Dear Valentine, Let's Save the Earth

Don’t know what to get your significant other for Valentine’s Day? How about giving the Earth a few more years?

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and people often use this holiday to extend their love to their significant others, their friends, their families, and even themselves. But there is someone else we’re forgetting: our beloved Planet Earth. Climate change is taking over the Earth and while it typically feels as though there isn’t much one person can do, that isn’t true. It starts with you. Here are some quick and easy steps I have personally used to change my living habits in an attempt to reduce my carbon footprint.

1. Stop eating meat. Or at least red meat.

This one is usually everyone’s least favorite, as we are so used to supporting the meat industry that it is next to impossible to imagine life without it. Reducing meat consumption can help to lower carbon dioxide emissions, guard land that is being stolen, and protect habitats that the industry is destroying. Every person who takes part in this makes a difference. While it may be hard at first, once you’re used to a meat-less diet, you may wonder why you ever needed it in the first place. So, this Valentine’s, instead of a steak dinner, try fish!

2. Say no to fast fashion.

As tempting as the cheap prices can be, unethical labor is never the way to go. If the more ethical high-end fashion brands are too expensive for your wallet, as they often prove to be, try shopping second-hand. Visit your local thrift stores, or find online shops on Instagram, Depop, or any other similar apps. Small businesses are great to support as they help to reduce economic corruptness as well as lessen the support of companies who abuse their employees. Don’t let your opportunistic thoughts of wanting cheap clothes get in the way of your morals. Make the switch to guiltless shopping now and who knows? Maybe you’ll find the perfect outfit for February 14th!

Cam Morin via Unsplash

3. Reduce, reuse….

Purchasing a reusable water bottle or grocery bag makes all the difference. Think about all the plastic you’d avoid. These reusable goods may seem expensive at first, but in the long run, they will be cheaper and truly more rewarding. Besides, these items are so fun to personalize by painting, using stickers, and more. What’s not to like? At your Galentine’s picnic this year, paint tote bags so you have new and fresh bags to use on your next Trader Joe’s run!

4. And recycle.

This one’s easy. We have been taught to recycle paper and plastic throughout all our schooling. It’s very simple too. At my house, we have a bag for paper goods, a bag for cans/plastic/glass, and a bag for ordinary trash. Rinsing out reusable goods and recycling them helps limit the amount of waste on our planet and in our oceans. Every recycled item will make a difference. So, when unpacking your groceries for the 14th (and every day before and after), make sure to sort out what can be recycled, what can’t, and act accordingly. The planet will thank you.

5. Transport efficiently.

Another doable adjustment is to take advantage of public and car-less modes of transportation. In Davis, the Unitrans and YoloBus are reliable bussing systems that can take you to campus, the airport, and everything in between! Likewise, the city of Davis is very bike-friendly, especially Downtown where bikers all but rule the street. Walking can similarly cut down on gas emissions into the atmosphere, helping to cleanse our planet. From now on, use public transportation to save your money and the Earth’s time.

pink bicycle in front of a stoop Photo by Alexander Schimmeck from Unsplash Climate change and its acquaintances are killing our planet at an alarming rate, and it is up to us to save it. Every person who makes the switch to become more environmentally sustainable is taking their step to help give our Earth more time. Our planet is likely to perish at some point in our lifetime, and that being said, it is time to stop ignoring this problem, and time to take action. There is no Planet B. Spread your love to Earth, and don’t let climate change win.