April 22, 2019
Today is Earth day, a day to celebrate and take care of our planet… but this of course should be every day. Now more than ever.
This is some artwork I did with Jung Il-woo and planet Earth. I wanted to convey his love for our planet…
As a Spanish teacher I am required to teach about the culture of Spanish speaking countries which is one of my favorite aspects of teaching a language: the culture. This year I chose Costa Rica, but I chose it in order to focus on its Rainforests and their very forward thinking conservation efforts. I believe that we are living in a very crucial time where changes need to take place in order to guarantee our survival on this planet.
I am teaching and learning with my students what we can do. I am adding the “green” theme to many of my Spanish units. Transportation? Yes, you can learn how to say “I ride my bike” in Spanish but, we can also learn why riding a bike is important for the environment. Sometimes we think it’s hopeless and that change happens only in a great scale, but in the case of conservation every effort counts no matter how small. And conservation starts when we make choices in every single aspect of our lives. From what we do… can I incorporate a green aspect to this? to what we buy: Do I really need this?, to what we wear, what we eat, how we get rid of things and how we get from one place to another. These are 13 of the many things my students and I have discovered we can do:
- Buy a reusable water bottle and fill it up with the best water: tap water!
- Recycle and reuse as much as you are able. Bring things you do not need anymore to second hand stores. Some you can even re-sell!
- Do not use plastic straws. Choose paper straws if you really need them. Buy them and carry them in your bag.
- Switch all your lightbulbs to CFLs (or at least switch a few).
- Choose to bring your silverware for your lunch at work, instead of using plastic ware. You can even leave it a work and wash it and keep it there.
- Bring your own refillable mug to Starbucks to drink your morning coffee. This saves trees! Less cups being used and less energy in processing its trash.
- Choose shared transportation, whether it’s a train, bus or car pooling, over individual driving. Or walk, scoot or ride your bike to work. These choices makes a huge difference in our environment!
- Check the labels when ever you are buying food. Some foods contain ingredients that are destroying the rainforest like palm oil. If there is an open produce market near you, shop there. The food is grown by local farmers and it’s plastic free. Choose local over imported food, this makes for less transportation and less burning of fossil fuels.
- Check the labels on the clothing you wear. What is the material made out of? Do you know about the working conditions of the people who created the product? Buy clothing made of natural fibers and avoid buying clothing made in countries that mistreat their workers.
- Keep the lights off for as long as you can—open your curtains and enjoy natural light. Turn off your computer and all electronics at night.
- Use cloth napkins daily instead of paper.
- Pay your bills online. Put a stop to unsolicited mail—sign up to opt out of catalogs, and pre-screened credit card offers.
- Stop using plastic bags. Get reusable mesh bags for you produce too. Avoid buying items packaged in plastic. Do not buy plastic items unless you have no other option. Look at this video… it tells us why:
We can do this not just for us humans but for all the rest of the creatures we share this planet with! I came across this article that made me so sad… because it is Jung Il-woo’s animal symbol and I had no idea this was happening to them:
There are so many things happening that it can be disheartening and overwhelming… but just start with taking one step in doing something for planet Earth, for us… and you will see that the next steps become easier and easier and you feel good because you know you are doing something!
I will leave you with this… it is also about frogs and so beautiful… we can do this! We can live and take care of our planet! So we can jump like frogs for many years to come!
May the Earth be in your thoughts… today and always!