Earth Day - Valentine’s Day of the environmental movement

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Earth Day Today

Earth - She is the sweetheart of nature!

It’s Earth Day again, the Valentine’s Day of the environmental movement, where we show a little extra affection to the one we love the most.

Like any true romance, when you’re really in love it’s actually pretty fun to do nice things for your beloved. So often we are told that being green means making personal sacrifices, and it just struck me how wrong and counterproductive that narrative is.  

I love to watch my recycling bin pile up and think about all of that glass, cardboard, and metal being diverted from a landfill. I smile when I throw my coffee grounds into my little urban garden where I grow collard greens and an apricot tree. I find the sound of the whirring BART train on the way to work relaxing, and I get a sense of almost athletic competitive joy in ensuring that my solar panels produce more electricity than I use. I feel clever when I tend to my houseplants using the bucket of collected water from starting my shower, and I am endlessly thrilled when I discover a new plant-based food. It really must be love.

So this Earth Week,  I want to share a few ideas of how to treat our sweetheart planet right.

1. Make more, buy less. For earth week, make something from scratch that you usually buy pre-made; you’ll learn something new, stimulate a new part of your brain, and of course be able to brag on Instagram about something cool you made. 

Try this recipe for cashew milk (and when you don’t have time to make your own, of course, Forager Project is here for you).

Ingredients

• 1 cup unroasted unsalted cashews (soaked overnight and drained)

• 3-4 cups filtered water

• One whole pitted date (optional)

• 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)

• Dash salt (optional)

• Dash of cinnamon (optional)

Add all ingredients to a blender with half of the water, blend until completely smooth, and then add the rest of the water. Ideally, you will want to use a nut milk bag to strain out any particulates, but if you don’t have one you can use a fine a strainer or cheesecloth. Keep refrigerated and drink within three days or so.

2. Eat more plants. 

Did you know that animal agriculture accounts for more GHG emissions than the transportation sector, or that it’s the number one driver of species extinction, global freshwater consumption, and deforestation? The great news is that some of the most creative and passionate minds have joined the plant-based movement, and vegan food is AWESOME. Plant-based culinary creativity that is exploding right now. I’ll be grabbing some Impossible Burger (https://www.impossiblefoods.com/locations/) plant-based sliders at the Oakland A’s game tonight. You can also find them at a number of high-end restaurants, and even at select White Castle outposts in Chicago and New York. 

3. Hug (or plant) a tree. The information about the positive effects of living near trees just keeps rolling in, from reducing airborne pollution and energy consumption, cooling the air, and improving the mental health and sense of well-being of community members. There are a number of organizations that will come plant a tree on your street or at your house for free or reduced costs, and there are tons of volunteer organizations that plant trees in urban neighborhoods to make all of those leafy benefits available to everyone. Here are a few organizations that can help you volunteer or get more trees in your hood:

Friends of the Urban Forest, San Francisco, CA: https://www.fuf.net/programs-services/greening/CityPlants, Los Angeles, CA: 

http://www.cityplants.org/get-free-trees/our-free-trees-program

Million Trees, NYC. http://www.milliontreesnyc.org/

Maude & Carly - The Forager team!

Sandy Yang