education

I think the key to a better future is effective and early education about important topics such as environmentalism, equality, etc.

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!!!

tree-hugger

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!

 

tree-hugger

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.

Recycling Bins and Water Bottles in Schools

Showing love for the country and nature in general requires us to not have overflowing landfills dirtying up our beautiful lands and waters.

No school buildings should be without recycling bins. You’d be surprised by how many schools don’t have any recycling bins on their campus.  The amount of paper thrown away during my years was honestly outrageous.

Although recycling plastic is good, using less plastic is great!  It should not be a large issue because reusable water bottles should be highly encouraged. Reusable water bottles with school logos could be given away as prizes as well as to students who qualify for free or reduced lunch. This way there should be no excuse for purchasing or using disposable plastic water bottles. The buildings will also be equipped with filtered water in each building, but especially the cafeteria. There is no reason for kids to not have clean drinking water while at school!  Students’ water bottles should be the main drink source for students as opposed to disposable milk or soda cartons/bottles. Water has a smaller water and carbon footprint than any other drink available and the health benefits are practically endless.

My university had a similar idea with school logos on water bottles and filtered water in many academic buildings!  You can see these bottles in the picture above.

If you don’t have a reusable water bottle, what are you doing reading this??? Go get one!