The Simple, Striking Beauty of Mother Earth

Happy Earth Day, 2016! Obviously, every day is Earth Day up in here, but what's wrong with a little extra love on one special day each year? I just hope you take your warm fuzzy Earth feelings from today and remember them for every day of your life, because this planet is our only reality. In the words of Carl Sagan "That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives"

Yes, without Mother Earth, we do not exist, and indeed we are a part of her. This pale blue dot of a planet fosters life as we know it and it would be idiotic not to take responsibility for it's well-being (therefore our own well-being). There are many words to inspire you to love this planet, there are excellent tips on how to celebrate her, and I have participated in a compilation of ways that the Ethical Writers honor the Earth every day. But here I want to show you the simple, striking beauty of Mama Earth through my lens - I have opened my eyes to some gorgeous scenes over the past few years, and I hope you'll enjoy a few of my favorite snapshots of this big, beautiful globe.

*All photographs taken by and property of Faye Lessler*

How The Ethical Writers Honor Earth Day, Every Day

Members of the Ethical Writers Coalition make a bold point of honoring the Earth far beyond Earth Day. It's essentially the driving force at the core of what we do! Read on to find out about the simple ways our members honor the Earth, every damn day. And be sure to follow along with the EWC for news, events and so much more!

For Sustaining Life, honoring the Earth means recycling, composting, and not eating meat. But it also means appreciating the beauty of nature, being mindful of my fellow planet-inhabitants (humans + animals), and recognizing that all living beings on this beautiful space rock are interconnected. To translate this into one sentence: I honor Mama Earth every day of the year by always being mindful of my actions, asking questions before I purchase, and appreciating the beauty of life.

KAMEA WORLD - I honor planet earth every day by using a holistic view of health - one that encompasses the health of our minds, bodies, and our collective environment - to shape my thought processes, habits, and consumer choices.

GREEN OR DIE - I honor the Earth by abstaining from products, materials, and practices that rob it of its precious natural resources, by getting out and enjoying the natural beauty that it has to offer, and by practicing compassion towards all of its creatures.

THE PEAHEN - I show my love for the Earth by talking her up! You can eat vegan, live as minimally as possible, and do your homework when it comes to clothes, but when others know the motivation for your lifestyle choices they can also be inspired to action.

GATHERING GREEN - I honor the earth all year, beyond Earth Day, by being mindful of where my food is sourced, joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share, and educating myself on modern farming practices.

ECOCULT - I honor the earth every single day, by always packing a reusable water bottle, a reusable handkerchief, and a reusable bag in my purse – they are as important as my wallet and keys!

MODEL FOR GREEN LIVING - I honor the Earth every day by not consuming animal products, walking and taking public transportation, consuming products responsibly and wasting less, and by using my platform as a model to spread my message. The little things that we, as individuals, do everyday all add up to combat climate change. Never underestimate the power of small, daily actions that add up to be a huge reduction in our carbon footprint.

ELEANOR SNARE - I honor the Earth each day by spending time outside, fully absorbing what’s around me, reducing my impact on the planet and learning to interact with the planet in new ways through planting, growing and nurturing.

A CONSCIOUS CONSUMER  - I honor the earth every day by taking in as much as information as I can about her resources, climate change, and our role as consumers in the ‘bigger picture’. I promise to never stop asking questions and having conversations, and will always look for alternative consumption practices to relieve the pressure we are placing on our planet.

ABRIENDO CAMINOS - Quiet moments to watch the sunrise, daily hikes in wild places, conscious and focused appreciation for the abundance of this planet and my connection to it- these are my daily rituals to honor this incredible Earth!

STYLE WISE - I honor the Earth throughout the year by using cloth menstrual pads instead of disposables and washing them with eco-friendly detergent.

MY KIND CLOSET - I honor the earth every day by wearing my clothes more than once to save water with fewer washes, and sourcing my food locally whenever possible - even growing my own produce in the summer and fall.

BLACK SHEEP BRIDE - I honor the earth every day by teaching my children the importance of picking up trash and recyclables in on our daily walks around the neighborhood and showing them the value of eating what’s available to them in our own environment (in our case fish from the Gulf of Mexico we catch).

TERUMAH - I honor the earth by buying organic and supporting local farmers.

WALKING WITH CAKE - I honor the earth every day by teaching my boys to recycle, using what we have instead of always buying something new, and eating locally-grown foods.

