Social issue Saturday environment BirthMay featured image

Social Issue Saturday: Environment BirthMay 2021

Hello everyone! To continue my Social Issue Saturday series, I thought I’d share my passion for the environment with you.

Social issue Saturday environment BirthMay featured image

So every BirthMay and Blogmas I always try to do some sort of weekly theme on either Saturday or Sunday. I have done things like self care ideas in the past, but this time I wanted something a little bigger than just me. I figured that sharing social issues that I really care about would be a great idea!

Oh! If you’re new here (newer than May 2020) you might be wondering, what’s BirthMay? Well, every year I blog every day in May because it is my birth month. I just figured it was something fun to do, and it has proven to be really enjoyable for me. This will be the fifth BirthMay on my blog! No matter how many BirthMays you’ve been through with me, thank you for being here this BirthMay and thank you for your support!

Why I Care About the Environment

So I feel like this issue is the one I’ve been most vocal about on my blog. I’ve done a few posts on sustainability already, or trying to be more sustainable. But basically, I have always tried to be conscious of my own impact. Even though I primarily consider myself to be an “indoors” person, I do love to get out and enjoy a nice walk or light hike in my area, I adore living next to a piece of protected forest and beach area, and I’d love to enjoy nature even more in the future. Even when I travel, I love to go see natural wonders in the area when possible. I love to learn about the environment in general and I really enjoy taking photos of it too! As silly as it sounds, it’s annoying to try to take nice photos only for trash to be in the frame. While I don’t go above and beyond to lower my carbon footprint, I do try my best to keep it as low as possible and I hope that others will do the same.

What This Issue Means to Me

I suppose a large part of why I care is because I feel that the Earth is a beautiful gift we’ve been given and it’s only right to take care of our planet. As I mentioned, I try to lower my own carbon footprint when I can. However, I’ve also come to the understanding that no matter what we, as individuals, do that won’t be enough until big corporations and organizations change their ways. I saw a TikTok (and didn’t do any additional research so I’m not sure how true this is) that the US Navy is the biggest polluter of the oceans as they will dump their garbage overboard instead of responsibly disposing of it. I’ve also seen other TikToks of environmental workers who have said they’ve entered that field because they’re passionate about sustainability but quickly become disappointed because companies try to do the bare minimum to stay compliant with regulations but ultimately prioritize their profits. Ultimately, as a business major in undergrad and grad school, I think that they have the right to prioritize their profits but regulations should be much greater and more strict so that companies do the right thing regardless of whether or not they want to. I wouldn’t even mind if garbage was somehow sampled and companies that made up the largest amounts of garbage were required to pay fines to help recycle or properly dispose of their materials. Also, maybe companies that use large amounts of plastics or paper should be required to only use recycled materials. I’m just brainstorming here but now that I think about it these ideas are pretty good and maybe I should submit them somewhere?

Anyway, my point is that the largest polluters should be held more accountable and individuals shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to try to do their part. I remember living in Barcelona as a study abroad student in college and being amazed that the disposal cans on each street had clearly labelled sections for things like paper, plastic, actual garbage, and more. Honestly, the US is lightyears behind in that sense! My town has just garbage and a general recycling can but don’t make it clear what can be recycled and what can’t so I’m sure that people are mixing in stuff that shouldn’t be in there.

What Do I Want to Do About This

I remember learning about “reduce, reuse, recycle” in school and while I feel like I’ve done well in the reuse portion of that, and even in recycle as best as I can in my area, I’ve really started to embrace the reduce. I’m trying to be more minimalistic, by introducing slow living in my life.

I have watched a ton of videos and read a ton of blog posts on slow living and minimalism as inspiration, self-education, and motivation. The most common tip that the creators of this content share as the first step is to reduce what you’re bringing in. It makes total sense! If I donate five pieces of clothing but then turn around and buy five more, I’ve gotten nowhere.

Of course, having support is so important so I’d appreciate any that you’ve got. Because in real life, I really don’t have support! My mom is the most difficult person to explain this to, as she consumes enough stuff for both of us honestly. I recently donated a huge garbage bag of just stuff and she got excited saying we should go shopping since I “made room for new stuff”. I’ve explained over and over that I’m trying to live more minimally, already have way too much even with donating so much, and that I’m trying to save more versus spend more. In the moment she’ll say she understands and then immediately tries to get me to go shopping with her. So then the cycle begins again and it’s just so frustrating!

Anyway, now that I got that little rant out of the way, I also wanted to expand on the fact that I started consuming content that are focused on slow living and/or minimalism. Luckily, those also tend towards reducing spending so it’s a win-win for me!

Now, all of this is so individual based and I just finished a whole other rant about how big corporations and organizations should be more responsible. I think I’ll probably try to look up a few ways that I might be able to add my voice to others that are calling for these changes. I feel like numbers are key in this movement. I’m thinking I might look for some organization (likely a nonprofit) that focuses on legislative action. If you know of any, let me know!

So that’s a bit of my thoughts on the environment. As always, I intend these to be a little quick snapshot on my thoughts of these issues so if I made you think and you want to learn more, I would totally suggest and encourage you to do some research online.

Thanks for reading!


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