I think it’s safe to say that 2017 is the official year of the march. So far, we’ve seen an incredibly successful demonstration for women’s rights that was started on social media, and regular gatherings of people who have something to say about the state of our country and world–and who won’t be silenced anymore–crop up seemingly every weekend. Here in New York City, it’s almost hard to not find an opportunity to join in for your personal passion-cause or even adopt one as you’re walking down the street.
That said, it’s not always possible or comfortable for people to whip up an Instagram-worthy banner and hit the streets. I myself haven’t participated physically in any of the major marches that occurred since January; for the Women’s March, I was out of town for a family event (planned many months before “everything” happened), and this Earth Day, I’ve also had an important family event etched in my calendar for months that will prevent me from speaking out for what is, to my mind, the most urgent and dire of our current struggles: acknowledging the importance of science, and of accepting the realities of climate change. I’m terribly conflicted because, while I wouldn’t call myself an outspoken, protesting type by any stretch of the imagination, I want to do something to push the needle. I want to believe that my one voice, my footsteps, would contribute to this crucial effort to help keep our world on a track of remaining fairly sustainable, rather than losing resources at an even faster rate than we can keep up with.
Rather than wallow in my helpless feelings, I decided to come up with a list of ways that I, and everyone, can march for science on a daily basis, even if you can’t hit the pavement on April 22.
- Eat Your Plants: It’s likely that if you are reading Peaceful Dumpling, you already follow a plant-based diet to some degree or another. This lifestyle is by far one of the most important and effective ways to protect the Earth. By decreasing the demand for animal-based foods, and by extension water, fossil fuels, and land mass, vegetarians and vegans help to create a more sustainable ecosystem for all living creatures to enjoy–today and years from now.
- Donate: Sometimes I feel like giving money to a charity is equivalent to giving a gift card to someone for Christmas–impersonal, and more “useful” than it is meaningful. In the case of charities, especially those supporting science and the environment, which are notoriously plagued by funding issues, money is perhaps the best way to support a cause. There are so many options that it can seem overwhelming to choose, but sites like Charity Watch vet organizations for you, so you can know that your money is going to a legitimate source with the impact you expect it to have.
- Go/Be/Buy/Use Less: Minimalism and Zero Waste are super-buzzy terms right now, but the impulse to reduce consumption of goods, and thereby reduce waste and save space in landfills, is ancient if not extremely simple and commonsensical. Consciously working to minimalize one’s wardrobe, consumption of pre-packaged goods, and other disposable objects (including energy itself!) is an easy way to leave a smaller footprint on the planet–plus it may even spark your inner DIY-er! It’s easy to get started with some basic lifestyle swaps, and before you know it you’ll be second-guessing anything that is wrapped in plastic…
- Set an Example: It can be hard sometimes to advocate for certain causes or lifestyles among mixed parties, and in our current political climate, everyone seems to be on-edge about what we can say around each other. Instead of getting on a soap box over lunch with coworkers or on your morning commute, you can make a huge impact on others’ perceptions and beliefs with the tried-and-true model of show, don’t tell. If you show your family how delicious a vegan meal can be, and get them to try it themselves, that’s points for you on Step 1; if you encourage your sister to hand down the sweater she wants to toss to another friend, or to yourself, you’ve scored on #3. Sometimes the most effective changes people can make in their lives are the ones they’re not conscious of, and if you set a good example for sustainable living, it will undoubtedly be noticed by those around you. That’s Karma, baby!
How will you March for Science in your daily life?
Also by Jennifer:Why a Bullet Journal ® Will Help You Conquer 2017 Like a Boss Lady
Related: What Backpacking Through 13 Countries Taught Me About Minimalism
We’re Behind This Sustainable Shopping Solution (Because #TeamEarth)
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