OUT OF WILDERNESS - I honor our Earth everyday by striving to use products which don’t violate the rights and welfare of our planet’s wildlife.

SOTELA - I honor the earth every day by creating timeless clothing with eco-friendly fabrics that is made in the US.

THESE NATIVE GOODS - I honor the earth every day by appreciating everything she has provided us with and by reducing my family's waste through more conscious shopping practices, when selecting our food and goods -less packaging, less chemicals, less impact.

THE NOTE PASSER - I honor the earth everyday by treading lightly on her resources and inhabitants as I practice minimalism, veganism, and use public transportation as much as possible.

OLD WORLD NEW - I honor our one and only earth every day by making old things new again, such as thrifted fashion finds, thereby not encouraging the use of our finite precious natural resources.

IMBY - I honor the earth everyday by using plastic-free packaging that is made of recycled and recyclable materials when I ship out new orders of our Made in USA clothing.

PEACEFUL DUMPLING - I honor the earth every day by composting and eating vegan. I’ve been vegan for almost 10 years and composting for 5 years. These two activities ground me and make me feel more compassionate, conscientious, and connected to the earth.

LET'S BE FAIR - I honor the Earth by loving the people on it and enjoying the beauty of the world with them as grateful stewards.

LEOTIE LOVELY - I honor Mama Earth each and every day by being mindful of how my actions and purchases affect her, from my clothing and food to my toothbrush and detergents.


Earth Day Tips from Elena Kocherovsky

I said Earth Day was every day, didn't I? Just to remind you that leading a sustainable lifestyle can be super easy and exciting, I'd like to share some Earth Day tips from my friend Elena. The following is all from her, I hope you enjoy!

Today we celebrate our stunning Earth. It's so easy these days to disconnect with this bigger system we are all a part of. And understandably so, we've built man-made barriers between ourselves and the natural world both physically and literally. So today (and every day) I hope you take some time to reconnect with what makes us human, and ponder the totally intelligent, beautiful and mind-blowing system that is our Earth. Not the politics, not the media scare-tactics, just your personal connection to it and what it provides for you. In honor of Earth Day, I'm sharing a few things I've learned from working actively in the Environmental space around things we can all do today to live in better harmony with this magical planet of ours. Yes, we all can, in fact, make a difference!

Photo taken while adventuring through Torres del Paine in Patagonia.

Photo taken while adventuring through Torres del Paine in Patagonia.

Earth Day Action #1:

Did you know it takes 2000 times the energy to create 1 plastic bottle of water than to produce tap water?! That's the equivalent to 50 million barrels of oil to produce total annual US water bottle consumption. Want to make some good impact in a simple way? Stop purchasing bottled water! Tap water is just fine, or you can get a water filter if you'd like, or a sweet glass/metal reusable water bottle.

Earth Day Action #2:

You've probably heard this one before - please try to hear me out before you scoff. Raising and slaughtering beef produces 5 TIMES the amount of pollution than the average of all other meats and animal products. I'm not asking you to stop eating that again. I'm not. Just consider cutting down on how often you do choose to eat beef! It's one of the BIGGEST ways to improve your impact on our Earth (and it also comes with health benefits). Ya!

A question from a friend: "Won't they still produce the same amount of cows even if I stop eating beef?"

My response: "Totally legit question! So in the short term, sure, the same will still be produced, it's true. But the idea is that you're "voting" with your dollars over time, aka sending signals as to what you do or don't value. So if you stop spending your money on beef, and I do too, and all my other good friends out there do it too - that starts incrementally shrinking the beef market, which will eventually lead to less beef. Individually it's easy to feel like you don't have impact, but that's pretty much why I'm putting these suggestions out there - in the hopes that more of us band together to vote with our dollars for better products that are more Earth (and people) friendly."

Earth Day Action #3:

Energy - it's the biggest piece of the pie in terms of climate pollution. The systems generating our current energy haven't changed or improved much over the past century and are just plain dirty. Turning off the lights, unplugging, and getting energy efficient appliances goes a long way when you add it up over the course of the year. Oh, and it saves you a good chunk of change!

Earth Day Action #4:

Get outside and play!! Reconnect with the beauty and mystery of nature and quiet your noisy mind. Be a kid again. Breath sweet fresh air, roll around in the grass, take it all in. Break down those barriers we've built and wake up. Bring a friend or 10, and enjoy this AWESOME place that's our home.

At Torres del Paine in Patagonia.

At Torres del Paine in Patagonia.