March 2019 Update: World Water Day

Spring is a season of youth. It is a time of budding leaves and blossoming flowers, and of young animals who experience the beauty of the planet for the first time. As such, perhaps it’s fitting that last week has been a time of young adults taking center stage among us.

Read on below for more on the student climate strike, Meatless Mondays, and sustainable living tips curated specifically for you.

Also, in celebration and support of World Water Day this Friday, The Oyster Thief e-book will be on sale for $1.99. If you haven’t had a chance to go on spring break or if you’ve just returned from spring break, I believe you’ll enjoy diving in to the deep blue waters of The Oyster Thief! You can get the book on Amazon US here and Amazon Canada here.

ECO NEWS

Friday, March 15 marked a day of student climate strikes inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden.

I don’t care about being unpopular,” Greta said in a speech at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December. “I care about climate justice and the living planet…. We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis…. We have come here to let you know that change is coming whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people.” You can watch the full, passionate three-minute speech here.

Motivated by her words, students in more than 100 countries skipped school on Friday to demonstrate their concern for the environment. Below is a photo from Zagreb, Croatia.

Student Climate Strike in Zagreb, Croatia

Continuing on the topic of students, public schools in New York will be starting Meatless Mondays in the 2019-2020 school year. As you may know, my first book Project Animal Farm discusses the poor treatment of farm animals and the ethical and environmental problems created by factory farms.

Meatless Mondays is an initiative I recommend in the book (you can learn more about Project Animal Farm here). Not only will New York’s move save millions of animals and improve human health, but it will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Did you know that animal agribusiness creates more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector? It’s food for thought.

WORLD WATER DAY AND THE OYSTER THIEF

World Water Day is this Friday, March 22. Established by the UN, it celebrates the importance of water. This year’s theme is Leaving no one behind and the goal is to ensure that everyone has access to safe drinking water. The Oyster Thief team and I are raising awareness about World Water Day in two ways.

First, as mentioned, The Oyster Thief’s Kindle e-book version is on sale for $1.99 on Friday. The novel highlights the beauty and diversity of the ocean as it tells the adventurous story of a mermaid and human man whose lives intersect and take unexpected turns as they search for an elusive elixir. Learn more about The Oyster Thief here.

Second, we are teaming up with several of our partners and supporters on Instagram to get the word out about World Water Day. Stay tuned @Sonia_Faruqi!

SUSTAINABLE LIVING TIPS

What better time than World Water Day to embark on a new relationship with water and the planet? In case the skeptic in you is thinking why bother, let me tell you why: Because if we don’t, it’s projected that there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.

Fortunately, small actions make big differences. Here are examples of actions that you and I can take in our daily lives to reduce our plastic usage and our trash generation:

  • When you drink your daily cup (or two) of coffee, fill it in your own mug. Not only will a lot of coffee shops offer you a discount, but I find it a better experience than the disposable cups. Also, coffee shops often have their own mugs; all you have to do is ask by saying, “I’d like my coffee for here.”
  • Take reusable bags for your groceries. I keep one or two in my purse at all times, and they fold up perfectly. An added advantage of reusable bags is that they are generally much stronger than plastic bags.
  • Who needs a straw? Let’s dump that habit in the trash instead of the straw.

I used to be afraid of looking like a high-maintenance customer, but over the years I’ve realized two things:

  1. Businesses often prefer environmentally friendly customers because their own costs are reduced.
  2. Even if I am occasionally met with rolled eyes, I prefer to be categorized as a high-maintenance customer than as someone uninterested in the maintenance of the planet.

Also, the term “plastic-free” is becoming the current equivalent of “no carbs.” It’s not just me who thinks so, but also The New York Times, who wrote an article recently on plastic-free living:

Treating plastic like a drug habit that needs to be kicked is a lifestyle pledge being shared by more and more consumers, horrified by the tens of millions of metric tons of plastic created worldwide each year, much of it in the form of single-use items like straws, that end up in landfills or, worse, the oceans. As a marketing term, ‘plastic free’ is emerging as the new ‘no carbs.’”

And if we’re still afraid of looking unpopular, perhaps we should all think of Greta Thunberg, who stands up for what she believes in.