Happy Earth Month and welcome to the first edition of Earth Momma Notes! Currently a work in progress, it will only get better with time and love. Like a sustainable fine wine or an aged vegan cheese 🍷🧀
On the first Monday of every month, you will receive the latest edition of Earth Momma Notes right in your inbox! Each newsletter will highlight the latest climate related news, provide science-based green living tips, and share ideas on how to nurture ecomindfulness in our everyday lives.
As a subscriber, you will also get exclusive access to my podcast shorts called The Tea on Sustainability, where I share my take on the latest sustainability news, trends, and discoveries; tackling myths and misinformation as they come our way!
The podcast's very first episode, The Tea on ByBlocks and Eco Bricks, is included in this month's newsletter with a new episode coming in May 🎙️
As you continue to read, keep in mind that my professional background is in media and communications. This means my take will be informed by a combination of climate and media literacy, so you might be met with some hot takes 🔥 that go against the ~heavily marketed and mediated~ eco grain.
I ask that you keep an open mind and remember that it's okay for us to change our opinions when we take in new information. It's called growth, and isn't that what we're advocating for as environmentalists? 🌱
In today's issue
Please note: This newsletter contains affiliate links. If you're in the market for any products or services suggested, please consider using these links to support my work! Affiliate links will be clearly labelled with an asterisk*
But first, a reminder 🖋️
Climate news breakdown
Where we break down the good, the bad and the susty
THE GOOD: President Biden introduced two new national monuments in the Southwest United States, making these areas off-limits to new development. The 500,000-acre Nevada location includes Spirit Mountain, a sacred ancient site for a number of Native American tribes, while the 6,600-acre monument in Texas near the Franklin Mountains expands access to outdoor recreation and celebrates U.S. veterans and tribal nations 🏞
THE BAD: The final IPCC Sixth Assessment Report was released, and it's not looking pretty. The warning: our current pace and scale of climate action are insufficient to tackle climate change. The hope: mainstreaming equitable climate action ~now~ will reduce losses and damages for people and nature. Effective mitigation options exist, we just have to utilize them all and utilize them now. So what do we do? Demand action from our government!
THE SUSTY: Speaking of mitigating climate change, it turns out that rewilding could offer a big boost to climate! Increased conservation efforts (aka rewilding) to bring back key land and marine animals could deliver major benefits and help limit the negative impacts of climate change. It's time to get back to where the wild things are! 🐘
Reduce your carbon emissions this Earth Month
Because we can't buy our way out of climate change
For the rest of this month you will likely be bombarded with advertisements left and right telling you to buy the latest "eco-friendly" gadgets, gizmos, whosits, whatsits and thingamabobs. But as you may have already heard, we can't buy our way out of climate change (the IPCC Report made that very clear).
So if you really want to reduce your carbon emissions this Earth Month, one of the best ways to do that is by driving your car less! It doesn't matter if it's gas-powered, hybrid or electric – they all have a carbon footprint we can reduce.
What can you do instead? Ditch that car and consider walking, biking, skating, public transit and carpooling instead.
I know it's not a sexy solution, but it's a very effective one 🤷🏽♀️
Can't function without a car? Write your local government officials to advocate for more bike, bus and pedestrian friendly roads!
What is eco-guilt and how can you cope?
When guilt goes from motivating to debilitating
You know that nagging feeling in the back of your head, constantly judging and making you feel like you could (and should) be doing more to help the environment and save the planet?
That's called eco-guilt, and though it can lead some people to action it can debilitate others 💔
Eco-guilt (aka environmental or green guilt) always seems to rear its big ugly head when we least expect it, leading us to question whether we're doing enough or doing it right or doing it wrong or even making a difference at all
As you can see, our thoughts can take us on a runaway train of negative emotions pretty quickly, and when that happens there are a few things we can do to make it out the other end:
✅ Aim for progress, not perfection
✅ Avoid comparing yourself to others
✅ Join a supportive eco community
✅ Do what you can WHEN you can
✅ Spend time in nature to recharge and remind yourself why you care 🌸
If your feelings of guilt and anxiety become persistent or overwhelming, please reach out to a mental health professional for support 💚
Remember, you did not single-handedly cause climate change, and you cannot single-handedly solve it either.
Let us each do our part 🌏
The Tea on ByBlocks and Eco Bricks
Spilling the tea on sustainability
The very first episode of The Tea on Sustainability explores the concept of ByBlocks and Eco Bricks, and shares the latest news out of Tucson, AZ where one innovative City Councilman is taking the leap of partnering with a company to divert non-recyclable plastics from his ward and convert them into building material for future community projects.
So grab a drink and get cozy, because we're about to spill some tea ☕
Read the transcript by clicking here
The more you know, the more you grow 🌱
- Worried about PFAS in your nonstick cookware? The FDA and other experts believe cookware is not likely to expose you to significant levels of PFAS, as long as you use them properly. Make sure to take good care, and when the time comes to dispose of them consider other options 🍳
- We all love a good third-party certification, but we have to remember that some can be misused by companies for greenwashing. Here's looking at you, B-Corp 👀
- Friendly reminder that merely filing a class action lawsuit (or settling on one) does not automatically mean the companies involved are in the wrong. Remember that age-old adage "innocent until proven guilty"? ⚖️