Welcome to Earth Day 2020
Looking through my window to the garden, I barely make out where buildings stop and sky starts. No birds yet, just the clock ticking.
At the onset of the lockdown I felt erased, detached from purpose.
Now I feel the opposite, that time has been reclaimed and life simplified. I reflect back on my old routines and know that this one feels better. I’m fortunate. I can’t imagine how hard this is for many.
We’re in unchartered space both mentally and physically, but I’m awake to these changes now, anticipating another beautiful spring day where the tree leaves will unfurl a little more, broad beans creep further up their poles and tips of wildflowers poke through.
Others will be coming off shift, exhausted, fearing for the lives of those in their care and for their own safety. We are experiencing two realities: inside the hospitals and care homes and outside where in the UK spring has joyfully arrived.
The sky is pale indigo and I can make out branches. The birds are singing.
Good things are happening in the midst of this heartbreaking pandemic, one is that air pollution has dropped. An unintended consequence, but it’s a pleasure to walk in my area of south London where pedestrians, bicycles, electric delivery vans and shopping baskets on wheels have replaced the daily choke-up of cars.
Local shops and restaurants have pivoted their models in response to community needs. With cheerful efficiency shopkeepers are getting to know ‘at home’ workers who’ve substituted the fast food outlet to a stroll down the street for fresh ingredients.
Baking is the new national passion. We finally understand that every worker is an equal partner in the intricate structure of society. Kindness has won.
Daylight. Bluebells are out and the apple tree is a mass of pink blossom. We should get a nice crop this year!
Humanity now shares the experience of a single disruptive event. Perhaps we’ll take stock during this hiatus, hang on to good ideas and recognise our bad choices?
Crisis leads to change.
However, I worry deeply about this principle because post climate collapse the only change will be the absence of the conditions needed for life, at least one worth living.
The sun is cascading through the window. Mole-the-dog is snoring in a patch of sunlight.
Earth Day is a focal point to help us collectively consider how we can live better within the nurturing capacity of this beautiful planet.
Let’s pool our ideas. Let’s experiment by starting businesses that will be kind to the planet and allow the low-carbon economy to burst through the dark days of the pandemic.
Empty shops on high streets can be filled, not just with sustainable products but with services and experiences. Let’s link a regional patchwork of small farms to local outlets, select products with an earth-friendly provenance and seriously stamp down on single use plastics.
Let’s create new seasonal recipes, make more music, retrofit our homes, build shared spaces and rethink the live-work dynamic. It’s easy as pie to switch to a renewable energy provider, move saving to an ethical bank and invest in green energy.
Our actions will influence the future of our local communities, and as more people join the low-carbon lifestyle movement, we will safeguard the future of Earth.
I can hear Mala, my daughter’s new puppy, bounding about.
Time to pick up slippers and stop writing this blog because there is work to do.
So on this magical Earth Day, in the shadow of CV-19, let’s get on with making our earth a better place for future generations
Here are a few practical things that you can do today:
- Vote Earth here.
- Use the Earth Challenge 2020 app to gather critical environmental data near you.
- Tend your garden (if you’re lucky enough to have one) – and yes, window sills and balcony gardens count too!
- Discover new brands that use recycled materials in production. We’ve got several great British brands on the Blue Patch website.
- Don’t waste food. Discover new recipes that will get the maximum out of your purchases.
- Educate yourself. Learn about the sustainable development goals. Learn about issues that matter, like carbon miles or micro-plastics in oceans. Since Fashion Revolution week is coming up, learn about waste in fashion and how that affects the earth.
- Switch to renewable energy with Octopus
What we’re doing
We are working on a new website which will launch in July.
Our directory will make it easy for everyone to connect with local, sustainable businesses. We’ll be doing our very best to support the green economy and the environment.
If you’d like news of our launch please sign up here.
Jane Langley is a social entrepreneur and the Founder/CEO of Blue Patch. She is passionate about sustainable British brands and loves learning about the nitty gritty, especially the challenges faced by small businesses. Jane is often found scurrying around Herne Hill hunting for chocolate, her mischievous dachshund Mole in tow.