A day to take care of the planet-and ourselves

On this day last year, the team at Jill & Joey was full of excitement. 

We had just announced a new and improved version of our reusable bags and were ready to get them in the hands of our loyal customers. Sure, a new, strange virus was emerging in the U.S., but we were hopeful it would be a momentary blip that we would be able to quickly overcome. 

A year later. While we are hopeful that more vaccinations will get us out of the long nightmare our world has collectively experienced, we still have a long way to go. 

The world has changed in so many ways since last Earth Day. We’ve learned how to work and socialize virtually, but have also faced the isolation of not being able to see people in person. We’ve missed holidays and milestones together. We’ve cancelled vacations and important plans. We’ve lost many local businesses. And we’ve seen what should be a bipartisan issue - our health - grow needlessly political. 

The pandemic has also affected our earth. While greenhouse gas emissions dropped pretty drastically over the last year, the single-use plastics industry was one of the only sectors that actually saw growth during the pandemic, due to the need for disposable personal protective equipment and food containers and utensils. 

It’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the drastic effect this pandemic has had on our society and our planet. While we talk a lot about the ways to maintain our physical health during this plague, it’s also important to stay in touch with our mental health.

I can think of no better time to give ourselves a mental health break than on Earth Day. And the easiest way to do that is to simply get outside and celebrate nature - in a safe, socially distanced way, of course.

Personally, today I plan on doing the following:

  • Getting my kids outside and letting them use their imaginations and discover the natural beauty that surrounds us.  
  • Talking with my daughter about the importance of composting and how it can be recycled back into our garden as fertilizer.
  • Planting new plants in our backyard garden and celebrating springtime renewal.
  • Taking a deep breath of fresh air and remembering everything I have to be thankful for. 

Today is Earth Day. As always, it should be about celebrating our planet -- and recommitting to protecting it through small changes in our everyday lives. But it should also be about recommitting to ourselves and each other, including our health, our well-being, and our kindness.

There’s a still long way to go in overcoming this pandemic, but today, let’s be hopeful for what’s to come, and what we can do to help change the world.