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  • Writer's pictureSiria Contreras

Not to Touch the Earth

photo by Callum Shaw

Today is Earth Day, but in reality we need every day to be Earth Day.

Earth Day isn’t like Groundhog’s Day, where we wait around for an over glorified rodent’s shadow to tell us if we’ll be sporting winter wear or spring attire over the next few weeks.

Nope, we are actually on this earth 24-7/365 spending every single nanosecond of our lives both with her and ignoring her at the same time.

No wonder she keeps trying to break up with us constantly--we’re as co-dependent and toxic as a relationship can be. I mean, most of us take more than we give, we walk all over her every single day, and we’re definitely with her because of her resources.

She’s a ten and we’re closer to a four or a five at best when it comes to what we offer in comparison. Some of us have left her for Mars a few times, but Mars is non-commital and doesn’t have his act together just yet like she does. So, to put it mildly when push comes to shove, we need her more than she needs us. Our over-inflated gas-guzzler-driving, fast-fashion wearing egos won’t let us admit it though.

So, in all seriousness, why can’t we get it together and make Earth happy? Is it too late? Is this relationship doomed? I’d like to think there’s still a spark and that we can salvage it, but we’ve got to put in some real work.

Cue my famous last words, “Let’s figure this out” and my “there’s a solution to everything” mentality.

As we announced today, Consciously Studio will soon be releasing a series of interviews with various “real people” driving “real change” when it comes to this climate crisis that we have created for ourselves under our Project Reality initiative --a division we’ve created dedicated to social issues and the natural next step from our Bring on the Ballot campaign where we follow-up on the issues that helped us drive the significant and victory-guaranteeing Gen Z vote. In fact, it is in collaboration with my dedicated Gen Z team leading the charge, that we’re starting with experts who have been at this for a long time and who can share with us where exactly we stand and the best place to start taking action.

“We’ve got a lot of questions” is the biggest understatement of the year, but it’s true and where we begin.

Starting with the biggest one after the year we’ve had--did the fact that most of the world was in quarantine and not driving as much or even consuming as much electricity (one of the first things most empty office buildings for some of today’s largest corporations did was turn off their electricity and other utilities to avoid the expenses) help at all? In the U.S. it is stated that transportation is responsible for over a third of our country’s carbon dioxide emissions. So did the fact that I drove my car less in one year than I typically would in one month make a difference at all?

Knock on wood that we won’t have to face another pandemic that cripples the world at large in the same way that this one did in our lifetimes again, but it is highly likely that by this time next year we will be back to congested freeways, highways, and interstates as well as hundreds of flights departing daily once more. What happened this year and the “new” slightly “greener” lifestyles that we may have adopted is not sustainable, especially as we didn’t necessarily do it willingly.

Another question I’ve pondered frequently is while we were in this “stay at home mode” did any buildings or even college campuses make any green, energy efficient upgrades or retro-fittings? Having less humans out in public spaces would’ve been the perfect time to make a lot of these future-proofing changes on a city-by-city basis. It is highly unlikely that this happened as budgets were encased in high voltage barbed wire until a sense of how long this state of being would last could be identified--it didn’t help that we had a climate denier who’s fountain pen was left without ink when it came to signing bills that could help further assist this second pandemic of sorts. So, in turn, a HUGE missed opportunity to have used that time wisely when it came to climate initiatives is what we are left with.

The New York Times published this great and adorable guide on climate change for kids, but most adults could afford to read it a time or ten as well.

With Project Reality, we hope to not contribute to more noise but to educate ourselves as to how to best lead others to take action and hope that others also learn something along the way.

Why do this? Well, because someone has to and while there are many someone’s currently trying we need to crack the code to mass-action even if they are small actions, but these Gen Zers just like me, love our trees, our lakes, rivers, and especially oceans, our birds, butterflies, bees, flowers (even the ones that try to kill me like Lillies that make my allergies flare up), wildlife and yes even those rodents like the groundhog. This world is about so much more than just ourselves.

And so we consult the experts. When you aren’t feeling well you consult a medical professional and well Mother Earth really isn’t well and so we consult her doctors of sorts.

These interviews and action resources that we’re creating are as much to get answers to the all-too-real questions that we have as proactive citizens from credible sources as they are to inspire the rest of you to treat Mother Earth better every day, not just on special occasions like anniversaries or Earth Day.

This is not a campaign intended to convince people that Climate Change exists.

No, while we may be creative and sometimes dreamers, we are proactive realists at heart and this initiative is for those who are ready to start taking actions or to expand upon what they are already doing to help us address the reality of this Climate Crisis. If we happen to convert some who currently don’t believe in global warming along the way, amazing. If we don’t, well we’re going to help save this planet for them regardless.

So with fifteen minutes left of this #EarthDay2021, I ask each of you how you will help “restore our earth” and honor your relationship with her from here on out? I know I have a long ways to go myself in adapting to a more green lifestyle, but I too will be asking myself just that as well.


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