Restoring the Earth TogetherFeb 26, 2021 03:02PM ● By Tanisha Banerjee
On April 22, communities across the world celebrate Earth Day—this year’s theme is “Restore the Earth.” Threats to our environment may be classified as natural or anthropogenic (manmade), but despite current mitigation efforts, the climate crisis of global warming is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. As the planet’s population increases, our collective health is deteriorating. Although increased pollution, heightened natural disasters and even extinction may threaten to define our future, we can take action now to restore the Earth by adopting sustainable changes in our community.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that Americans throw away 4.5 pounds of trash every day, but at least 25 percent of that can be avoided by taking mindful action. The three R’s (reduce, reuse and recycle) remind us to stem the tide of pollution and waste. Practices such as using reusable bottles for water, writing on both sides of paper, bringing reusable bags to the grocery store and composting food waste can move us one step closer to a greener planet.
Conserve Energy: Greenhouses gases are the main culprit of the climate crisis. Emissions released from the burning of fossil fuels increase CO2 in the atmosphere, deplete the ozone layer and lead to an increase of ground-level UV radiation. By changing our energy spending habits and adopting alternative energy sources, it is possible to mitigate the effect of greenhouse gases on climate change. Turning off the faucet while brushing teeth, turning off the lights when leaving a room, using a clothesline instead of a dryer, carpooling, riding a bike or taking public transportation are all incremental changes that can help reduce our carbon footprint.
Participate in Community Clean-Ups: In addition to fostering environmental-friendly changes in our own lifestyle, we can get off the couch and join community clean-up teams and volunteer organizations or participate in a local park, river or beach clean-up event. To help clean up the James River, visit TheJamesRiver.org/What-You-Can-Do/Volunteer.
Adopt Changes in the Workplace: Change is possible everywhere, from our homes to our jobs. The pandemic has created more home offices than ever before, reducing the number of vehicles driving to work or requiring air travel to attend meetings around the globe. “Green Task Teams” are the latest trend many companies are adopting to create more sustainable work environments for their employees, devising strategies such as purchasing more eco-friendly office supplies, placing recycle bins throughout the workplace, and encouraging employees to go paperless by reading and filing documents online instead of printing them.
Change starts with action. We can all join the movement on Earth Day to change the world and take steps each day toward building a better, greener future.
Tanisha Banerjee is the founder of Senior Connections of Glen Allen and TheNewWoman.org, a digital media and lifestyle brand covering women’s wellness, sustainable lifestyle and eco-friendly products.