At this point in our world’s history, it is impossible to live a 100% sustainable life. We each leave a carbon footprint simply by being alive (unless you live in the wilderness and grow your own food and sew your own clothes with cotton you grew yourself, and even then who knows), though I do believe one day it will be possible for that to be reversed — for us to actually leave the world in better shape instead.
That said, there are many, many steps we can right now that reduce the impact we have. I encourage everyone to do their own research, but one of the most significant steps we can take is to eliminate our consumption of animal products. This industry is a huge contributor to global warming; there is simply no denying it. A short Google search can pull up a great deal of information.
Days like this are incredibly frustrating for me because of how incredibly ignorant everyone really is about it. People post about “Earth Day cupcakes” made with animal products and harmful food coloring. They don’t even realize what they’re doing. It’s like how food and personal product companies celebrate breast cancer awareness by selling products with ingredients and chemicals that contribute to cancer. The world is run by media propaganda, fake holidays, lying sensationalism, and ignorant participants jumping on the bandwagon without knowing who’s driving, where it came from, or where it’s going.
This isn’t a small issue. This is a huge issue that 99% of the world’s population is contributing to. That is massive. If you’re not vegan, you are contributing to one of the most significant culprits of our one and only home’s demise. This isn’t an emotional or biased statement of opinion. This is fact.
Being vegan isn’t hard; it’s merely an adjustment. I made a pumpkin pie last night in half an hour. It’s delicious. Being vegan isn’t elitist; plant-based foods are far cheaper than meat. Being vegan is, undeniably, one of the foremost prerequisites for building a healthy, sustainable, and peaceful world.
Please consider what this day means. Please consider how terrifying it is that we only have one out of every 365 days dedicated - loosely and misguidedly - to saving our planet. For most people, it consists of nothing more than clicking “share” on a Facebook post. I realize taking action can be intimidating, because most of us don’t know where to start. But you don’t have to go on a tree-planting expedition in the rainforest to make an impact. You can start with your own personal habits, right now, today.
If you think what we do won’t matter in the end or that the world is doomed anyway, consider that even though we can’t be completely sustainable right now, changing our habits as a society could buy us the time we need to develop strategies that will, ultimately, allow for complete sustainability - even a reverse, positive environmental evolution.
As the old saying goes, if you think you’re too small to make a difference, try spending the night in a room with a mosquito.