Earth Day 2021 Restore Our Earth
Earth Day falls on April 22 every year and has since 1970. We have had 51 years to absorb the importance of tending to our planet, our home. 51 years to do something about it, to make meaningful changes. We have made some changes but not enough to keep pace with all that we take from the Earth.
This years theme is "Restore Our Earth". We can no longer pretend the Earth is an infinite resource we can continue to abuse. We can clearly see all around us the devastating effects of climate change. In order to restore the Earth we must first acknowledge how it got this way. Capitalism, white supremacy, colonialism, industrialism, and so on are all responsible. In short, humans. We have done this. A shift in our beliefs & priorities is critical if we are to achieve the necessary changes before it is too late. And we are scarily close to it being too late. For many species on this planet it is already too late. But there is good news. There is hope. I see it every day in the Shelby Reef community. So many doing so much with great passion! I am inspired every day by our youth. Wow, you guys are amazing! A small group or even just one person can make a difference! Keep scrolling...
Shelby Reef exists to save and protect sharks and clean up our oceans. So on this Earth Day I'd like to focus on the ocean and how it relates to restoring the Earth. Specifically, plastic pollution. Ugh! Check out these statistics:
An estimated 8 Million tons of plastic enters our oceans every year. There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste estimated to be in our oceans. 269,000 tons float, 4 billion microfibers per km² dwell below the surface. 70% of our debris sinks into the ocean's ecosystem, 15% floats, and 15% lands on our beaches. And all this plastic is TOXIC!
WOW! This is a HUGE problem and is quite overwhelming. What can we do? You and I? What can one person do? A LOT! Here are 10 things you can do that will have a big impact:
1. Stop using single-use plastics - 90% of the plastic items in our daily life are only used once before they are tossed away (there is no "away", it is piling up!)
2. Stop buying bottled water - Really, just STOP! You are pretty much paying for tap water anyhow so grab a reusable cup and fill up (coming soon...Shelby Reef reusable cups!).
3. Check your products for microbeads (plastic) - Bath & Body, make up, etc.. Know what's in the products you use (have to include this for our sharks; if you use products that list squalene or squalane as an ingredient, it is imperative to look for labeling which states they are 100% plant-derived/based, 100% vegetable derived/based, or 100% plant/vegetable)!
4. Cook more - It reduces the amount of single-use plastic used. And it's healthier!
5. Thrift! Yes, buy things secondhand. Save some moola and no plastic packaging!
6. Buy in bulk - take your own reusable bags.
7. Recycle - Duh.
8. Pressure companies to use ecofriendly packaging.
9. Get some cute reusable bags for grocery shopping - for bulk and produce items...and remember to use them (I am so bad at this)!
10. VOTE! - Vote for candidates who make restoring the Earth a priority and if you are too young to vote you can still call, write or visit your local representatives and let them know that Climate Change and Plastic Pollution must be a priority.
WE CAN DO THIS! HAPPY EARTH DAY FELLOW EARTHLINGS!
Be the change,