Stay-At-Home Earth Day

tablet orangutan
Shutterstock; Photograph by Jessica Darmanin; Photo Illustration by Levi Nicholson

Celebrating Earth Day during this period of social isolation is difficult- since so many events have been canceled, activists have mainly resorted to moving it all online. Unfortunately, some of the Orangutan Gang’s upcoming events have been canceled as well- the “Voices of the Earth” event as well as our annual appearance at the Davidson Young Scholar summit will not be taking place this year. However, in the spirit of moving everything online, we are planning another event with Athena’s Academy; stay posted and check our Upcoming Events page for details.

And yet, in some ways, being at home all day gives us an advantage- we have more time to think. Each choice that we make has an impact- a choice in the grocery store just as much as a choice at home. Having that much more time lets us really evaluate our decisions about just how much we can do for the environment.

Shopping is a good example. When you go to a grocery store to buy food, you’re fairly time-limited; you take no longer than a few seconds to choose which brands to buy. Online shopping, on the other hand, allows you to take much more time making decisions- when you remember that you need something, you can add it to your cart right away, and you can keep items in your cart for as long as you want before making your order. You have the time to stop and research what you’re planning to buy; you can read through the ingredients and compare them to lists of palm oil aliases, or you could look for the product type and find a brand that’s palm oil free. For example, if you’re planning to buy a box of Oreos or a jar of Nutella, you could stop for a minute to see if you can find an alternative that’s palm oil free.

Staying at home also allows you more time to take action through other avenues, like contacting companies or spreading the word. If you find yourself bored today, we’re encouraging you to use our company contact form letter to write to a company that’s acting irresponsibly. You can also take a few minutes to post on social media about the palm oil issue, so that you can spread awareness to your friends. In these ways, you can make a difference without leaving your couch!

One of the things we’ve learned from this period of social distancing is just how much we’re able to accomplish without leaving our homes. Even if you feel powerless while you spend your day inside, there are still things that you can do to make the world a better place. If you have a few free minutes today, try spending it on something to encourage conservation- whether it’s a post on social media, a letter to an irresponsible company, or a little bit of research on some of your favorite products. But it all starts with your choice of how to spend that time.

Thank you for saving the rainforest today.

~Pangaea Finn

Founder, The Orangutan Gang

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