EARTH DAY 2020

This world is beautiful. One of my favorite things is to get out and just experience the beauty that is the world. Traveling, hiking, reading, star-gazing, gardening… I could go on and on and on and on…

Exploring Lake Superior by kayak

I grew up with my parents always reminding us to take care of our belongings, put things away, respect other people’s property, treat others the way I’d like to be treated, and always leave things better than we found them. This mindset extends to how we treat this planet that I love. Others feel the same way, and have fought for its protection. Communities, events, laws, protected lands have all risen out of the desire to keep and protect the Earth.

Earth Day grew out of the desire for environmental change. Dating back to 1970, this year marks the 50th anniversary in the aim for global environmental transformation. You can read about the history of Earth Day here.

Groups that had been fighting individually against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness and the extinction of wildlife united on Earth Day around these shared common values.

http://www.earthday.org/history

I am always inspired by those that quietly do good things to spark change. There are so many opportunities to do good and to create the change we want to see in this world. A lot of negativity arises when we bravely take charge of things we can control (like the man who angrily barked at me while I was bartending because we changed to straws made from hay to cut down on plastic waste. His response: “oh please honey… Don’t you know that straws aren’t even close to the worst thing in the oceans?” While I understand his point, I think he was missing the bigger picture. The picture that says that focusing on small things that we can control may 1) be a better use of our time and emotions than getting angry about things that we can’t control, and 2) serve to remind us that most change happens gradually, and maybe it all has to start somewhere).

I thought I’d break down some of my favorite activities to hopefully inspire you to think about ways that you can celebrate this beautiful Earth of ours, too. My favorite thing about the following activities is their habit-forming capacities because being kind to our planet doesn’t have to stop at just one day, y’all. We can learn to love the Earth and be nice to it year round.

Bike to work. I have committed to biking to work 1 out of every 4 days that I work through the warmer months (following my Ironman, I would like this to become year-round). In addition, I’d like to work towards consistently following the 2 mile rule. This “rule” encourages everyone to think about the 2-mile radius around where you live (go ahead, take out a map and draw a circle that encompasses those 2 miles). Because when you drive, you have to find parking, park, and get out of the car, anything 2 miles or less is actually faster to bike to than drive to. Beyond that, the majority of a typical person’s errands are within 2 miles of where they live. If biking to work isn’t feasible for you, maybe consider implementing the 2-mile rule, and opt to cycle instead of drive to those places. Are you concerned that biking around town might be too dangerous? Check out this post from CNN and decide for yourself.

Continue to build upon our garden. We started with containers three years ago, growing herbs and a couple of peppers and tomatoes. Our life goal is to be completely self-sustainable when it comes to our produce, but we know this takes time. Every year, we have added just a couple of things to our garden so we don’t get overwhelmed, because believe me, garden overwhelm is a real thing (what good is growing so many things that you won’t/can’t harvest and utilize properly?). This year, we are growing cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeños, pepperocinis, potatoes, broccoli, zucchini, winter squash, green beans, cucumbers, rhubarb, apples, cilantro, basil, wheatgrass, mesculin, chamomille, rosemary, mint, lavender, raspberries, and hopefully artichokes and blueberries. Those in bold are additions this year. Eating our own produce is not only bonkers fun, it can save money, help cultivate patience and good mental health, lower your carbon footprint, reduce the negative effects of monocultures, protect your health and the environment’s health and can do so much more depending on what you plant and where.

A little bit of garden planning goes a long way

Take coffee walks. Sometimes I feel the need to just get out and breathe. Previous generations would maybe go cruising. I love that, too. But my partner and I have realized how simple and fulfilling it is to fill up an insulated coffee mug and just walk around the neighborhood. It helps to slow things down, to shake out the cobwebs (whatever those might be), to pay attention to the beauty that is in our own neighborhood, and to have a free and carbon-friendly activity. It is really easy to think all of the beauty is “somewhere else,” but it is so refreshing to appreciate where you actually live, where you actually are. Full disclosure, my mug usually has tea in it. Pro tip: take a bag and pick up trash on your walk and cut down on the litter in your community.

Choose an action at the Action Hub.

Whatever you decide to do, I just urge you to do something. Inaction is an action, and not a very good one in most cases. Celebrate the Earth in style on Wednesday, April 22 and all the days. Happy Earth Day!

Get fired up! What are you committed to doing to better our planet for Earth Day? Let me know by commenting below.

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