Earth Day, April 22nd, is around the corner and all environmental circles have been talking, posting, gathering for this event all months. I even got emails from people like Tony Robbins and his foundation, who you wouldn't necessarily consider an outspoken environmentalist, about donating and getting involved with trees.org to learn more about sustainable systems. As fantastic as all of this is, it's not nearly enough and just like Thanksgiving, it takes more than one day or one month per year to be grateful, engaged, to love, care, etc.
I was in a room on Clubhouse last Friday where eco brands host and connect with each other for support and to network. One of the topics were algorithms that do not favor sustainability and environmental causes, and actually reject those issues because they are considered "political or social issues". I encountered this problem myself a few months back when I wanted to invest into Facebook ads to run on Instagram to promote Ad Vitam and my course "Live More Sustainably: How To Be A Conscious Consumer". My ads got rejected and flagged as "political or social issues", which was maddening because there is nothing political in environmental degradation and human health. It's all part of the "culture war" I guess.
The reason, it had to do with the election in the US to stop misinformation in 2020. Apparently extremists, conspiracy theorists and dark money groups started to use the same keywords as the some of the biggest environmental movements (because they were working and had big momentum), which has now caused collateral damage for us. Many of those groups have been kicked off Facebook and other major social platforms and are funded and formed on other small private platforms, but for the rest of us who are dependent on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, it's a big problem.
That's the world we live in where truths and facts are so twisted and perverted into non-sensical BS lacking any measure of common sense. Needless to say we were frustrated in that room because many of us have encountered it and are now trying to figure out which the inflammatory keywords are that trigger algorithms to reject such topics. Whether to use the words sustainability or not, or is it better to use eco-friendly, etc... How are brands supposed to grow like that?
The other big question for all of us in the environmental arena is how do we get people to care about sustainability and to start consuming more consciously and away from mindless overconsumption of natural resources as if there is no tomorrow and producing astronomical amounts of waste? How do we make this more attractive and sexy?
I wrote about this now numerous times, but on my journey towards a sustainable lifestyle and conscious consumption I've understood that this is more about your health than anything else. An environmental problem is always a human health problem. Nothing demonstrates this as clear as the current pandemic we are in, or the up to a credit card’s worth of microplastics we might ingest weekly through food and water... You've probably guessed it, plastic is no good in your body and organs. No good.
What I also understand is that doom and gloom talk doesn't motivate people, which is also part of my criticism, or let's say observation with some of the climate movements out there. In fact, it has the opposite effect, people shut down, fall into denial because the issue is way to complex and requires a reorganization of your brain and worldview. The majority of people won't do that and quite frankly don't have the capacity to do it. I've tried to do something different with Ad Vitam right from the start. I wanted it to be uplifting, inspirational and empowering because we have all the solutions, we just need to implement them. It's also not about doing it perfectly but imperfectly. Small things here and there make a difference.
I am not worried about the survival of the human race, which I totally believe we will because humans are marvels of adaptability and change. In that way I am the eternal optimist. What I am worried about though is human health, my own in particular obviously, as everybody would be. And that's why I am on this journey. That being said, sustainability is a personal issue. I want to lead a happy and healthy life, which are intrinsically intertwined. It's really hard to live in a body that isn't well. For that reason we have TO STOP putting toxins in our bodies and ecosystems!
I have been succeeding in my own life with that lifestyle and with being vigilant about keeping toxins out of my body that are so rampant in our consumer products and food. Am I succeeding with Ad Vitam as a platform? That remains to be seen. Regardless it's my wish that I might inspire you to think twice before you buy plastic or make a better choice for your own health and health of the planet with what you put in and on your body.
Now to the main event of the week: In honor of Earth Day we are highlighting some great organizations doing outstanding work you can support.
Greenpeace exists because the Earth deserves a voice. They work to promote peace by catalyzing an energy revolution, defending our oceans, protecting the world’s ancient forests, working for disarmament and peace, creating a toxic free future, and campaigning for sustainable agriculture. The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. They work around the world to help farmers, agriculturalists, and educators to protect the rainforest and all its beauty for future generations. Living Lands and Waters has grown to be the only “industrial strength” river cleanup organization like it in the world. Their mission is to aid in the protection, preservation, and restoration of the natural environment of our nation’s major rivers and their watersheds. To expand awareness of environmental issues and responsibility encompassing our rivers. To create a desire and opportunity for citizens to take an active role in helping to make a cleaner river environment. Oceana, founded in 2001, is the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation. Their offices around the world work together to win strategic, directed campaigns that achieve measurable outcomes that will help make our oceans more bio diverse and abundant. Oceana seeks to make our oceans more biodiverse and abundant by winning policy victories in the countries that govern much of the world's marine life.
Plastic Oceans International's goal is to end plastic pollution and to foster sustainable communities worldwide. They operate with the belief that we can and must act locally in order to create change globally, and we do so through four key pillars of activity: Education, Activism, Advocacy and Science.
World Wildlife Fund’s mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth. They organize their work around six key areas: food, climate, freshwater, wildlife, forests, and oceans. WWF works to help animals thrive in their natural habitat and reduce human threats.
Happy Earth Day! 🌍❤️