ReFED is a national nonprofit dedicated to ending food loss and waste across the U.S. food system by advancing data-driven solutions.
“One more miss and we’re trapped here forever.” – Heather, Pittsburgh, PA
Friday, April 22nd is the big day for this blue marble. The theme for Earth Day 2022 is ‘Invest in Our Planet’. And the focus is on “accelerating solutions to combat our greatest threat, climate change, and to activate everyone – governments, citizens, and businesses – to do their part.” A reminder that it’s our collective responsibility, and we’re running out of time.
Here I’ll break down 3 ways you can invest in the planet this Earth Day, and beyond.
1. Invest Your Time
Time. We only get so much of it. And there are many things vying for our attention all the time. As author Zadie Smith says, “time is how you spend your love”. Here are a couple ways to show the planet our love this Earth Day, by taking the time to care for it.
- For an ongoing way to volunteer, reach out to local environmental nonprofits, tap into national organizations working in your community or start a chapter yourself.
Make sustainable changes to your lifestyle
Our small acts add up. Things like using a reusable water bottle, buying local food and eating what’s in season, taking reusable bags to the grocery store, avoiding fast fashion and buying less stuff.
- Here’s a list of simple ways to lower your carbon footprint. Take the time to try a couple and see what sticks!
- If you’re curious about how your diet impacts the planet, this is a helpful resource to learn more about our foodprint and what we can do about it.
2. Invest Your Voice
Learning and talking about the climate crisis with our family, friends, and community is incredibly important. This is how we increase collective accountability and build pressure for businesses + elected officials to take climate action.
Earthday.org has a ton of fact sheets on a variety of environmental topics from plastic pollution to the importance of bees. Or stay up-to-date on environmental policy and climate change news with these trusted resources.
- To satisfy your scrolling itch, you can also follow social accounts like EcoTok on TikTok, a collective of environmental educators and activists who are spreading education + inspiration. There are many TikTok and Instagram accounts posting helpful content. Do a quick hashtag search for things like #climateaction #sustainableliving or #ecofriendly and follow some that speak to you.
Talk about it
Bring it up with friends and family, and share what you’re learning. People trust people they know and it helps spur collective action. Remember to come from a place of empathy and understanding.
- Here’s tips for having an emotionally intelligent conversation about it and some tools to help the conversation.
Get civically involved
Sign petitions, write your representatives, vote for elected officials that support climate action.
- Earthday.org has curated several petitions, such as calling on the U.S. to act on climate change, and telling businesses to stop deforestation. You can check them out here.
- To make your voice heard on an ongoing basis:
3. Invest Your Money
Money talks. Where and how we spend our money is important, and an opportunity for us to align our finances with our goals for a healthier planet.
Align financial decisions with your eco-friendly principles
This is a great overview of ways to do this, from having a green investment strategy to sustainable banking.
- Shop local, and at retailers with sustainable, ethical practices.
- Explore top green investing opportunities.
Support nonprofit organizations that are addressing the climate crisis.
- If you have a favorite, send them a nice donation on Earth Day!
- If you’re not sure where to start, or want to have an ongoing strategy with your giving, support the Climate Change cause on PennyLoafer! This is a simple way to invest in the planet on an ongoing basis. Each month, your donation is combined with like-minded donors and given to a different, vetted charity fighting climate change. You stay updated on your impact via our monthly newsletters.
There is certainly no shortage of ways to invest in our planet. I hope you’ll find a way to do so this Earth Day, and every day!
Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) is a grassroots organization reaching thousands of Latina immigrant women throughout the San Francisco Bay Area each year. MUA has a dual mission of promoting personal transformation and building community power for social and economic justice. They are a national model for Latina immigrant empowerment and organizing.
All Our Kin (AOK) is a national nonprofit organization that trains, supports, and sustains family child care providers. Our mission to transform the nation’s child care system results in a triple win: child care providers succeed as business owners; working parents find stable, high-quality care for their children; and children gain an educational foundation that lays the groundwork for achievement.
Gurls Talk is a community-led non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the mental health and wellbeing of adolescent girls and young women. It was formed with the goal of creating safe spaces – both on and offline – where gurls can access mental health resources, share their experiences and support each other so they never feel alone or have to reach a breaking point.
Mad Agriculture works from head to heart, poetry to science, financing to markets, and soil to shelf to catalyze a regenerative revolution in agriculture that is beautiful, just and inevitable. We help farmers thrive economically and ecologically.
“I have two rare loafers for the table.” – Cara, Pittsburgh, PA
BOLD (Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity) is a national training intermediary focused on transforming the practice of Black organizers in the US to increase their alignment, impact and sustainability to win progressive change. BOLD carries out its mission through training programs, coaching and technical assistance for BOLD alumni and partners.
Through community, play and rigorous exploration, Learn Fresh leverages students’ passion for sports and entertainment to inspire their STEM and social-emotional learning.