Yes, Earth Has a Deadline of 7 Years and Yes, It’s Time to Care

Earth has a deadline.

If 2020 hasn’t provided a glimpse of what a dystopian nightmare can resemble in our future, or portray how the imbeciles in office handle a crisis that affects the entire planet, then you are a lost cause.

If your brain isn’t a mountain of mush, and your moral compass doesn’t steer down President Trump’s ass, then listen up. Now more than ever, you should re-evaluate the ways you are choosing to live sustainably. 

Recently, New York City made headlines once again for a rather distressing statement piece, the Metronome in Union Square. It displays a massive electronic clock that counts down the years, days, hours, minutes and seconds we have left to attempt and reverse the damage of climate change on planet Earth. It sent shock waves through the media, and it should alarm you, too.

I want you to feel inspired by the magnetic, untouchable force of nature. It is beautifully intimidating. 

I often reiterate this motto in reference to sustainable living because it is viable and realistic.

Before we begin, just in case you really need explicit evidence that the climate crisis is legit, here are a few examples emphasizing the concern.

earth has a deadline

1. If you have a fear of water or cannot swim, you should be worried as global sea levels have risen 8 inches in the last century, and the rate to which it is rising has accelerated. This is also associated with melting ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland. Ice covers about 10% of the Earth’s surface (for now…). As ice sheets continue to melt, they also contribute to about two-thirds of the rising sea levels. It’s definitely going to be an unfortunate future for the 40% of Americans who live near coastal shorelines.

2.  Our vast, beautiful ocean absorbs a lot of the excess heat and carbon dioxide caused by the greenhouse gases we produce on Earth, which has sparred our damaged ozone from deteriorating faster. Unfortunately, the mass absorption of carbon dioxide has worsened the ocean’s acidity. The imbalance of the ocean’s pH disrupts oceanic currents, temperature, ecosystems, and more. 

3. Warming ocean waters destroys existing ecosystems, such as coral reefs. Warmer environments also serve as a breeding ground for certain bacteria which can increase the risk of contracting disease (which no one wants to hear in a pandemic, so this should be more than enough of a reason to care about global warming but alas, I’ll continue)

4. I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed that there has been an unsettling surge of intense natural disasters lately that have caused utter destruction on our communities worldwide (Um, wildfires in California, again). This is because of global warming. Greenhouses gases are ruining our protective ozone layer, causing our planet to warm up. Warm air holds more moisture than cool air. Wetter air can contribute to heavier rainfall, and paired with warming oceans and temperatures, you have a hellish concoction for more frequent, disastrous storms. 

We are here to embrace solutions, not excuses.

I have 7 modernized ways to support sustainable living. 

  1. Find 10 sustainable alternatives to swaps in your house. Sometimes, the hardest part about transition is just biting the bullet. Make a plan, and order the items you need in one order if you have to! Purchase a water filter to avoid using plastic water bottles. Stock up on reusable snack bags to replace single-use plastic snacks bags.  Replace plastic wrap with reusable beeswax wrap. Consider dryer balls over dryer sheets. Try a sustainable non-stick baking sheet rather than parchment paper. 
  2. Don’t just turn off your appliances that aren’t in use; Unplug them, too! Not only can this reduce the cost of your energy bill, but it saves energy which in turn, is more sustainable. Shut off your laptop when not in use. Unplug your phone and laptop chargers if they aren’t in immediate use. Do the lamps or fans in every room need to be plugged in the guest room or office space all day long? 
  3. Substitute 5 single-use or plastic beauty/hygienic tools for a more zero-waste, eco-friendly option. It’s a lot easier than you think! Use a bar of soap instead of body wash, try a silicone scrubber rather than a loofa, consider a bamboo toothbrush and charcoal floss, and even a reusable silicone/bamboo q-tip (don’t knock it until you try it!).
  4. Set yourself up for success, and stock up on reusable shopping and produce bags for your next grocery trip. Most grocery stores are reintroducing the use of your own bags. This is stupid simple to do and might I add, I have gotten countless compliments on this bag every time I shop with it. 
  5. Be conscious when shopping. Avoid pre-cut items that are overwhelmed with unnecessary plastic wrapping (Tip: Buy the whole mango, watermelon, onion, etc.). 
  6. Try indoor composting
  7. Find ways to impact the community. This can be done independently or with a group (wearing masks, socially distancing and adhering to the CDC’s recommended procedures). Safely, pick up garbage you notice on your walks. Gift sustainable items for birthdays and holidays. Encourage your friends and family to slowly adopt new sustainable habits. Volunteer with environmental groups. Search the initiatives your city/town may already have in place. I was shocked to discover how progressive my town was with environmental matters, and discovered that my town already had an e-waste and composting program. They even have a program to purchase compost bins from the town hall! If your place of residence hasn’t taken the sustainable plunge yet, contact your local legislation to encourage a community garden or compost, a styrofoam and plastic bag ban, an improved recycling program, etc. 

Mother Earth has been crying out for help for years.  I don’t blame her for threatening us with the consequences of our harmful actions. By choosing to continue our wasteful way of life, we are taking for granted the brilliance and majesty of our planet. We are the only known planet with liquid water on the surface and life. Humans have cultivated society on this planet, unlike anything within our solar system and yet, we are a measly speck within the entire freaking Milky Way. 

Remember how paranoid everyone was about the prophetic, apocalyptic doom we anticipated in 2012? Good news is that we survived it and nothing actually happened but, if you have seen any ominous disaster, end-of-the-world feature film before, then you know that tyrannical politicians are always the first to dismiss science. The beginning of the end.  

Wake up, and take action. Time to take climate change seriously. 

Sarah H

I'm a 20-something from Massachusetts doing the very best I can. I'm a sarcastic cold-brew fanatic with strong Sagittarius energy. I could easily walk 3-hours a day, everyday so consider this a hobby of mine. My favorite food is snack items you can dip, and my favorite animal is an orangutan. Instagram: @geezhessasta

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