Quick! Go outside, take a deep breath and look around. Listen to all of the birds chirping and feel the breeze on your face. Maybe you notice the green of all of the blooming trees and plants or maybe your first impression is the lovely blue hue of the sky. All of these lovely things are the Earth's way of saying "Hello!" We can express gratitude to the Earth daily. In fact, it's been proven that gratitude is a great way to uplift your mood and put back that pep in your step. There is always something to be thankful for, and the Earth is a great place to start. We walk upon it every single day, drive our cars on it, get to run around barefoot in it, and are able to be with our family and friends because we all get to live together here on the Earth. It's from this perspective that I find Earth Day to be such an uplifting and call-to-action kind of day, because aiding the Earth is not just a one-person job, it's a collaborative effort.
One of my favorite tweets I've seen all day comes from astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. You may know him if, like me, you love Fox's "Cosmos" television series. Seriously, if you've never seen this show, it's a must watch.
Odd that #EarthDay exists as a day at all. Instead, maybe it should be extended to the whole year, and then repeated annually— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) April 22, 2016
A lot of people don't think anything they do will have a positive impact on environmental problems, but that's not true. Some of the simplest changes can have a big impact, such as cutting out non-biodegradable plastics and opting for reusable items instead. Products like the glass Joco Cup are a stylish and affordable way to enjoy your morning coffee without the paper trail of a reusable paper cup in the garbage bin afterward. Simply take your Joco Cup to your favorite coffee shop, and you may even receive a discount! Baristas will be happy with the standardized sizes and the Earth will be happy as well. Joco Cup's website says, "Annually, over 500 billion disposable paper, Styrofoam and single-use plastic cups are used worldwide and this figure is rapidly rising each year. Shockingly, these cups deplete natural resources, increase C02 emissions and most are sent straight to landfill where they add to the global waste crises." Each glass Joco Cup comes with a custom color sleeve, so your cup can be as unique as you are. They also make a great gift for the coffee lover in your life.
Plastic bags at the supermarket are a convenient way to carry your items, but the plastic has been shown to be harmful to the environment. How many times have you walked beside a creek and noticed a plastic bag drifting at the bottom? There plastic bags even found in our oceans. In fact, many states and cities have enacted a ban on plastic bags. To learn more about this, check out this entry from the Pacific Research Institute, which weighs the effects of plastic bags on the environment.
A much easier way to carry your groceries, and one that provides more space and comfort because you can toss the bag easily ver your shoulder, is to use a canvas tote with shoulder length straps, like those from Emily McDowell Studio.
There are very simple and economical ways to reduce your environmental imprint and impact the Earth in a positive way, such as using a clean dishtowel instead of rolls and rolls of paper towels, or even something as simple as buying local produce. The Earth does so much for us, how could we not repay the favor? We're all in this together! Let us know, what are some Earth-friendly things you strive to do every day? What are some things you'd like to do in the future? Happy Earth Day, everyone. Now go hug a tree! (Seriously!)