Happy Earth Day! Though we should be thinking of the earth all the time, it’s great that we have one designated day. What’s really awesome is that whatever is good for us, health-wise (like foods that help burn fat), is also good for the planet! It just shows how very deeply connected we are to not only each other, but also to our natural environment- the oceans and trees and wind…
Here are four Earth Day ideas that are close to my heart:
1. Get a great water filter for your house, refill a reuseable water bottle, and buy as little bottled water as possible! The problem with bottled water is not just about the packaging. A huge issue is the source of the water itself! In the US, there are 3 major companies that also make soft drinks (I think you can guess who they are), that also own many of the popular and common bottled water brands. The huge companies don’t have to pay any money to pump hundreds and thousands of gallons of water a DAY, and even get multi-million dollar tax breaks! Then they sell the water that should be free for all, at a profit! This pumping of the water is destroying ecosystems all over our country, sucking water from underground aquifers and drying up streams, wells, and making clean water for farms and individual communities more and more scarce. Uggg…infuriating, isn’t it!
The other thing is that a lot of bottled water is NOT necessarily any better than tap water. The FDA does very little regulating for bottled water, and has no regulations to prevent bottling companies from drawing water next to industrial sites, underground storage tanks, or dumps. Some of these major brands’ bottled water is really tap water coming from places like Queens, NY and Jacksonville, FL, with additional treatment. That is what “purified” drinking water means. Um….are you kidding me???????
2. Only eat chocolate if it is organic. Of course I would prefer it if you guys only ate delicious, raw, organic cacao and and kept it dairy-free. But I know how it can be!!! Sometimes you want a piece of chocolate here and there, and if you stick to dark chocolate bars (preferably 70% dark chocolate or higher), and buy organic, it is certainly okay in moderation.
70% of the world’s chocolate is sourced from counties in Africa. These countries do not have the same perfect growing conditions, natural rainfall, canopy cover and protection as countries near the equator in South America. As a result, this African-sourced cacao is grown with the harshest and heaviest load of horrible chemical pesticides and herbicides that are destroying the environment over there and leading to deforestation, contamination of water sources, and major pollution. What’s even worse is that there is a ton of child labor abuse associated with these crops to produce the harvest super cheap. Because of the $$$$$$, millions and millions of dollars of this cheap cacao is imported into the US and used in tons of commercial chocolate and cocoa products.
Sorry to be a downer, but shouldn’t we be informed?? Now that innocent little packet of M & M’s doesn’t seem so innocent anymore, does it. Many delis and stores carry organic dark chocolate! So please just try to plan ahead, if you know you like chocolate sometimes, and stock up on the good stuff. That way, if a chocolate craving strikes, you won’t be suck with el vending machine chocolates as the only choice. And just remember that that commercial milk chocolate crap will make you fat, make your skin look duller than an old sponge, and tax your organs! In case you need another reason! :)
3. Boycott commercial corn and corn-based products. Corn is now the #1 crop grown in America, with almost 80 million acres planted annually. Commercial corn requires more nitrate fertilizer and pesticide than any other crop. This tremendous amount of chemicals pollutes our water systems and is destroying the natural balance of our ecosystems.
Plus, four billion barrels a year of corn are processed and refined into high fructose corn syrup which is in tons of food products now.
It’s all wrapped up in scary politics. Have you seen the commercials that are like, “What’s so bad about high fructose corn syrup?” and they have a few pretty people that can’t figure it out and then they all laugh and say, “Oh, I guess nothing!” Well I’ll say what’s wrong with it! It’s super high-glycemic, its virtual poison to the body, totally elevating triglyceride levels and throwing your body off balance…it will make you puffy and fat and cause wrinkles. Stay away evil commercial corn products!!!
4. Just use and buy less stuff. When I took myself out of Western society for three years and lived in my tent for a while, as well as tiny bungalows and guest houses and only had my backpack, I really learned how freeing and wonderful it is to get by with not that much…stuff. We live in a major consumerist society, that makes us feel like we need so much! Its funny how the more we have sometimes the more we keep wanting and more we think we need…do you ever get that feeling when you go into a Sephora?
Same thing with all those shoes you keep buying! I mean who needs all those shoes??? Ha!! Just kidding. I’m not going to go there. :)
Have a gorgeous week. Isn’t it awesome that Spring is here?? We DO live in an amazing world.
Lots of love,