As humans, we are but the microcosm of the macrocosm: one small fragment of a vast and complex living entity that is the Universe.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a demonstration which saw the birth of the global environmental movement. In the 1970s, it led to the formation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and several formal environmental laws and legislations.
The first Earth Day commanded a complete restructuring of the US economy and mode of thought. Up until that point, mainstream America viewed the smell of pollution, of industry, as the smell of progress, of economic growth and prosperity.
In 1990, the movement expanded to become international, for the health of the planet affects all countries, all continents. In an increasingly globalised society we need latitude where communities are able to address their local environmental concerns. We now need a reconstructing of the global economy, and of world consciousness. As calculated by Overshoot.org, last year we depleted a staggering 1.75 Earth worth’s of resources. We cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet: if we continue as we are, we will deplete all of the Earth’s natural capital faster than it can regenerate.
In light of the Coronavirus, this year’s Earth Day activities have been moved online. It is unclear as to when we are going to emerge from this crisis, but what is clear is that we as a society should carry forward what we have learnt from it. Our health, and the health of the planet are inextricably linked: if we do not strive for change, we will see a future of pandemics and environmental extremities. Data commissioned by The Guardian has estimated that the halt in production as a result of the virus could reduce global carbon emissions by 2.5 billion tonnes this year (5%), but this is merely transitionary if we do not make alterations to our laws, and to our lifestyles.
As individuals, we possess great power through our decisions. What we eat; what we consume; how we vote; how we live alongside one another and all species. One positive learning that has come from the virus is the importance of shopping locally. As Satish Kumar, a former Jain monk and inspirational speaker ascertains, ‘if economic activities are conducted at a small and local level then it follows that the human footprint on Earth will also be small. Large scale mass production gives rise to large scale mass consumption leading to large scale waste and pollution.’
© Photo by richadesigns
Here at Holy Cow Home, we remain open for online orders and are still offering free shipping on all products for the rest of April!
We encourage you to support local businesses that are struggling in this time of unrest. This year is also significant for us, as it marks our 5th year of trading – here’s to many more.
Why don’t you take the time to send a card a loved one, to let them know you are thinking of them?
Or perhaps light some incense or a candle and give yourself some self-care?
I also wanted to use this newsletter to say hello to everybody. My name is Sophie, and I have been a customer of Holy Cow Home for some time now. At the beginning of this month, I joined Poonam as an employee, and will henceforward be doing the marketing and running events for the store. Please do come in and say hi when we open again!
“I do hope that what we have in 2070 is a world that is living within its limits. That is in ecological terms, not going well beyond its current capacity and suffering from overshoots from collapse is something that I fear is likely, but it shouldn’t be if we’re doing everything well. When we have things going well for the environment, Earth Days tend to be somewhat celebratory, and when you have things going wrong for the environment, then they tend to be protests against all of the things that are going wrong and that are harming people. I hope in 2070 we will be in a position to celebrate.”
―Denis Hayes, Earth Day founder (written for Earth Day 2020)