Sustainable Living: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction

8 Apr

I’ve spent the last two weeks in quarantine (in the US), having traveled through SouthEast Asia where people regularly wear masks to prevent disease AND breathe easier with heavy air pollution. I’m so grateful to be healthy, and my thoughts go out to everyone in quarantine (and paranoid/scared shitless about every sniffle or cough) and those who have had the virus or know people who do. Let’s all follow guidelines, stay distanced, mask up, and stay safe.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction (Newton’s Third Law of Motion), metaphorically is where we are. Actions in the name of progress have rendered us isolated and vulnerable to a teeny tiny micro-organism. Crazy, right?

Meanwhile, it’s #WastefreeWednesday! In the midst of surviving this pandemic (I’m in the DC area, with cases set to peak this week), it’s hard to focus on anything else. YET, scientists are now finding air pollution impacts how we are effected by the virus, a reminder climate change and environmental problems are still with us.

It’s enough to say ‘oy’ and want to dive under the covers and binge watch just about anything, BUT:

We can handle climate change! As we’re isolating, we can begin to plan for action; plan to reclaim environmental health for our human health.

A few articles to give some ideas. Read what catches your fancy and passion (like for fashion?). Links are below. Read and pass them on. Remember – we got this!

 a nationwide study found that counties with even slightly higher levels of long-term air pollution are seeing larger numbers of Covid-19 deaths.

New York Times Evening Briefing, 7 April, 2020

Countries around the world are taking action to curb air pollution, an effect of our progress resulting in increased asthma and other health problems. EXCEPT USA PRESIDENT TRUMP! In March, 2020· Trump rolled back fuel economy standards, reversing major effort to combat climate change. The LA Times reported this change could worsen the quality of California’s air, considered among the most polluted in the country. Amazing to think the President of the ‘Free World’ could do something so irresponsible – it’s as if he hates kids, right? This is something that needs to be fixed: Be sure to vote! Read more below:

Trump to roll back fuel economy standards, reversing major … LA Times…

Where does the material for your clothes come from? How sustainable is that source? This article outlines 10 Ways to be a more sustainable shopper including strong suggestions to buy less, better quality, sustainable clothing. In our changing world, even post-pandemic, we’ll all be looking for new ways to protect our wallets – and our environmental health – with hope to prevent another virus pandemic.

Who What Wear: 10 Ways to be a more sustainable shopper

Forego a $5 latte and help save a coastal community: 5 trees or a latte: sustainable saving coastal community through the planting of mangroves: brilliant crowdfunding way to plant more trees out of Kuala Lampur. Coastal Communities Crowdfunding for Trees to Combat Climate Change

China can lead environmental climate change actions . Article also talks about human activity/encroachment into natural wildlife areas has not only destroyed species and their habitats, but also opened the possibilities of more coronavirus like virus pandemics based on the theory of zoonotic. zoontoics being the transmission of animal viruses to humans and since we are in closer proximity to animals since we are in THEIR space, well, we are more likely to get THEIR viruses. I first heard about this when Inga Anderson, from the UN was interviewed on the BBC and was fascinated.

A zoonosis (plural zoonoses, or zoonotic diseases) is an infectious disease caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites that spread from non-human animals (usually vertebrates ) to humans.

Zoonosis – Wikipedia

News about Nine Reasons We Should Be Eating Microalgae: As the climate warms, the land we use for growing energy-intensive crops such as wheat and corn is becoming less productive. We need to find ways to feed the earth’s growing population that isn’t so burdensome on the environment. One potential solution is to cultivate microalgae – microscopic aquatic organisms that are packed with nutrients. Microalgae are single-celled organisms that look like tiny pills and taste a bit like grass. They are relatively easy to cultivate and have several advantages over animal and plant protein. (Cosmos Magazine)

By Martina Doblin, Donna Sutherland and Peter Ralph, University of Technology Sydney


– Every step taken makes a huge difference. Start simple, start small. A few small ideas:

  • Only buy natural fiber clothes – empty your cart of all synthetics and even synthetic blend clothes. They’re hard on the environment and equally hard on your wallet since they won’t last the season (or maybe through our ‘stay-at-home” time.
  • Shop second hand when we’re able to go back into the shops. Things are often better quality, especially when they’re ‘older’. It’s the perfect way to try out a style, save money, and prevent waste in the landfill.
  • Plant a tree – this is my favorite since it’s a way to rebalance the oxygen-carbon-dioxide cycle: in other words allows us to breathe and survive – pretty good stuff.
  • Find an organization that supports something you believe in. For example: want to travel to Kuala Lampur? Read the article above about planting mangrove trees to protect coastlines and give up a $5 latte a week.
  • Register to vote and VOTE (I also have to do this when I can finally return home!) your beliefs, vote to ensure health for the future.
  • Last but not least: stay informed. Right now the news is overwhelming, yet there are lots of environmental articles that are less scary than the coronavirus. Besides, environmental action is something we can do and plan for now.

Let’s choose life – a healthy environment for our health and well-being.

2 Responses to “Sustainable Living: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”

  1. Jerilyn Willin: Speaker, Writer, Coach April 8, 2020 at 11:29 am #

    While I was reading your post, I began pondering our abundance mentality in the US. There will always be more farm land, there will always be fresh water, there will always be… and on and on. Sort of like a teenager who could eat four hotdogs and doesn’t realize that as he ages, he no longer can without some consequences. We have to change our thinking. Perhaps in going to the store and finding empty shelves will give us a nudge in that direction. As always, your post gave me something to think about. Have to say though, I missed the artwork!

    • LB Katz April 9, 2020 at 11:02 am #

      Jerilyn, so glad you’re sharing your thoughts which I know always turns to action. Though I think us omnivores feel like sitting and eating a few hot dogs would be satisfying right now (maybe not 4, but a few!). Artwork to come – thanks for that emboldenment and encouragement!

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