It’s the beginning of week six in quarantine and you’re starting to have tunnel vision.
The next couple of days are dedicated to growth. On one hand, you’ve got a marijuana packed 4/20 and then there’s Earth Day – likely another reason to puff on some greenery. But this Earth Day is going to be different.
Earth has rejected us – some say we were sent to our room to “think about what we’ve done.” We have seen tremendous upticks in CO2 emission for decades. All caused by human activity, ranging from the driving of cars to the production of food.
But, some of the smoggiest places in the world have recently seen sunlight for the first time in a long time. China emissions are down about 25 percent since quarantine and social distancing, just saying.
Quarantined with a mandatory (non-mandatory) stay-at-home per safety measures, and on an intermittent cease and desist of the normal lives we once lived, it is unsure if we will ever get to live that life again.
It is wise to take the time now to reevaluate the way we have been living as individuals and pivot toward more sustainable practices in everyday life. Diversifying your palette for sustainability will help you understand what it means to live a more circular way of life.
Use that Greenthumb
There are so many things you can grow at home.
All you need is some planting pots, soil, seeds and some water each day. If you have a yard of a sort, even better. That’s a big opportunity to grow some shit! The first thing you probably think is, ‘I can grow a vegetable garden!’ We’re to say, “yes, you can.”
Seeds can be found online or at local certain supermarkets – since it’s essential at the moment. Grape tomatoes, mint, basil, and parsley are some easier things to grow for the beginners out there.
If you have some apples you can plant the seeds once you eat them as well. This may be more of a long term goal as you may need to move the plant to a larger setting for the apple tree to blossom in 10 years.
Nurturing plants and watching them grow is a process and a journey. Learning to grow life takes discipline. Discipline that can be of use in your life. It’s a meditative process overlooked regularly by most.
Using the seeds most available to you like fruits or certain vegetables are great places to start also. Got a cannabis seed in your stash? Try planting that as research.
Cultivating plant life is a fascinating practice to experience and to breed life from a simple seed, with soil and water is something that can be therapeutic in this lull time. It also is a great way to understand how precious soil health and freshwater are in the ecosystem.
Get to cheffin’
Vegan Recipes, sure! Steak tartar, even better. You grow your own garnish so it’s lit. Get recipes from anywhere; a book, magazine, YouTube, or blog, and get to work on some healthier eats. Or you could even try to make that thing you love at that restaurant you frequent.
You got all day to really perfect that roasted dish or treat you thought was on the other end of this quarantine. Learn to make roasted carrots with seared salmon, sprinkled with some basil from your window garden. Or you can try your luck at some granola – I have yet to find a home cook who can pull this off to perfection.
Nonetheless, you can try to make whatever it is you want, like – you guessed it – weed butter. Use leftovers from 4/20 to spice up your daily meals. Make some weed-infused vodka by fermenting weed stems in a preferred vodka or other clear alcohol to wash down your pan-fried scallions and risotto.
If it is broken, fix it fam
I’m sure you want to get that old film camera sitting on your dresser fixed. The shop is not open at the moment but, I got you. Just learn to fix it!
Websites like ifixit.com (and YouTube) are great places for learning about the ins-and-outs of your cache of broken things and worn items. Platforms like Ifixit give detailed information about a variety of electronics and the tools necessary to work with and the parts you may encounter and need, specifically.
They don’t stop there either. They have guides on how to repair clothing and other fashion accessories including frames for glasses. The thing that you may have let slip to the bottom of your draw since it was out of commission.
You don’t have to be a fashion designer to take the liberty of altering your clothes to your liking. This can save you tons of money. Buying new replacement fashion is old news. Keeps those clothes out of the landfill or in third world countries’ overflowing inventory of secondhand items.
Become An Green Expert
Environmental documentaries are a great way to celebrate Earth Day. This can be anything from the animals that inhabit different regions, or maybe something about the weather and the oceans.
If that’s not interesting enough, go back to the beginning of time with the anthropological series Cosmos, and rewatch how Neil deGrasse Tyson explains why we’re so small in the universe.
All great places to start when learning about all that planet earth has to offer, what the planet has been through and all the effects of man and our future.
We have heard the call outs from climate change activists demanding a change in business and how they operate within their ecosystems. Watching a documentary on that might give new meaning to your way of living.
You could even dive deep into the topic of sustainable fashion with documentaries like The True Cost or The Next Black. Learn about how troublesome fast-fashion is and what the future holds for the future of fashion.
Learn To Recycle
Honestly, we don’t know how to recycle. Only 1 in 4 Americans actually recycle their waste and that is nothing to brag about.
This would be a great time to set up some sort of recycling system in your home or apartment that can be easy for everyone else to understand. it can be as simple as reusing those sturdy Trader Joe bags to put bottles, metals and other plastics in until its time to take out the trash.
Coordinate with your local sanitation schedule to know when to put out which waste. Double-check on your local sanitation website for the days that are for recycled and what items should be stored together.
Often cross-contamination of plastic at recycling facilities happen in the trash. When that happens it becomes harder for the waste to be recycled for further uses. Dapping it up with your local sanitation department would be hella appreciated. Also, feel free to find ways to reuse the disposables you have now. And if you have to buy plastics, make sure that shit is sturdy enough for repeated use.
Put Some Respect on Earth’s Name
Earth Day should be about just that, respect. Every move you make should be a conscious one, not just for one day but for life. The effort it takes to make a change is in the continuum of the individual all the way up to the entire group.
Make every day Earth Day and hopefully, we can see more of the earth in a thriving, natural state, smog-less and without waste. Earth Day is about appreciation and being grateful for our provider, Mother Earth.
Look out for this article on PAGE magazine.