Mother Earth

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This month, we’re focused on a very important day: April 22 is Earth Day, and for us at Down To Earth, it carries a very special significance.

Whether you’re currently a user of our natural, plant-based products, or considering using them, one thing about our company is: we’re passionate about environmentally friendly practices. We care deeply for the health of our planet.

We subscribe to the fact that the only effective and long-lasting way the world can be changed is at grassroots level. If enough people and companies invest in meaningful practices that promote environmental preservation, a powerful shared momentum is created, a positive groundswell that grows stronger and stronger as more people join in.

Throughout the course of history, we’ve seen this happen. Positive social change, the upliftment of humanity, and greater care for nature, have come about exactly because of the sustained efforts of millions of people who have lived and acted together for the greater good.

NO SMALL ACT OF CARE IS WASTED

Carl Sagan, the revered astronomer and scientist, said this:

“Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. Do something.”

And he was 100% right. Too often, we tend to think that environmental preservation is somebody else’s concern. We fall into the trap of thinking that because the planetary challenges seem so great, so overwhelming, that we’re left helpless, or that our contribution is too insignificant to be meaningful. Don’t believe that, though, because it isn’t true. If enough people make small decisions every day that will benefit the environment, pretty soon entire cultures will change for the better.

Right now, our planet is facing some of its most pressing challenges in human history: rampant deforestation, shocking levels of pollution, the decimation of animal life, and catastrophic climate change – and those are just the tip of the proverbial (melting) iceberg.

Honestly, it’s easy to become depressed or disillusioned when we see the extent of the damage the earth is suffering right now – but now is exactly the time when we need to act collectively, with courage and urgency. Humanity’s future – our future, and that of Earth’s precious resources and life forms – depends on it. Whether we care to acknowledge it or not, we’re all dependent for our survival on a very intimate (and sometimes fragile) relationship with the planetary ecosystem that sustains us.

IT’S TIME TO TAKE IT PERSONALLY

One of the many reasons why it’s easy to place environmental concerns down near the bottom of our ‘to do’ list is that of distance and separation. When cause and effect are disconnected, it’s easy to turn a blind eye.

Those plastic carrier bags we sometimes throw in the trash without thinking? We don’t get to see them floating in the ocean, part of the Pacific Trash Vortex, forming a toxic plastic island that is 1.6 million square kilometres in extent – twice the size of Texas, three times the size of France.

And that’s just one example.

So, perhaps there’s never been a better time to practice conscious consumerism. A good rule of thumb is to evaluate our purchases, and lifestyle, based not just on convenience, but on responsibility and compassion, too.

And in the same way that we’re prone to formulating those good old personal New Year’s resolutions every January, maybe global Earth Day could act as a reminder that we should perhaps do the same for our planet.

WHAT CAN ONE PERSON DO?

Here are 10 simple things that each of us can do, right now and every day, that will make an enormous difference to the health of our planet:

  • Reduce wastage as far as possible. If you’re habitually throwing away expired food, single-use packaging, or other resources, perhaps there’s room for a tiny bit less.
  • Conserve water. Consider using rainwater tanks for your garden or diverting ‘grey’ bathwater to
    flowerbeds. Avoid putting poisons or solvents down the drain, because those can leak out into the water table – and poison animals.
  • On that note, try not to use poisons at all, as far as possible – the knock-on effect across the ecosystem is devastating to wildlife and even domestic animals.
  • Choose environmentally sustainable consumer products where possible. Look at the farming practices and environmental footprint incurred by the things you buy. And when it comes to skincare, you may just want to take a look at our range of natural, plant-based products made from plant sources that are farmed, processed, and produced organically, responsibly, and without using any artificial chemicals or harmful additives.
  • Drive less if at all possible – and walk and bike more.
  • Plant trees. Even if you only plant one tree, it counts. And if a million people all do the same thing,
    suddenly there’s a massive benefit to the climate and soil.
  • Use long-lasting light bulbs and minimize electricity usage in your home where possible. And if you can, incorporate environmentally helpful systems, like a solar geyser, or solar power storage system, to reduce your home’s dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Volunteer to help with projects that positively impact the environment, like neighbourhood clean-ups, for example. Even one small commitment of a few hours per year can lead to powerful changes in the long term.
  • Educate and inspire others. There’s nothing more powerful than setting a great example, and a gentle conversation with others (where it’s appropriate) may just lead to massive changes in collective behaviour in years to come.
  • Think plant-based. In addition to being a superbly healthy lifestyle choice, including more plant-based options in your diet carries enormous benefit for the environment. Whether you choose a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, or simply make the decision to include more plant-based foodstuffs in your diet, it’s a
    choice that has far-reaching positive consequences.

LET’S DO THIS TOGETHER

We’re committed to doing everything we can to preserve and protect our planet, its resources, and its many inhabitants. For us, it’s not just a matter of corporate responsibility and one of our key values – it’s something we’re deeply invested in on a personal level, too.

The key is to start where you are, with what you have, and that’s an approach we’ve taken as a company, too. In keeping with our values, Down to Earth recently teamed up with Oricol Environmental Services, who embarked on a project to help support The Ark KZN, which is a local shelter for homeless and destitute men. The aim of the initiative is to help the shelter become more sustainable by converting a shipping container into a recycling drop off centre for the local community and local businesses.

Down to Earth sponsored products for their Open Day and Eco Market – and all funds raised by the raffle were donated to the shelter.

So, let’s celebrate Earth Day this month, with optimism and purpose, and embark on a journey that will benefit everybody.

And let’s do this together.

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