10 Ways to Live (And Die) Green to Show Your Love on Earth Day
Earth Day is kind of like Mother’s Day: An arbitrary date on the calendar someone else chose to celebrate our creator so we don’t have to try as hard the other 364 days of the year. Sound about right?
It’s high time we flipped the script. Every day on Earth is technically Earth Day. So let’s stop hugging trees for one measly day out of the year and instead show our lifelong gratitude for the planet that was kind enough to take us in so we wouldn’t freeze to death on the unforgiving streets of space.
Let’s be honest, Earth is amazing. There are oranges and giraffes and clouds shaped like dragons. Weed grows on literal trees and there are more beautiful views on the planet than any one person can catch in a thousand lifetimes. We should be in awe every day and act accordingly, treating Mother Nature with the care and respect it deserves. (That goes for mom too.)
While there are countless ways we can change up our lifestyle to positively impact the world around us, let’s start with these simple ten. We know climate change isn’t sexy, but it should be. Consider getting into the best shape of your life by hulking out Earth Day style. We promise it will get you laid.
Cover Photo: Brothers91 (Getty Images)
Man-sized problem: Penises Are Getting Smaller, Thanks A Lot Pollution
No More Plastic Water Bottles
How did bottled water become the biggest beverage industry in the world? Transforming a public utility into a big business is one of the most clever deceptions of modern times. Over half of bottled water sold in stores is just tap water (much of it processed in drought-ridden places like California). Opt-out of the madness by sticking to reusable bottles and local refilling stations - or set up your own water filtration system at home - there's a hug in every chug.
Solid waste is the toilet paper industry's dirty secret. Not only is the paper itself clogging the proverbial waterways and landfills of the world, but it also takes nearly 40 gallons of water to make just one roll of TP. We know, crazy right? Bamboo options are a step in the right direction, but bidets are by far the most eco-friendly approach. Most of the world already uses them for a reason, it's time we got behind them as well.
Diet and Transportation
We all love cruising around town listening to Kenny Loggins while eating Five Guys. We get it, but taking personal responsibility for your green lifestyle starts with these two things. Reducing meat consumption (even by one meal a week) has a huge domino effect on emissions, water usage, and deforestation. And we all know the trouble with fossil fuels. Finding ways to localize your lifestyle and minimize your commute (when that becomes a thing again) will pay dividends in green. (Cue your sexy walk.)
It's kind of strange how we've grown accustomed to filling our household with toxic waste - and letting that waste flow into the oceans. It doesn't have to be that way. Almost every cleaner in your cupboard has a green equivalent that works as well or better (bonus points for getting refillables you can add to your glass spray bottle). From Bon Ami to BioKleen it's never been easier to remove toxic products from your life. Talk about clean living.
Cutting out plastic is a lot easier now that there are companies like Stasher to help us kick our daily plastic habit. When you buy a pack, they throw in one for free so you can share the goods with a friend. You'll be amazed at how much plastic waste you cut down on with this one simple tweak.
The textile industry throws away 13 million tons of waste each year. Curb the squandering by shopping second-hand. Manufactures will keep trying to sell as many ugly sweaters as they can, but if the public stops buying them, they'll be forced to make less (and waste less). Just don't model your personal style after Macklemore, please.
It's crazy how many net positives come out of shopping local. Not only does it support local businesses and community infrastructure, it reduces your carbon footprint by cutting out shipping pollution and over-manufacturing practices. Shopping local goes way beyond farmer's markets - there are all kinds of goods that can be found right in your own community. If you need help finding them, check out future-minded resources like Streetlet, a website with plans to aggregate all your local businesses in one convenient place. Sweet.
Here's the deal, we're all going to kick the bucket someday, so why not do some good while we're at it? Consider becoming a tree in your next life with funeral services like Better Place Forests (because sticking your formaldehyde-filled corpse in a coffin and burying it six feet underground is so last century). For a carbon-neutral send-off that's half the cost of a traditional burial, stash your ashes at the base of a tree (mixed together with nutrient-rich soil) and live a few hundred more years in arboreal splendor. With prime locations all around the country, your loved ones will have an amazing place to pay their respects as they fondly remember that time you ate 12 hotdogs and passed out under the picnic table on the Fourth of July - the perfect ending to an imperfect life.
Make Some Noise
The truth is, the health of the planet depends heavily on what governments choose to do. Legislation that prioritizes people over profits and the environment over business is the quickest road to a healthier future. So don't be shy about sharing your green lifestyle with those around you, including friends, family, and elected officials. The time to speak up is now.
Acknowledge the Gravity
Ultimately, the single biggest thing we can do for the planet is to accept the gravity of the situation we're in. If humans are the main accelerator of climate change, then it stands to reason we can be the ones to pump the brakes. Taking matters to heart will inform every decision we make, and open our eyes to all the wonderful ways we can live green, every single day, in our own lives. So forget Earth Day, let's declare this the start of Earth Century. Who's in?
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