Celebrating Earth Day 2022: How a Healthy World is a Just World for All

"It is our collective and individual responsibility… to preserve and tend to the world in which we all live.” – Dalai Lama

Happy Earth Day!

This year, North Highland’s Latinx and Tribal Team Elevation (LATTE) ERG commemorates Earth Day by reflecting on how a safe, healthy environment is interconnected with a just and equitable world – there cannot be justice that does not begin with the air we breathe and the water we drink.

Too often, it is the minority groups, the Indigenous and Latinx, Black and Brown people and more who bear the brunt of climate change and other environmental issues. These groups are most often exposed to polluted air, and more likely to live in communities situated in or near industrial areas dumping toxic sludge into their backyards. There’s a long, sordid history of Indigenous groups fighting for their right to clean water, as their sacred lands are sold off and torn apart for development. 

These are also the communities most likely to develop asthma, complications from exposure to toxic chemicals, cancer and other diseases. A just world can only stem from a place where we all have access to food, clean water and air, and an environment where we can best thrive and grow.

So, what can we do this Earth Day that goes beyond recycling or forgoing the plastic straw? Today, we challenge you to reflect on ways in which we can promote a more just, inclusive and equitable society by caring for our common home, for the space we all share. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Get involved in your community: Whether it’s taking a closer look at your neighborhood guidelines or joining your next community meeting, get involved and help promote things like green spaces, community gardens, public transportation, bike-friendly roads or renewable sources of energy to build a safer, healthier community for you and those around you. Check this map to see environmental issues that might be impacting your community.
  • Be an ally to those on the frontline: Support Indigenous and other minority groups fighting for clean air and water by adding your voice and sharing their struggle. Join campaigns and amplify their message!
  • Bring sustainability to work: Help innovate at your workplace by educating your colleagues and brainstorming together on systemic changes that can make a difference in your own company’s environmental practices. Here are some ideas to get you started.
  • Put your money where your heart is: Be intentional about where you place or invest your money, focusing on institutions and organizations that have a reliable record of making a difference in their environmental stewardship. You can also support minority-owned businesses that are making a difference in sustainability, like these Latinx and Indigenous brands.

At North Highland, we believe that transitioning to a carbon neutral world is critical to preserving the natural systems which support all life. Although still in the early stages of our environmental journey we were recently certified by the Good Business Charter and are working hard to understand our current environmental footprint and impact.