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  • Writer's pictureDiana Perez

Earth Day 2022 | Being a Not-so-Perfect Environmentalist

Happy Earth Day! The environmentalist movement gives us hope that other people are also working to fight climate change and conserve the earth for future generations to come. Outdoor Connections USA has enjoyed collaborating with hundreds of passionate individuals and organizations that genuinely care about our land and oceans, such as Debris Free Oceans,

Surf Rider Miami, Miami Water Keeper, and Citizens for a Better South Florida

I recently encountered a video on my feed that I would like to bring to everyone’s attention. It is essential to note the pressures individuals are given to fix the environmental problems that major corporations are often at fault for. Only 100 companies make up 71% of greenhouse gas emissions. 54% of the 90 most significant tropical timber and pulp companies have not publicly committed to protecting biodiversity. Also, 44% have yet to commit to zero deforestation publicly.

While educating yourself and practicing sustainability is essential, putting things in perspective and holding corporations and governments accountable is also necessary.

I attend coastal cleanups (heck, Outdoor Connections USA host plenty too), use reusable water bottles, try to buy from sustainable companies only, and the list goes on. However, I sometimes forget my reusable things or buy a piece of clothing that was not sustainably made. For quite some time, I felt guilty; I felt like a fraud.

After reflecting and putting plenty of thought, I’ve decided to redirect my energy and focus on the fight against major corporations. This could consist of signing petitions for companies to stop dumping illegal waste, emailing companies to make the change to sustainable packaging, and voting for candidates that will go after major corporations and their contributions to climate change. The most significant way to make change is to hurt these companies where it hurts—their pockets.

There’s no such thing as a perfect environmentalist; we can only strive to be. Everyone has choices. Some people decide to become vegan, others choose to be child-free, and a few devote their lives to environmental research. We all have roles we can play. Next time, don’t be critical of yourself or others - take that energy and start calling out companies like Coke and Nestle, who are doing little to save the planet. - Diana (the not-so-perfect environmentalist)

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