A Reminder From an Environmentally-Conscious Individual

 

 

Every day should be Earth Day. Every day should be spent protecting and caring for the place we call home. Unfortunately, most people do not even know where to begin. Of course, there’s the commonplace knowledge of refraining from littering, but how much does that really help our Earth? These were the questions that prompted me to undergo an interview with my cousin, Zelia Piasentin. She has always made an effort to learn about ways in which to go above and beyond for the environment and its creatures. She is a vegetarian and an avid supporter of small businesses, and why this is important will be revealed in the following conversation. 

 

Serafina: Why did you decide to become a vegetarian? Describe your experience as a vegetarian.

Zelia: I chose to become vegetarian because I realized I was not happy with the choice of eating meat. People talk constantly about stopping animal cruelty and ruthless animal slaughter, but still eat meat that others kill for them. If I knew how my food was sourced and killed, it would not have bugged me as much as it did, but since I never knew, I cut it out of my diet. Honestly, I never liked it much anyway. As a vegetarian, I have been asked many questions like, “How come you’re not eating meat?” “Are you vegan?” and “How do you get protein?” I feel like most people forget you don’t need meat to get protein. Vegetables and supplements are more than adequate replacements. 

 

Serafina: What are some conscious choices you make daily to protect the environment?

Zelia: In my daily life I try to use fewer plastic products -- metal straws and reusable water bottles have been wonderful. I also try to source organic products such as natural soaps for my hair, face, and body. I walk to as many places as I can in order to lessen the amount of pollution. Granted, I am not perfect, nor will I probably ever be, but it's the small things people do that help make a change.

 

Serafina: What are some products/stores an environmentally-friendly individual should avoid and why?

Zelia: Fast fashion! Most individuals get their clothes online through websites --  Shein being a big one -- and these places are terrible! They produce so much waste in the environment and are usually not great places to shop. Personally, I recommend thrifting or purchasing handmade items. Usually buying handmade is a bit pricey, but the quality is much better and thrifting is a less wasteful way to get clothes. Remember, don’t exploit the stores! For more information, visit “Why NOT to buy Shein Clothing,” which is just one example of fast fashion.

 

Serafina: What methods do you recommend everyone should follow in order to protect the environment?

Zelia: I personally do not feel I am in a position to tell people what they can or cannot do with their life, so I cannot say people should follow them, but here are a few things I personally do to help lower my environmental impact. I use bar soap packaged with biodegradable material. I get my face and body wash from shop eco. and my shampoo from Bulk Barn. They all come in bars and use little to no packaging. An added bonus is that the ingredients used in these products are gentle for your hair! I also use metal straws but some places sell silicon and glass reusable ones as well as compactable ones. Reusable water bottles are also very important for me. 

 

Serafina: Name some of your favourite environmentally-friendly organizations.

Zelia: The David Suzuki Organization is a great organization and David is a Canadian himself! 

There are also many more like the WWF, Sierra Club, and NRDC.

 

Serafina: Do you believe that the changes of each individual will make a greater impact on the Earth over time? 

Zelia: It's 50/50. We either fix it or we don’t; there is no time for debating on what would happen if we did this or if we did that. We started this entire catastrophe and the so-called ‘end of the world,’ but the only way we can fix it is if we all change our habits and change them fast. Electric cars, plastic waste, food waste... all these things just build up and ruin the world. The giant garbage island in the ocean, the crazy weather issues, forest fires, and animal extinction. These things are not just the environment changing; it is us ruining our only planet and home. The faster we fix these things, the better chance we have at saving everything.

 

Serafina: What do you think the most important environmental issue is in the world today?

Zelia: I don’t think one of the environmental issues we have now is more pressing than any other issue. All the issues need to be addressed. We have many things to fix, like the ozone layer, which is a detrimental issue we are facing as an entire worldwide community. We either start now or face more problems in the near future.

 

The reason most people do not actively care and fight for the environment is that we cannot see how the effects of our pollution and society are impacting us right now. Is it not enough that beautiful animals are dying at our hands? Is it not enough that the trees which allow us to breathe are suffocating? Or that our oceans are drowning? That our skies are crying? If this isn’t enough to motivate you to make a change then maybe this will: Just because you cannot see it happening right now, doesn’t mean it’s non-existent. One day, humans will be the ones dying, our society will be the one suffocating, we will be the ones drowning, and YOU will be the one crying. After all, the Earth could easily live without us, but we can’t live without her. So what’s your move? 

 

The Earth is now in our hands. 

 

* Answers from participants were minimally edited for clarity.