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There is No Plan(et) B

How many times have you heard that it's "too late to save the planet?"

If I had to guess, it's something we have all heard more than once. It may have been said on a warmer-than-usual day, or in-passing when tossing a plastic straw into the bin.

Either way, the result is the same: A reluctance to take action.

We're Minutes from Midnight

There's no denying that, as we celebrate Earth Day this year, we're closer than ever to striking "midnight" on a variety of environmental crises. By midnight, I'm referring to a point-of-no-return where we're locked into a cycle of planetary havoc.

On the other hand, it's just as important to remind ourselves that it's not midnight.. Yet.

Did you know that global deforestation peaked in the 1980's and has since declined? Or that sales of new gas and diesel cars have peaked? We've even seen historic, global agreements to address wildlife trafficking and the plundering of our oceans.

This isn't meant to cast a rose-colored tint on the challenges we face, as there are still oceans that separate where we are today and where we need to be. But the clock hasn't struck 12:00, and we can each play a role in slowing it down.

Certainly the continuous flow of news on warming temperatures, biodiversity collapse, and relentless growth in waste can be both exhausting and overwhelming. Like so many things that confront us, we ask ourselves, "what can I really do about this? I am one person."

Turns out, we can do a lot.

Impact of One

I took some liberty to call-out "doomerism" because I know it can be paralyzing. Courtesy of Vox, I input a diagram below on where I aspire for us to all be when we consider what we can do for this Earth Day.

If we collectively face our hurdles with optimism and a conviction that change is possible, only then can we slow our rising sea levels.

Now, I'm hoping at this point in the article that you're feeling motivated about what you can do!

Before I provide a list of resources or tips, I encourage you to take some time to measure your own impact. There are tools out there that shows exactly how much we are contributing to our challenges. You can calculate your plastic wastefoodprint (yes, your diet contributes!), fashion footprint, and more.

Once you've gone through a process of reflecting and measuring your own impact, it's then time to take action. As your friend in social impact, I'm here to give a cheat sheet of ideas to get started:

  • Visit EarthDay.org. This can be your go-to resource (and it's relevant all year) on getting involved in your own communities, as hundreds of local events have been uploaded.
  • Make just one or two dietary changes that lowers your carbon footprint.
  • Always bring a reusable bag for your shopping trips.
  • Switch to online billing or notifications to save the paper and transportation emissions.
  • Think about if you need that extra shirt that's on sale. When buying, choose natural materials – organic cotton, linen, or hemp.
  • If you're not in a room, turn off the lights!

This is only a short list of ideas or reminders that I hope inspire you to do your own research on what actions would work best for your lifestyle. I picked these because they can also be done right away.

Electric vehicles and solar-panels for your home are great, too, but even without those more significant investments, you can do your part.

No Excuses

This call-to-action for each of us shouldn't be confused with excusing governments or companies from doing their part. After all, there's an undeniable connection between where wealth has been created and the darkening of our environmental fortunes.

When we look within our own four walls at Mimecast, we are making progress, but there is a lot more we can do. If you haven't yet, I encourage you to take a look at our Annual Environmental, Social, and Governance Report from 2022. Our 2023 edition is set for a May release (stay tuned), but Page 31 of our current version gives some insight into what we're doing to rise to the challenge.

We can't do this alone, and that's why we want your help.

Getting Involved at Mimecast

There are various ways we support our Mimecsters to get involved, two of which are the 

Matching Gift Program: where the company matches a charitable donation made by an employee toward environmental charities. 

Mimecast's Green Team: Our purpose is to support Mimecast’s environmental resilience strategy through information sharing, employee engagement, and community partnerships.

 

Biography

Bryan Vermes

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