We are all becoming painfully aware of our impact on the natural world. The concept of tracking our “carbon footprint” puts things into perspective. Which is helpful, because we can all gain a sense of agency — a sense of having an individual role to play — in this big and complex picture we call climate change. "Think globally, act locally." Here are some ways to honor earth day, not just for 24 hours, but for 365 days a year.
- Follow the 3 R's. Look for ways you can Reduce, Reuse and Recycle throughout your home. You’ll save natural resources, energy and money, and you’ll reduce waste sent to landfills.
- Conserve energy at home. From turning off lights and electronics when not in use, to using a programmable thermostat, to changing your air filter regularly, there are many small things you can do to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while saving money on your utility bills.
- Reduce paper waste and junk mail. Think twice before printing things at work and home. You can reduce your mail by using online payment options that avoid paper bills. And there are services that will remove your name from unwanted mailing lists to reduce junk mail.
- Recycle your electronics. Your old, unused or broken computers, tablets, phones and other electronics can often be recycled for free by stores, manufacturers and local governments, which saves natural resources while also reducing pollution.
- Give your car a break. Whether you're commuting to work or running errands, you just might be able to leave your car at home, even a few times a week. Walk, ride a bike, carpool or take public transportation. You'll save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and get more exercise.
- Turn off the tap. Whether you're brushing your teeth, washing dishes, or taking a shower, turn off the water when it's not needed.
- Replace your bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and LED bulbs may cost more than incandescent bulbs, but they will save money over the long run, last longer, and use up to 90 percent less energy.
- Bring your own bags to the store. Use a backpack or bag from home, or buy reusable bags that you can keep in your car and use again and again.
- Buy local. Buying local produce and other items reduces shipping distances from food sourced overseas, and also supports local businesses and communities.
- Act local. Get involved in environmental work in your local community. Local schools, governments, and non-profit organizations often offer opportunities for volunteers to get involved in cleaning up parks, restoring habitats, and other efforts to make communities greener.
GAIA / MOTHER EARTH
Gaia is life, the very soul of the earth, the ultimate goddess of raw, maternal power. She is the goddess archetype that inhabits this planet, offering life and nourishment to all her children. In the ancient civilizations, she was revered as mother, nurturer and giver of life. It’s she who created and sustained us, and to who we returned upon death.
Every culture has their version of the Earth Goddess. The Greeks called her Gaia, while the Incas know her as PachaMama. In some cases, she predates writing: ancient, pre-linguistic references to her have been found, alongside shrines, statues and paintings of her in every corner of the globe. She is the first goddess, the primeval one, the creator of all life and the fullness of her legacy is still being resurrected after patriarchal suppression.
At the dawn of creation there was chaos, nebulous ethers waiting to take form--a landscape without structure. Her spirit took form and she became the Earth, birthing all form of landscape, plant and creature. Though her creation was majestic, her solitude was great. She longed for love and created the sky with whom she mated, igniting a creative force which birthed countless offspring: Time and the Fates, the Muses and the oceans, to name a few. She’s considered the primeval mother of whom all gods—and life itself—descended.
Gaia represents wild and raw nature, and expresses her rage through earh quakes to remind us that the earth is a living presence. Call on Gaia when you need nurturing support. Allow yourself to be empowered through nature by going outside and walking barefoot on the earth.
ART by Hannah Adamaszek
MEDITATION TO CONNECT WITH GAIA
Sitting on the earth would be most ideal for this meditation, but as we are working with her Spirit, find any comfortable sitting position and begin to slow your breath.
Bring your awareness gently into your hips and let all the energies of the day go. Focusing on this pelvic bowl, allow your breath to expand all the way down into your abdomen. Bring anything which causes discomfort or distress there now.
See beneath you the earth, open to greet you, and a red and gold spiral of light begins to glow at your perineum. This light spirals into the earth, ushering you into her most sacred center.
Feel yourself gently drifting to the center of the earth, into her cosmic womb of creation and destruction. You will feel a natural resting place and appreciate the serene calmness around you. Sit in this quiet and be with the calm energy she offers.
If you wish, ask for a figure of Gaia. You may see her as a woman, a goddess, a color or a symbol. Whatever arises is perfect for you now and will offer a meaningful tool to deepen your relationship with her.
When you feel finished, thank her and allow your attention to come back into your body. Open your eyes slowly and celebrate your newfound connection.
via The Newsette
READ: All We Can Save by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Katharine K. Wilkinson
She is strong and she is mighty. That saying goes for this book, the women who wrote it, and the earth they want to protect. Composed with work from scientists, farmers, teachers, activists, and more, it brings a solution-oriented convo to the table on what we should do about this whole pesky climate crisis.
WATCH: Our Planet on Netflix
This nature doc highlights Mother Earth’s natural beauty, including all the little creatures in it. It features voiceovers by Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz, and was led by bada*s producer and director Sophie Lanfear plus cinematographer Sophie Darlington.
LISTEN: Mothers of Invention on Apple Podcasts
Hosted by former Irish President Mary Robinson and comedian Maeve Higgins, this environmental podcast talks about a man-made prob that has a feminist solution. Each week features world-changing women who are in the fight to save our girl (and us for that matter).