It’s Earth Day. The annual day on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. In theory, this was something I have cared about for my whole life. Like so many, I’d maybe share a cool “Earth Day” picture on facebook, or read an article online, or update my status to show how “supportive” I was of “Earthy” things… But to be honest, I never really did anything that mattered.
Slowly over the years I’ve taken a much more active approach to greener living. And while I still haven’t done anything “monumental,” I’ve learned that Earth Day is really about the small things each of us do. Every day.
Why? Because we are connected to the earth. And if that sounds a little too “hippie” for you, I can put it another way:
The earth’s problems are most certainly our problems.
Consider the fact that 1.2 million premature deaths in China are linked to air pollution. Or that air pollution has increased the risk of death after a heart attack. Or that, according to a Cornell Study water, air and soil pollution causes 40 percent of deaths worldwide.
Of course there’s more to consider than just pollution. Consider how CAFOs and other horrific animal practices devastate the land… and our health. Or how our landfills are filling up while our forests are coming down. Or… or… or…
Think what we do to the earth doesn’t matter? Think again.
Earth Day is about each of us. It about our health. It’s about our future and our children’s future.
The Disease of “Too Much Stuff”
Most of us (myself included) are living in a world of abundance that is marketed as a world of need.
We are told:
You “need” that new car.
You “need” that bigger garage.
You “need” the latest smart phone, tablet, or electronic device.
Unfortunately, most of us are not so great about what we do with all that stuff when its shiny “newness” wears off. Our discarded items end up cluttering a landfill or cluttering our homes.
In fact, a recent UCLA study concluded that American families are overwhelmed by clutter, too busy to go in their own backyards, and can’t park their cars in the garages because they are full of too much stuff. (source)
The conclusion made by this team of anthropologists and archaeologists, after spending four years studying 31 middle-class Los Angeles families was described as “disheartening.”
Do you have too much stuff?
- Think about what all this stuff means.
- Think about the landfills brimming with stuff.
- Think about the pollution created to make stuff.
- Think of the stress we put on ourselves to afford all the latest stuff.
- Think of the clutter in our homes.
- Think about the greed, the “I need” mentality that has polluted the American people.
If you don’t think this has an impact on your health, you are wrong. Our stuff is making us sick. It’s making our Earth sick.
But what can you do about it?
Unfortunately, our consumer ways are tied so intricately to our economic stability. We tell ourselves that we need to buy more stuff to sustain business. And while the most hippiest of us all (hello!) sometimes dream of selling everything and living in a yurt (seriously), the majority of Americans are not so willing to give up their awesome vacations, newest hobby, or whatever else is driving the need to buy.
This is a project very near and dear to my heart. And it’s not just because I’ve helped my husband try to get this project going for over a year now. It’s because it’s a step in the right a direction. A step toward sharing and renting. A step toward really addressing our consumerism ways without having to give up everything we enjoy.
And today, on Earth Day, we are asking for your help.
Rentitude is a website and mobile app that makes sharing and renting things easy from businesses and other individuals just like you. Today marks the day of our public crowd funding campaign, and we need your help in this sharing and renting revolution to sustain the environment, reconnect our communities, and stabilize the economy.
Our goal is to double the amount of collaborative consumption in the United States in the next 5 years. Meaning: We don’t need more stuff… just a better way to make use of the stuff we already have.
How you can help:
Small and simple steps CAN make a difference in our world’s problems. Please check out the project, share with your friends, and help us make a difference in the world.
Together, we all get more.
NOTE: Due to an never-ending cesspool of spam, I have made the tough decision to close comments 14 days after the original posting of all posts. Sorry to anyone left out of the conversation. I just needed to spend less time monitoring spam and more time with my kids. Best wishes, Robin!