Our planet is on fire! Are we all doomed or can we save ourselves?
Photo: @anneliesephillips, unsplash
Today is World Environment Day!
But then again, everyday is.
I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get a bit anxious about our current situation.
I don’t think we’ll all die tomorrow, but if we continue going about our business like we’ve been doing all our lives, our world will look extremely different in 20 years.
And not in a good way!
I don’t want to dwell on the severity of the situation. I’d rather paint the picture of hope for a better future.
Because there IS hope.
This year’s theme for World Environment Day is air pollution because it’s SO important and yet many people don’t really know much about it. Me included. I had no idea about some alarming stats until just recently.
According the the UN, “Air pollution is the single biggest environmental health risk, causing roughly 7 million deaths annually.” YIKES!
Black carbon, methane, ozone, and airborne particles produced by industrial operations and the burning of diesel, coal, kerosene or biomass are the cause of about 1/3 of deaths from stroke, chronic respiratory disease and lung cancer and 1/4 of heart attack deaths.
Not only that, but these toxins in our air also cause global warming, food insecurity, natural disasters, etc.
Air pollution is to be taken seriously.
What changes do you want to make?
Although you can’t directly control what damaging industries or certain politicians do, you can control what you consume, do throughout your day and who you support.
Specifically, but not limited to, what you eat, wear and clean your body and home with. How you travel, use your gadgets and run your machines that ease your life. What companies and politicians you support.
How sustainably you live our life is your own personal choice.
Every dollar you spend is a vote for the world you want to live in.
Saving the world is overwhelming!
Do you feel anxiety or cluelessness about how to tackle this problem?
I know I did when I started.
Because most people don’t know how to save the world which is one reason behind the psychology of the Notre Dame fire resulting in billions of dollars of donations within 24 hours.
For one, it’s a quick fix to a simple problem. A building burns and needs to be rebuilt. Easy peasy.
But saving the planet is anything but easy or quick. It takes expertise and deliberate action and people in disagreement about the ‘how’ part of the solution.
You are not alone.
No one human being can tackle this monster alone. But collectively – if we all act for the better good of all – we can curb climate change and create a better future for our children and future generations.
If you’re wondering how to live more sustainably, I first want to thank you! Just making that conscious decision to make changes in your life deserves a lot of praise because change isn’t easy for everyone which is why we’re in this situation in the first place. That and greed.
And just to give you hope. Now that I have a strategy, I feel a whole lot better and am able to make more of a positive impact.
Thank you for wanting to help!
Cha, cha, cha, changes
Here’s how I tackled the problem.
Click on each of the four sections below.
Pick your passion.
In order to be truly committed to implement changes in your daily routine, you have to want to do it. Not just because it’s the right thing to do but because you’re super passionate about it.
If you look at the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), you’ll notice each of the 17 goals has an important piece of the puzzle to help create a better world for all life.
As an ethical marketing strategist and founder of Ethical Brand Marketing, I’m an advocate for niching down your target market so that you can speak to one person (or group of people) at a time. In a similar fashion, I suggest you choose 1-3 SDGs that you’re most passionate about and feel you can make the most difference.
If you do that, you’ll reduce the overwhelm and be able to move step-by-step which will be less exhausting and more manageable.
For me, as an animal and nature-lover, I concentrate more on SDGs 13 (Climate action) 14 (Life below water) and 15 (Life on land) because I feel that if we don’t reach these goals, our own existence as a species is in jeopardy.
Not that I think clean water, education or food aren’t important. They’re super important, but I can’t tackle all these problems at once. One at a time and so I concentrate more on the ones that have to do with our own survival.
Do your research.
Once you pick your passion, research about what steps to take to help you reach your goals. Read more about the SDGs you chose here and search a few keywords in ecosia.org. Once you’ve gathered enough information to satisfy your knowledge hunger, move to the next step: Plan out actionable steps to take.
Plan out actionable steps to take.
Here, you can map out the steps you want to take. Let’s say you picked SDG 15 because you also love animals and want to save species. You could write out things like:
- Contact your local beekeeping club and learn how you can get involved.
- Support a charity that buys land in the Borneo rainforest to stop bulldozers from paving the way for palm oil production.
- Read labels and don’t buy products that harm life on Earth, e.g. those with palm oil in it.
- Go out in nature. By just observing the beauty, listening to the sounds and breathing the clean air, you’ll remember why you’re doing what you’re doing.
- Research and book a volunteering trip to help save species from poaching or other wildlife crimes.
- Get involved in a tree planting activity organized by your local community or donate to a tree-planting organization. Trees clean up our air, so we need more of them.
- Eat less meat. I understand that not everyone wants to become a vegan, BUT, if you just eat less meat, your body will thank you (it really is healthier) and you’ll reduce the demand of killing them for food. Our environment will also thank you because less methane gas will be produced by cow burps (and farts, but the burps are worse as far as methane gas production is concerned).
- Join a local bird watching club or animal protection organization. I’ve just found out there’s a club just a few blocks away from me that protects bats and owls and builds insect hotels! Of course I’m getting involved!
- Join the #FridaysForFuture / #ParentsForFuture or Extinction Rebellion movement in your area if you want to take peaceful action to the streets and reach the gov’t.
- If you haven’t already, read Lily Bowers and The Uninvited Guest and write a review to help spread the message that kids have the power and influence to make a difference in this world. In the back of the book, I wrote a few easy steps if your children want to help save laboratory animals. Buying cruelty-free products is one of them.
- Call your local representatives and talk to them about their opinions and actions against climate change and deforestation or whatever your local area needs.
- Buy from ethical brands who trace their every step of the supply chain to give you the confidence that what you consume has not harmed any plant or animal, human included. Also, most ethical brands have a give back strategy, so look for those who support plant and animal-saving organizations.
I could go on forever, but I won’t. This gives you an idea of how to break it down so that it doesn’t seem so overwhelming anymore. Some of these tasks are easy, e.g. read labels and some involve your time, e.g. join a club or volunteer program, but I’ll guarantee that if you get involved and the atmosphere and people running the club or organization fit your style and personality, it will change your life.
That’s what you want, right?
Since you know many people, either on social media or in person, inspire others to join you. They’ll have their own agenda and may or may not want to do the exact same things as you, but like I wrote above, we need this diversity to be able to reach all 17 goals.
Can you help save our environment?
Of course you can. And together, we will!
If everyone just starts to make small – or big – changes in their daily lives, we can create the world we want to live in.
Every human is called upon to act now.
Every step helps.
Do you want to continue talking about nature?
How do/did you celebrate World Environment Day? Please comment below and let’s talk!
Peace and love,