These steps can mean recycling newspapers at home and copy paper at work, or using energy-efficient light bulbs, grocery shopping with cloth bags, and buying locally-grown foods. While these are all important steps, they will not benefit the planet nearly as much as switching to a vegan diet.
70% of the world's potable water is used to raise livestock for food and 80% of the world's produce is used to feed these animals. How many people could be spared from a life of malnutrition and disease if even just a small percentage of this water and food was used to feed people? And imagine how much cleaner the world would be as a result. All it takes is each one of us reducing our consumption of animals and animal products to make this possible.
Here are some tips for honoring Mama Gaia three times a day, at breakfast, lunch and dinner:
Eat local. Transporting food great distances requires a lot of fuel and produces toxic auto emissions. Purchase from farmer's markets instead.
Eat organic. Toxic chemicals from pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers leech into soil and contaminate groundwater. Not to mention what they do to people who eat food with their residue.
Grow your own. If you have a piece of land, grow your own veggies. If not, adopt a community garden plot and connect with nature.
Go vegan (Come on. . . you knew it was coming!) Animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gas emissions than automobiles. Meat-based diets require 10-20 times as much land as plant-based diets - nearly half of the world's grains & soybeans are fed to animals. Animal waste and feed cropland dump more pollutants into our waterways than all other human activities combined. Say NO to industrial poop!
For more about what you can do this Earth Day, read this great article, "This Earth Day, Go Vegan," in The Guardian.