Earth Day 2017
Last week I got on a flight feeling as prepared as I can be. Reusable shopping bags: check. Reusable straw and cup: check. Soap nuts order: check. Patagonia store locations pinned: check.
As we took off, I started thinking about a carbon emission test I had taken a while back and as our plane climbed higher, so did my feelings of guilt.
While most of my numbers are pretty low, I drive a pretty polluting car and I fly quite often.
I came back home last night only to realize that I didn’t prepare anything for Earth Day. Honestly, Earth day is depressing for me.
This morning, I woke up feeling down and tired, I kept going in and out of bed for at least three hours. Occasionally, I wake up feeling helpless. What can I do for humanity? How do we save the animals from the most dangerous species in the world? For how much longer can Mother Earth be so resilient?
I dove back under the covers.
A few minutes later I stumbled upon Haley’s instagram story and picked up this line, “Do you have time to feel like shit?” Well, of course I do!
Then maybe I also have time to do something about it.
The truth is: I try. Every.Single.Day!
I remembered I picked up the latest issue of National Geographic magazine at the airport last night. I was so excited to read “7 Climate facts you need to know now,” hoping that it can rid me of my feelings of helplessness. As expected, it didn’t. My cheeks were flooded with tears upon seeing a picture of a beautiful polar bear, knowing that his species will go extinct during my lifetime.
I am often told that we have “bigger problems” and that “I’m privileged” and that’s why I can “afford” to think about such things so here are the facts:
Yes, I am absolutely privileged. I have a warm bed, running water, a roof over my head, clothes to wear and enough food to sustain me for years. Oh, wait… That’s also you and everyone you know! Every single day, we make excuses as to why we cannot afford to think about climate change because we have other priorities. The truth is our priorities come in the form of real jobs so we can eat real food, dress in real clothes and buy more real things. But also, our real jobs cost real animals their lives, cost real farmers their lands and cost real children their last hopes for a chance to live like we do. Our very “real” lives are costing everyone else theirs. This is how we truly pay for it. The only “real” thing you need to know right now is that we pay to kill other beings every day and this process is really easy to understand. We eat animals, we wear animals and we use animals to make most of out products. We emit so much greenhouse gases and then use air conditioning to condition our spoiled selves, without realizing that we’re polluting further. Industrial waste, pesticides and animal agriculture are real. Climate change is killing off entire species. Climate change is murder and we should be charged.
Still doesn’t sound like a priority? Climate change is flooding agricultural lands, leaving poor families in rural areas hungry. Climate change is the reason why entire islands are starving because they cannot find enough resources because we have taken all that away. Climate change is why your children will not know the penguin and the seal and the sea turtle.
Pessimistic much? No, there’s so much we can do and it’s actually easier than you think. Cut the meat in half, cut the AC in half.
Want to do more? Eat mostly local.
Not enough? Cut back on the chemicals, including soap, detergents, shampoos, etc.
Now, I’ll go back under my covers so I can get a week’s worth of crying over with. Tomorrow will be a better day.
I’m sorry, Mother. We should’ve known better.
Happy (not really) Earth Day!
If you’d like to read more about some of the facts mentioned please check this and this for AC facts, this and this for our meat consumption and this for the UN’s recommendation.
Disclaimer: I think a lot about filtering my content before publishing but I don’t. This is as raw as can be. This is who I am on an angry day and I don’t feel the need to mask it.