Stop, Reflect and Reset, Earth Day Turned 50

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, an important milestone in the modern environmental movement. This year is significant because we are most likely celebrating Earth day from home.

The Covid-19 pandemic has done the unimaginable.  It has brought the entire world to a standstill. This forced pause has uncovered the undeniable link between our way of life and the health of our planet. It has given us a unique opportunity to stop, reflect, and RESET. In honor of Earth Day, here are five questions to think about:

What if each person only consumed what they really needed?      

The pandemic has forced us to reflect about how much we own and what we need. We are more mindful of food waste and making the most with what’s available. We are reusing and repurposing as much as possible.  We realized we can live with what we have and be happy with simple things.

Does it really make sense to buy goods that travel millions of miles instead of supporting the local farmer and local businesses? 

This pandemic has opened our eyes to the importance of buying local. Supporting local farmers and local businesses aids in building a healthy economic environment.  Next time you hear about your local farmer’s market, make it a point to visit and support them.

Do we all need to go to the office to get the job done?

Working from home can be beneficial to both the company and the employee.  It provides us with better opportunities for work/life balance.  For companies, it also affords them the option to find talent anywhere in the world. The more we work from home, the more we can enjoy time with our families…and the less we commute to work, the less harmful carbon dioxide we will emit into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Do you have to fly to that meeting or can you do it virtually?  

The travel restrictions due to COVID-19 have forced us to do things differently. Turns out we can still have face to face interactions without having to leave our loved ones, unintentionally spreading diseases and viruses and contributing large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere from the burning of greenhouse gases.

Can we all finally understand the collective power we all possess?  

When most of world decided to stay home, we immediately saw the results of our collective actions at work. The air was cleaner.  The sounds were purer.  A carless Los Angeles with blue skies and no visible air pollution. Birds chirping in busy New York Avenues, their sounds previously drowned out in noise pollution. And closer to home, manatee’s swimming happily in our lagoon.  Small, deliberate actions add up quickly to tangible results.

As we celebrate this year’s Earth Day at home and the COVID-19 pandemic eventually comes to an end, let’s not lose the lessons and takeaways. We need to rethink and reassess how we live, what is necessary, and whether we want to go back to things as they were. Our planet’s survival depends on it.

By Ricardo Alvarez-Diaz and Cristina Villalon – Designers and Entrepreneurs
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