HOW TO HELP THE EARTH IN QUARANTINE
While we are all stuck at home because of Covid19, we aren’t able to do beach clean ups or have community fundraisers to help support the environment. Just because we are stuck at home does not give us an excuse to stop caring for the Earth. There are many things that you could do at home, including some fun summer projects. First, you could plant a tree in your front or back yard. This not only provides you with a beautiful sight or the fruits it may grow, but it is also good for the environment. Trees make our air quality better by filtering harmful dust and pollutants such as ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide from the air we breathe. Next, you can eat vegetarian for a day, week, month, or decide to transition indefinitely. This is something that you can easily do at home which can benefit our planet. There are many foods that don’t involve meat and are still healthy. Livestock emissions make up 14.5-18% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. As more people are staying at home a lot of dishes are being used. It takes a lot of water to clean these dishes. That water coupled with the amount we use to wash our hands, shower, and drink, amounts to quite a bit of water waste. You can reduce your water waste by taking shorter showers, turning off the water while scrubbing your hands or brushing your teeth and in between washing dishes. So, let’s try and reduce our household water waste. Although it may take a little more effort for only a few seconds, these little amounts of water saved accumulate and make a big difference in the long run. Many people have begun purging clothing and online shopping to cure boredom. Instead of replacing old clothes, try upcycling. Not only will this fill your time with a creative DIY, but you get new clothes without spending money. You can also join Project 333. This was created by Courtney Carver who realized that you can live on 33 items of clothing for 3 months. This project sheds light on the fact that we don’t need so many clothes in our closet to create multiple looks. When you grow out of your clothes and can’t repurpose them, you don’t have to buy something new to replace it. Online thrifting at places like ThredUp can help save you money while also helping better our planet. In addition, shopping locally and purchasing fresh produce from a local farmers market helps better the environment and supports small businesses. Products in farmers markets tend to be fresher because crops are picked right as they are ripe, rather than being harvested early so they can be shipped to stores. The produce is often harvested within 24 hours of it getting to the market, which is as close as we can get to fresh produce without growing it ourselves. When food is produced locally it reduces “Food Miles”, which is the amount of miles that food travels to reach its final destination. It can hurt the environment in many ways including, carbon dioxide emissions, air pollution, congestion, accidents and noise. To get a piece of steak, the food for the cow must be picked, transported, made into cow food, transported to the cow, then the cow meat must be given to a factory for cutting and packaging and finally delivered to the store. For large food chains, the food often goes to distribution centers before reaching the store shelves Finally, with all of your free time, send a letter to your legislators to act on Climate Change legislations. Climate change is happening now and scientists predict that we only have 10 years before the most severe consequences happen. We must urge our legislators to act on these changes and make decisions that will help protect our planet. There are even prewritten letters on the internet to make this process as easy as possible! We're now having the first productive congressional hearings on climate change in six years, and the "Green New Deal" has sparked new ideas, energy, and momentum for the call for swift, equitable, and significant climate action. Let’s not let this stop! Whether it’s handwritten or sent through the internet, these messages will make change. These are all examples and little things that you can do while stuck in quarantine. We may be quarantined from the world, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help it. This also doesn’t and shouldn’t stop when quarantine is over. These are things that you can make part of your life every day and they can have a big impact.