A love letter to Mother Earth w/ sustainability educator Meg Koch
Updated: Oct 4, 2022
February the month referred as the “month of love”. I think that I’ve never realised - until having to read a bunch of articles to prepare this episode - how strong some people feel about Valentine’s day (it’s a real battle field out there) may it be those who are in favor of it or those who despise it for whatever reason may it be for the commercial aspect or as certain people called it out, for being “ a pagan holiday”. The main argument being that there shouldn’t be one day of the year to show love to your loved one or ones, since it you could do that all the year around. Which I agree to some extent. However, to my mind, it’s not because you dedicate one specific date to something that it prevents you from doing it the rest of the year. There are not exclusive to one another. For example, it’s not because you have your birthday once a year that you are not celebrated and loved by your people, your tribe the rest of the year. I mean, I hope so! This specific date … celebrations in general, can be seen as a good reminder to keep on putting out intentional efforts throughout the whole year towards that something that you’re celebrating on that day, to keep that energy all year around. I mean, we’re humans which means that sometimes we slack, we need to be reminded and a reminder helps getting back on our horses. Of course, there’s absolutely no need to fall into the buying frenzy which is a huge part of most holidays now, especially Valentine’s day. To me, this day is a reminder of showing love and affection to yourself and others, it doesn’t need to be related to any material thing. It can simply be about making sure you are leaving space in your busy schedule to spend quality time with your loved ones even at home playing boardgames, or by yourself drawing you a nice herbal bath, it could be sending a simple text to a dear friend telling them how much they mean to you, it could be giving thanks to your neighbour for always help you out with carrying your groceries home. It could so many meaningful actions and moments. I’d encourage you to take this month to be the start of the 2022 showing love and affection cycle and to do it as much as possible throughout the year until the next Valentine’s day and re-starting again, which essentially means you’ll never stop.
Today, I’ll be touching on a subject very dear to me that I’d like to show more love for - even if I haven’t been vocal about it on here yet. That’s why I wanted to do an episode on showing love and affection to our dear planet. The one that literally gives us everything: oxygen to breathe, water to survive, food to be nourished and healthy, a home to settle in, and so many more incredible and almost magical things. Yet, we constantly overuse, misuse and abuse it. I see the month of love as a good way to start or restart being extremely appreciative of our Earth and be more mindful of our individual impact on it, making sure that we - as lucky humans- are taking care of our home.
Not to be a Debbie downer but realistic we’re facing a terrible climate crisis, the whole world being on lockdown at once in 2020 showed us how much damage we are doing to the planet when suddenly the Earth was literally breathing again without our mindless interference. The quality of air got so much better, wildlife partly re-claimed their lost territories, nature growing out wildly, and so many more amazing things. The reality is that even if there’s environmental efforts made and the wellness industry grew like never before which means people are serious about being healthy, we still live on a planet that is very unwell right now.
Sweta Narayan, international climate and health advocate, Tedx “it’s impossible to have healthy people on a sick planet.”
We need to be “placing health at the heart of climate solutions. The climate crisis is a health crisis, it threatens our air, shelter, security, all the basics on which the human life depends. It is impossible to have healthy people on a sick planet. The blatant disregard for environment which is entrenched in our current economic and social models has pushed the natural world to its limits. Covid-19 pandemic is a clear example of our broken relationship with nature. It has also shown the deep interconnections between the health of the planet and human health. We need to urgently mend our relationship with the planet. We must include the principle of doing not harm [from the Hippocratic oath in medicine] in all decisions, big and small, for all present and future actions and put the health of our planet and ours first.”
I’ve always been drawn to the green lifestyle even as a kid. As a result, my family has many nicknames for me some being : “the environmentalist”, “tofu” (yes, I’m not joking), “the hippie” among others. If you can’t tell already, we love good banter. I say green lifestyle but it was probably the normal lifestyle before industrialisation and capitalism but anyway that’s another conversation. So I’ve always had an interest in/concern about it but I made a more conscious choice in 2013 to inform myself more about what I consume, it started more from a individual health perspective I think - making sure what I ate wasn’t hurting my sensitive stomach so avoiding over-industrialised package foods, using natural and/or organic creams, beauty and hair products that would be less harsh on my delicate skin and fragile hair. Then I was like: what about the people who make these products for me and others? They make sure they’re not harmful for us so shouldn’t we make sure that these workers are not harmed physically nor financially during the making process too? That’s when I became more watchful and concerned about fair trade and ethical practices from brands I have been buying from as well as animal testing. Also DIY so many things from beauty, hair and cleaning products. Fashion being something I’ve loved since I was a teen, my interest for sustainability grew with ethical fashion, may it wearing ethically sourced and/or natural fabrics for the most part, buying clothes for the long term instead of just for a season, I’ve never been a huge shopper so that was easy for me. Then, animal testing and treatment in industrialised countries caught my attention, I was shocked by so many realities. Not talking about GMO food, the link between the over use of water in the production of certain foods like avocados, and the correlation between the consumption of palm oil and deforestation leading to disappearance of certain species like orangoutangs as well as the dislocation of indigenous villages with families who had their roots and their heritage and their whole lives there. Let me just say, with that perspective in mind I cut and diminished a lot of things from what I ate, it was not worth it for me anymore, my diet ending up being a hybrid between vegetarianism and veganism. The more my interest grew, the more I informed myself and the more I realised it’s bigger than just thinking about my own health and my own little person, our individual impact can go a very very long way to not say straight onto the planet, in our water, in our soil, in our air, in our bodies through our food. I think my journey towards a more green, sustainable, conscious lifestyle has been a mix of health, spiritual and environmental concerns. By explaining it here, I notice that it has in reality been an extremely gradual one over the years, almost 10 years wow! and it’s faaaar from being over/done as I’m learning everyday. It doesn’t need to be perfect nor drastic and overnight. Every little action counts and adds up. That’s exactly what I want to convey in this episode: sparking interest, learning, understanding and taking small actions that will add up with time to live comfortably on this Earth while loving it, appreciating it, and taking care of it by leaving a positive individual impact on it. Showing some love and appreciation for Gaia, mama Earth.
To help me doing that today, I invited sustainability educator Meg Koch who is empowering others to create impact through her tailored practical and underwhelming approach to green living. Helping us make more conscious decisions through her practice, programs and consultations to lower our impact on the planet by taking easy actions to do something about the climate crisis without sacrificing our comfort and enjoyable lifestyle.
Even if we all are responsible for doing our part, as small or as big to adopt a more conscious lifestyle to live harmoniously with the Earth, let’s also keep in mind that the biggest chunk of work to trigger industry change and to tackle the climate crisis relies on the big companies and governments. However, for the sole purpose of easing our way to the matter at hand, today we’ll stick to individual impact not expanding about the role and responsibility of companies and governments when it comes to the climate crisis.
Listen up to this gem,