, you’d think that we would give this planet a little bit more than a day’s worth attention. (… kind of like Mother’s Day, amirite?).
So, instead of all that blue-and-green paper maché projecting you may have planned on doing to commemorate Earth Day (oh yep. I’ve been there.), here are a few of my personal favourite ideas to treat our planet the way she deserves- every day.
Reduce (or preferably, eliminate) consumption of all animal products: The biggest factor of this, is any animal based foods we consume, including meat, all dairy, and eggs. This is the single biggest contributing factor to global warming. Cows, which humans have domesticated largely for food purposes (milk, beef, yogurt, cheese, etc), contribute 15o billion gallons of methane each and every day. Reduce the demand for cows, reduce the methane production. Methane, btw, is 25- 100 times more destructive than CO2 on a 20 year time frame. It stays in our atmosphere longer and does more to damage our fragile ozone layer.
Animal agriculture is responsible for 20%-33% of all fresh water consumption on a global scale. The thing is, you need a lot more water, on average, to make animal products than to grow plants. …why not just skip the last step and eat the plants instead?
Oh, and not that anybody wants to talk in depth about this, but, ever minute of the day, 7 million lbs of excrement are produced by animals in the US that are raised for food. Actually, let’s keep going- this waste is often pooled into what are called anaerobic lagoons. These are large lagoons, about 8 feet deep and yes, the waste by-product, such as ammonia and antibiotics, does seep into the water supply. North Carolina is one of the worst hit areas in the States.
And, as we all know, the Amazon is basically the lungs of the Earth. However… up to 91% of deforestation of the Amazon is to clear land to plant crops to grow foods like soy, wheat, and corn, for animal feed. 1- 2 acres of rainforest is cleared every second.
Raising animals is not an efficient use of land for food stability; in fact, 15 times more protein is possible through growing plants than rearing animals on any given area of land. (And if you’re thinking, well, you can put a tonne of cows on a barren land and no plants would grow on that land… think about where the plants to feed the cows on that barren land have to come from… other land. And the plants going to those cows could feed a lot more humans than cows!)
(Here are some great recipes to get you started!)
- Consume less: I mean… don’t go starving or naked, but, the less we consume, the less resources we require to use up. Think long and hard about what you buy, if it is something you don’t totally need. This is especially critical for big purchases! Could you go without it?
Consume smarter: As point #1 above implies, there are some lifestyle changes that are so beneficial to the planet. Buy from small companies that promote environmentally friendly products and services- be very wary of large companies doing the same, as they have usually just hopped on the “green bandwagon” to make a buck.
So there ya go! Some good options for treating this Mother as she deserves- way better.
Lettuce know how your earth day goes- would love to know if you made one of those linked recipes, if you didn’t end up buying something you didn’t need, or if you voted with your dollar and supported a truly eco-friendly option!
Enjoy the day, and the planet =)
PS- I got a lot of my facts from the following reputable sources: