Earth Day: Celebrating Our Mother!

There is a reason we call our planet Mother Earth. She protects and provides for us. Along the same lines, we should not bite the hand that feeds us. We cannot simply return the favor by expressing gratitude for all she has done for us; thanks will not save the planet!

We must work to achieve harmony between the Earth and all those that inhabit her. a common expression for the planet earth in a number of countries and regions, which reflects the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit.

On this International Mother Earth Day, I want to encourage everyone to reconsider how they interact with the natural world.

You might be wondering how to help Mother Earth today. Here are some useful tips:

  1. REDUCE
    • The first thing to go should be plastic straws! They are completely unnecessary and aren’t recyclable!
    • Eat local, grow your own food, and incorporate meatless meals if you don’t already!
    • We know fast-food is wasteful, but so is fast fashion. Try purchasing your clothes second-hand and donating or giving away the clothes you don’t wear!
    • When possible, buy high quality items because generally they will last longer!
  2. REUSE
    • Reusable water bottles are a must!
    • Using reusable bags at the grocery store is also an easy way to reduce waste too!
  3. RECYCLE
    • If you do find yourself with a water bottle, aluminum can, or other recyclable material, please recycle!
    • Make sure what you put in the bin really is recyclable in the area and is clean. It’s a real bummer if the materials aren’t recycled due to contamination.

These are simple tips, but they could help change your life and lead you to have a positive impact on our planet and those around you! It also won’t hurt when you save money on clothes and water bottles!

Let me know how you are showing love to Mother Earth today!

Environmentalists: What are they? Am I one? Can I be one?

According to Merriam-Webster, environmentalism is advocacy of the preservation, restoration, or improvement of the natural environment; especially:  the movement to control pollution.

I am always up for advocating for those whose voices are not heard.  The Earth is a special case because she has been trying to warn us with rising temperatures, mass extinction, and increased infections/illnesses due to smog, but we are not listening!!!

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me hugging a very big tree

When someone says “environmentalism,” many people think about tree-huggers, “extreme” vegans, bicyclists who don’t shower, “hippies” who don’t shave, a crazy lady who yells at you for not recycling, and any other stereotype that may or may not be true about me.  It turns out plenty of people fit into those categories who aren’t concerned about environmentalism and plenty of environmentalists don’t fit into those categories!  You don’t have to be all (or any) of these people in order to start on your path to advocating for the natural environment.  Your path does not even have to be towards these descriptions!

 

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me hugging a not so big tree

Questions have circulated such as “Can you call yourself an environmentalist and still eat meat?” and “Can you call yourself an environmentalist if you have kids?”  I definitely think you can and I think you can do a lot of good!  I am not arguing that reducing meat consumption and population would not have a positive impact on the environment.  It definitely would, but that should not stop someone from having access to the environmentalism community.  There are so many more things we can do together such as recycle, take shorter showers, not buying fast fashion, reduce storm water runoff with bioswales, grow fresh food, reduce energy consumption, research renewable energy options, use reusable shopping bags, plant trees, and literally so much more!  You don’t have to do everything as long as you’re not doing nothing!

As an environmentalism community we should ask for change from each other and expect change from ourselves. We should advocate for a shift towards environmentally friendly actions, but also be welcoming and accessible to those who are not ready or even able to make big changes. Each positive action or reduction of negative actions add up!  No two environmentalists are the same so our goals may not be the same.  Regardless, we need to support each other!

Let me know your current goals below!  And let me know if you agree that meat-eating, children-having, car-driving, (anything else-doing) people are members of our community.

Shatter the Silence

Yesterday, I went to Take Back the Night at my university. This was my fourth Take Back the Night! The event included a march throughout campus, an opportunity for survivors to speak out about their experiences with sexual assault, a glow stick vigil, and many opportunities for education about sexual assault and the resources available on my campus.

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Sadly I don’t have any pictures from my first Take Back the Night in 2013

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The crowd at Take Back the Night 2016 in Oxford, MS.

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The chancellor of the University of Mississippi and I at Take Back the Night 2017 in Oxford, MS

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Executive members (past and present) of Rebels Against Sexual Assault at Take Back the Night 2018 in Oxford, MS

 

It is empowering to march down the streets chanting:

Shatter the Silence! / Stop the Violence!

People Unite! / Take Back the Night!

What do we want? / Justice. / When do we want it? / Now!

The people united / will never be divided.

We have the power. / We have the right. / We are here / to Take Back The Night.

I won’t be shamed. / I won’t be blamed.

Take Back My Life.  /   Take Back The Night.

This year I participated in the speak out portion of Take Back the Night. This can be difficult, but it was definitely worth it.

You can read what I said below:


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