Earth Day notes

Exploring the importance of taking small steps at home in response to nature's growing concern
Photo credit: Lorenzo Urbina
Not so long ago, it seemed like only environmentalists, NGOs, and sometimes governments were the ones getting their hands dirty with environmental conservation. But the climate crisis has become so in-your-face that it's obvious we can't just leave it to a few. This is something everyone living on this planet needs to pitch in on, especially if we want future generations to have a planet to live on.

Besides the usual stuff like voting, campaigning, protesting, hitting the streets, making conscious choices, and staying informed, there's a homegrown aspect I reckon is worth a mention. It's about the small, day-to-day decisions we make. These aren't just important for their actual impact on the planet, but even more so for the change they bring about in us as individuals.

Being a nature junkie through extreme sports, particularly surfing in my case, has taken me to some jaw-dropping, untouched spots, miles away from anything we'd call "progress" or "development." Finding hidden waves in the most remote places and the unbelievable landscapes made me wonder: How can I keep this place safe? How can I protect these waves? How can I stop trash from ruining our oceans?

For me, it all kicks off with being aware and making a real effort to lessen my impact on these natural spaces. This can be as easy as picking up litter on the beach after riding the waves, or as big a deal as pushing for policies that look out for our oceans and natural landscapes.
Over time, I found myself drawn to a life on the outskirts, immersed in a rural and coastal setting. This lifestyle keeps me in constant sync with the weather, the waves, the moon, the tide, and the wind. Nowadays, my daily routine is governed by the environment and dictated by the weather, as I rely on it entirely for activities such as surfing, gardening, adjusting my pot arrangements, and composting. The thought of producing plastic when I can avoid it doesn't cross my mind, knowing it takes ages to degrade. It's counterproductive, akin to swallowing a plastic ball. It simply doesn't make sense.

I believe that this transition represents a return to a more natural, grounded lifestyle. It's about recognizing our interconnectedness with nature and making conscious, sustainable choices that reflect this understanding. It's a daily commitment to reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink our actions and their impact on our planet.

I believe we need to become radical — embracing our responsibility as inhabitants of the planet, acknowledging our dependence on it, and recognising our deep-rooted connection.

This might sound a bit extreme, but I believe we need to push the boundaries. How can we incorporate radical changes into our daily lives? I can think of many tactics you're likely already familiar with. Here are some suggestions: Carry a reusable bottle in your backpack to avoid using single-use plastics (bottles, cups, packaging), segregate waste and dispose of it properly depending on your residential regulations, compost, avoid unnecessary purchases of products (clothes, toys, decorations, miscellaneous items). When you do buy, make sure it's a wise buy — opt for durable products that won't just last for one season, wash your clothes less frequently and consider using a micro wash. There's even more you can do: support local businesses, grow your own garden, reduce meat consumption, utilise public transport or a bicycle, share rides, recycle your clothes, toys, books, and other items... the list could go on. But you're probably already aware of these.

The journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle isn't always straightforward, but it's unquestionably vital. By adopting these practices, we're not only reducing our environmental footprint, but we're also setting a precedent for future generations. It's about stepping up, making a pledge, and acknowledging our role in safeguarding the planet.
There's a path that involves reducing consumption and pausing to consider what we truly need and what we can do without. Detaching from unnecessary needs and embracing a leaner lifestyle brings us closer to our most natural and harmonious state. In this pursuit of aligning with our roots and our connection with nature, each person must find their own way. I am convinced that once you acknowledge this, you can't ignore it.

Once you embrace respect for yourself, future generations, and our environment, there's no turning back. To me, this is what becoming more radical truly means, and I believe it's urgently needed.

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Photo credit: Laura Schaeffer