Affirmations & Empowerment for Earth Day 2021

Woman sits with her arm around her black and white dog, on the edge of a garden bed of ivy

It’s that time of year when our Earth gets a lot of extra love, and I am all about that! 🌏🙌 

I have always been a firm believer that every action – even the seemingly smallest ones – adds up to lasting impact. With sustainability and taking care of Mama Earth, we can all come together to make a difference. A water droplet may seem small on its own, but together with others, it is a whole ocean. 

I know eco-anxiety can sometimes cause people to feel too overwhelmed to know where to start. This Earth Day, let’s ground down in our connection to the planet with some empowering affirmations before getting into ways we can get to work.

Earth Day Affirmations

Eco-anxiety describes the feeling of dread or overwhelm that can come up when thinking of the state of the planet and the uncertainty of the future. It can make you feel hopeless or angry. There are times this bubbles up for me, too, and in those moments, I try to pause, allow the feelings to be, then see how I can move on from them. This is important because we are not able to be in the best position to make change when we allow the anxiety to consume.

One of the best ways to connect to the Earth is through gratitude. You can take a walk and note what you feel grateful for – the sun on your face, the gentle breeze rustling the trees, buzz of bees pollinating the flowers, songs of the birds. I love walking barefoot in the grass as much as possible and tending to my gardens. Try whatever helps you to feel most grounded. When we feel more connected to the Earth, we feel more empowered to do our part in protecting it. Use these affirmations in a meditation of your choosing or to calm when eco-anxiety runs high.

I am grateful for the Earth and want to protect it.

I have the power to make a difference.

My actions, big and small, matter and have an impact.

The Earth is my home. I respect and honor it.

I choose to do all I can to take care of the Earth.

Black cat looks up while sitting next to a flower bed

Individual actions do matter

There are an estimated 1.56 billion masks in the ocean from over the last year, adding to the already high annual plastic pollution rates. (source) While of course, we have needed these life-savings masks to protect from COVID19, proper disposable is certainly in our control. Just take a trip to your grocery store or walk around the neighborhood to see discarded masks 😞 We can do better! Please make sure you are cutting the straps of disposable masks before placing them in the trash.

So while I agree that corporations are the biggest culprits in destroying our planet, what we do absolutely has an impact. To me, this is really empowering, and I hope it is for you too! This helps give hope and purpose – we can make a difference.

Reducing food and plastic waste

Food waste accounts for the highest percentage of waste in landfills at 24%. The second highest? Plastic at 18%. (source) This doesn’t even account for pollution in oceans and waterways or littered elsewhere.

Grocery shop & meal plan strategically 

Food waste is an area that my husband and I are always trying to get better about. Some ways we combat this is by always having a list when grocery shopping and planning our meals ahead. We plan for leftovers to try to stretch out meals. Naturally, there are weeks when we visit my Grandma and have more leftovers than we accounted for, or need a break from cooking and order take-out mid-week, or simply are not able to eat all we’ve cooked. But we try our best to limit this waste as much as possible.

Consider composting

This is one I am super excited about because we are starting a compost bin at our new home! You can turn food scraps and all kinds of household waste into nutrient-rich soil right in your own backyard. This helps reduce landfill waste and will make your plants happy, too!

Cut down on plastic

If you have the option, opt for plastic-free items as much as possible. Using reusables outside the home is still a little limited as the pandemic continues, but there are probably still ways to shave down your plastic intake if you think about it. Start by jotting down the plastic you come into contact with throughout the day and ask yourself if there is an alternative you can use. 

Privilege Acknowledgement 

As a reminder with all these suggestions, there are certain privileges that need to be acknowledged. For example, if a person doesn’t have clean drinking water at home, it’s unlikely they will be able to fill a reusable bottle before they leave the house. While many reusables save money over time, they do require an upfront investment. Personally, I generate more waste than in years past due to items I need for my chronic illnesses. The bottom line is, while there may be an opportunity for everyone to reduce waste in various ways, not everyone has the same opportunities. 

As Anne-Marie @zerowastechef says, you don’t have to do zero waste perfectly to have an impact. 

Graphic from the Zero Waste Chef reading 'You don't have to do zero waste perfectly to make an impact'
Image from @zerowastechef on Instagram

Hold corporations accountable

Just as we have the power to make a difference with our choices, we also can make a difference by holding corporations accountable. Many companies make bold statements to reduce their impact but aren’t making strides in achieving these goals. One of the best ways we, as individuals, can affect change is how we spend our dollars.

Be wary of ‘greenwashing’

While shopping for sustainable or eco-friendly swaps, be cautious of ‘greenwashing’. This term essentially is when a company markets their product as eco-friendly but they don’t invest in actually making the product itself eco-friendly. Knowing where and how the product is made, as well as understanding the company itself, is a way to combat greenwashing. Do they have a history of surface-level environmental claims with no follow-through? Sometimes it can be hard to know on the fly when you’re in the store, but here is a great article for things to look out for.

But do support those honestly working to change

If a company does start to genuinely turn the tide and change their manufacturing or product offering, give them a shot! This will let them know that their customers want and support these efforts, which will hopefully lead to more good.

Invest in responsible companies

If you’re one of the 137 million Americans who own stock, be mindful with your investments! When you invest in a company, that’s like owning a teeny tiny part of it – when it does well, you do well and vica versa. And you want to be on board with whatever “your” company is about, right? Or at least help nudge them in the right direction. As this article states, “we can use that position as shareholders to push companies to our long-term interests and our deeper values”.

Do the best you can

It’s important to not get caught in black and white thinking when it comes to caring for the environment. No one can do zero-waste “perfectly”, but we don’t have to become complacent, either. Any and every choice you make to be more eco-conscious has the power to make an impact. 💛🌿

For more Earth Day inspo, check out these posts:

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