Since today is Earth Day, I thought I’d give myself an easy topic to blog about. The environment. I know there are a lot of people out there doing amazing work trying to reverse our impact on the environment and incredibly smart people working on ways to hep minimize the effect of green house gases. Logan and I just watched “Inside Bill’s Brain.” If you haven’t watched in on Netflix, that is definitely the next documentary you should watch. Bill Gates is so incredibly smart, intuitive and honestly a creative genius. He is pouring millions and millions of dollars into big global issues including climate change to better the world for other people. When Logan and I finished watching that documentary, I was both so motivated and yet I felt so discouraged because I don’t have millions of dollars and a huge platform to make big changes like Bill Gates does. I don’t have a lot of free time to change the world between teaching preschoolers, coaching gymnastics, running an Etsy shop, blogging and other time consuming chores that need to get done. I as the average person just don’t have the capacity to make big changes. But then again, maybe as a community, WE do.
We are still in the midst of COVID–19 and it has been a long five weeks. Last night, our Governor told us all to expect this to be a long marathon. A marathon of at least 3–4 months if not longer. We’ve all had our ups and downs emotionally these past five weeks and I’ve come to think about a lot of things while in isolation. We need to be kinder to each other, more tolerant, more grateful for what we do have. We should start to enjoy being with our families,children and spouses more. I thought of this time as a time to become closer to Logan, have more conversation and do things together. The more I thought about all the good we need to keep in mind to better for our family, friends and neighbors, I also realized that we could do the same for our planet.
We definitely need to be kinder and more grateful for our planet. Mother Earth has provided us everything we need to stay alive. At preschool, we are learning about different habitats. Each habitat has the food, water, oxygen and shelter needed for animals and plants to stay alive. Mother Earth has provided every habitat to sustain every living thing on this planet. That is a lot to ask from anyone or anything. We should be kinder and remember to appreciate all She has provided for us.
As we enjoy this time with our families,I’ve realized that there are not as many cars on the roads. I don’t hear airplanes as much. I hear kids laughing outside and I hear parents playing with their kids. I don’t see smog in the sky and I don’t see empty bike trails. I see people outside in the sunshine getting a good walk or bike ride in during the day. I see people working from home on their back decks. I see happy people, more laid back people and I see a much happier environment. We don’t have to be Bill Gates to stop climate change. We could just stop driving so much. We could just bike a little more.We could use public transportation more often or buy electric cars(just FYI, we have a Nissan Leaf and absolutely love it! Highly recommended).As a collective, if we all continued our habits we are in graining in our life during COVID, we could be on the other side happier, healthier and greener.
My husband and I have moved to a more plant based diet in recent months. Do we eat eggs, meat and dairy? Absolutely! We love it all and wouldn’t turn it down. But that is 20% of the time. The other 80%, we’ve chosen to eat more plants. We decided this for two main reasons. Reason number one: for our planet. Anything you read about the meat industry and its effect on the environment is absolutely terrifying. Between the gas cows omit and the amount of grass and water they consume it is mind boggling as to how we got to this point. Not to mention, the energy used to run the massive meat plants is outrageous. Reason number 2: for health benefits. Now, don’t get me wrong. I crave a greasy cheeseburger or a steak just as often as the next person, however the fat, cholesterol, synthetic hormones and lack of fiber in meat outweighs the pros of the protein in it. Especially when you can get the same amount of protein in a black bean burger with a lot less fat and a lot more fiber. We watched “The Game Changers” on Netflix and that is another documentary that I highly recommend. They broke down the benefits of a meat based diet and plant based. The difference is shocking. Logan and I were so encouraged and motivated when we watched it, it was enough for us to change our diet some. We still eat meat. Bacon on the weekends, pork for dinner one night and maybe some ground turkey in our tacos. However, we have decreased our meat eating by a lot. When we used to eat meat with every dish for dinner and lunch, now we have meat once or twice a week. We’ve now delighted in veggie fried rice, salads, bean and corn enchiladas, and Logan’s best new recipe: veggie pasta(which is basically pasta stir fried with assorted veggies, garlic and pesto). We have seen huge differences in our metabolisms, huge differences in our energy and weight but we also know we are doing the planet a huge favor.
So, the takeaway in all of this? Well, it is Earth day and we should celebrate our Earth today and what She has provided us. We should definitely pick up trash when we see it today, recycle more today and hang out in the sun with the people we love. However, we should also take this time to reflect on our current global state. Even though COVID has brought so much fear, anxiety and pain, it could also bring us some good. If we just stop driving as much as we did before all this happened, we as a collective would make huge strides towards making a difference when it comes to climate change. Companies are starting to realize, working from home is valuable and attainable. So maybe just go into the office once or twice a week if you can to lessen the amount of people on the roads. Traveling is such a good experience and people should do it a lot in their lifetime, but maybe prioritizing your flights and trying to cut back could help our planet a lot. Only consuming meat once or twice a week is not only good for you and your health, but so good for the planet and all living things who live on it. There are a lot of other ways we could make changes for the better of our planet and I realized, we don’t have to be Bill Gates to do it. So, on this Earth day, relax, be thankful for the life you’ve been given. Encourage yourself and your friends to continue to be mindful of the impacts our daily habits have on the environment. Talk to each other and hold each other accountable to create a better planet for the people already here and the people who will be in the future. Then, take a moment and breathe. Breathe in then breathe out. Then, take one more big breath in and be thankful the smog is gone.