All over the US and Canada there are millions of people celebrating Earth Day, and I often wonder what this day really means to people. For me Earth Day is a reminder to be kind to Mother Earth and remember that as much as we have renewable resources, it doesn’t mean we have unlimited resources.
Our household does what we can to reduce, reuse and recycle, but I know we could likely be doing more. But how much more? And how much is realistic? As a Motivational and Empowerment Coach, I work with my clients to learn and find balance within their lives—to be honest with what they can do to achieve the life they desire.
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Looking at how my family embraces the love of nature and wanting to do more to support Mother Earth, I am always asking myself, "How much more can we honestly do without it backfiring so that we ultimately use more resources or become more wasteful?" Between recycling and composting, growing our own vegetables, making single car trips instead of multiple car trips, riding our bikes in the summer, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and using low wattage light bulbs, it’s hard to identify where we could make more changes so the experience feels natural.
I believe this is the key behind embracing the three Rs on Earth Day: your actions need to feel natural in order to be sustainable. Not doing laundry or driving on Earth Day may just mean you’ll do double tomorrow; it doesn’t mean you’ve been Earth friendly. So my question is, "How do you naturally reduce, reuse and recycle in your life?" This then leads me to the following questions.
- Having a recycling bin to put your recyclables in is a great start; what would be the next step to increase your recycling naturally?
- Taking old clothes, appliances or items to places like Goodwill or The Salvation Army is a great place to start to find new uses for old items; what would the next step look like to increase your reuse of "old" to create something "new"?
- Reducing is a little more tricky. How do you define the term "reduce"? I believe this is a great starting point. Does it mean you are reducing the amount of garbage that goes to the landfill? Or does it mean you are reducing the amount of electricity you are using? What else does the word "reduce" mean to you? For me it is basically, "How do I reduce my consumption across the board in my life and set the example for my children that bigger is not better, but rather that you are able to still do and be what you desire and deserve?" Living a minimalist lifestyle is not for everyone, so how can those who really want the bigger lifestyle still embrace the three Rs?
I love Earth Day and all of which it reminds us of and to which it calls us into action, but it is also a day to ask questions that allow us to create out-of-the-box solutions to a challenge that we really need to be addressing daily and not simply on a single day of the year. I encourage you to be open to your own questions with regard to what today means to you and your family.
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Until next time, embrace your inner wisdom.