Being environmentally friendly is a mindset, not a fad

In the trending age of farmers markets, fair trade products and organic everything, being environmentally friendly can sometimes feel like a fad rather than a mindset. Unfortunately, most fads eventually go out of style.

I know the world is full of people who care about where their food comes from and what they can do to lower their carbon footprint, but there are also people who buy overpriced t-shirts from Ivory Ella and think they’re saving the world. Every little bit helps, but what I’m getting at here is that we can all do more to help our planet.

Earth Day should be more than just a clever Instagram caption or a cool Snapchat filter. It should be about going out in the world and making a positive impact. Find a beach cleanup to take part in, carpool to class, help plant some trees or invest in a reusable water bottle. Small changes like these can lead to big results.

We shouldn’t reserve changes like these for one day out of the year, however. If we’re going to cut back on waste and pollution, we need to be thinking about this all the time. Living an environmentally friendly life is a mindset, not an event. Every day we’re presented with opportunities to make a difference.

Most days it will be small things, like actively choosing to recycle something before absentmindedly tossing it in the trash, or composting your eggshells after making pancakes at 3 a.m. Other days, farther down the line, it could mean buying a hybrid car or installing solar panels on your home. It also comes down to what boxes we fill inside our voting booths.

 What’s important is that we don’t let the little things slide. Even though you’re just one person, your actions on this Earth matter. If we don’t do more to act now, there might not be a later. With so much at stake, every day should be Earth Day.

At times it can feel like no one cares about the environment, which is part of the reason I let myself get pessimistic and jaded about events like Earth Day. I used to look forward to helping out at cleanups at local parks or beaches when I was younger, but now I’m often guilty of believing there’s no point in trying.

I’m wrong to think this way though. Instead of thinking, ‘Why does this matter when the EPA is on the brink of extinction,’ I try to ask myself what kind of world I want to be living in 20 years from now.

The idea of saving the world can be a daunting and sometimes you feel hopeless when you look at rising sea levels, biodiversity loss or pollution, but it’s a fight worthwhile. We’re all guilty of destroying this planet together, but we can all help save it too.

This Saturday, feel free to post your efforts in saving the world to social media, but do it for the right reasons. Help inspire others to take similar action in their everyday lives. Strive for change, not just likes.