Day 30: Be Kind
Trite but true—kindness matters
We won’t stop trashing the planet unless we stop trashing each other. But our economic system rewards both behaviors. Disposable everything boosts profits for petrochemical companies that make plastic; after you toss it, you have to buy a replacement. The petrochemical plants that make the plastic regard as disposable the people living nearby, who die of cancer at much higher rates, predominantly people living in poverty or people of color. Vitriol about climate change or environmental racism—or any topic—boosts engagement on social media, and thus eyeballs and ad revenues.
The ethos of an economic system built upon exploitation, extraction and competition, and in which we all must operate, can’t help but have at least some impact on how we treat each other—and especially on how we treat those who orbit outside our inner circles. I don’t know how to solve this problem but I do know that we need to be kind to one another (and to ourselves).
So today’s action—the last one in this series—is for us to go a bit out of our way to do something kind today. Because I imagine anyone who signed up for this newsletter about climate action is a caring, kind person—otherwise you wouldn’t have bothered—I added that extra “go a bit out of our way” challenge to the action to make it worth your while. Your act of kindness might be listening to a friend who has struggled during this latest, and hopefully, last wave of Covid; or you might wash a neighbor’s sink full of dishes; or you might call your mom.
Kindness doesn’t cost anything. It’s infectious. And showing kindness can benefit us with “greater well-being, health and longevity.” So we’ll wrap up our 30 actions with those short and sweet marching orders.
Thank you very much for reading these newsletters. I think I’ll continue to write once or twice a month. I’ll have to change the “30 Days” name…
If you’d like to follow me on social media, you’ll find me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and on my blog, Zero-Waste Chef, here. I also do workshops and speaking events. I’ll speak for just a few minutes during a Green Change online event on February 7th at 6pm PT after the big star of the night, climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe (learn about her book on Day 1). I’m honored to be a part of that. You can register for the event here. If you haven’t heard Hayhoe speak, I highly recommend you register. You’ll be inspired.
One last thing, would you please take this very short, four-question survey to help me improve future newsletters? Thank you very much!