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Mars Is Overrated: This Earth Day, Bet on Your Home Planet

Jed Oelbaum

Image via NASA/JPL-Caltech

It’s almost April 22 again, which means it will soon be Earth Day, a worldwide celebration of my number one planet.

Earth Day is great, because it’s the only day you can be totally chauvinistic about being an Earthling. Other planets may be bigger, or have more moons, but this is the time to stop, look around, and really take in the little things that make this planet great. Like, we have squids with three hearts. The other planets don’t even have squids with one heart. I don’t celebrate “Neptune Day,” you know why? Neptune sucks. Try living on Neptune.

Earth—it’s a pretty sweet place. Though we are dealing with some long-term planetary hygiene issues. Sadly, some of the very same companies we trusted to feed us nourishing cheeseburgers, mine our precious fossil fuels, and sew our cooling culottes continue to act unaccountably, disregarding human and planetary health, and willingly contributing to dire, climate-related peril. And while we all love our crimson, smog-infused sunsets and individually packaged prunes, the way we consume—or don’t consume—isn’t exactly helping the situation, either.

You may have noticed people talking about living on Mars these days. “Mars has water,” they might say. But you know what planet also has water, in your choice of matter states, and definitely provides the conditions necessary to support human life? Earth. So you have a decision to make this Earth Day: Do you want to live on Mars, drinking recycled urine and growing potatoes? Or do you want to find more sustainable ways to live, consume, and produce, to keep this planet’s glory days going strong?

Celebrating Earth Day, Make Change shares our favorite recent articles highlighting individuals, businesses, and technologies with something to say about our shared environmental future. From food to fuel to fashion, there’s still a world of reasons to bet on good old planet Earth.

Photo by Louie Preciado, concept by Eli Miller.

Photo by Louie Preciado, concept by Eli Miller.

Four Ways Businesses Can Go Green in 2017
In 2017, we thought we’d extend New Year’s resolutions beyond the individual and put a few to whole industries.

Photo courtesy KarmSolar

Photo courtesy KarmSolar

The Solar-Powered Village That Could Change Egypt’s Mind About Sustainable Building
At first glance, Egypt's first solar-powered village doesn’t seem so different from the ancient buildings that inspired it. Its architect schools us on designing a sustainable desert oasis.

Image courtesy of Adam Baruchowitz

Image courtesy of Adam Baruchowitz

The Tricky Business of Recycling Your Old Clothes
NYC textile recycler Wearable Collections wants you to know the environmental truth about the fashion and apparel industry.

New Report Finds Sustainable Investment Has Nearly Tripled Since 2010
Investors are increasingly putting their money where their values are, but significant barriers remain.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images News / Getty Images

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images News / Getty Images

Meet California’s Most Underappreciated Eco-Warriors: Can Collectors
A small army of overlooked environmental foot soldiers helps reduce the golden state’s waste, but how will they afford to survive with the plummeting price of recyclables?

Tom Cridland models the 30 Year Sweatshirt. Image courtesy of Tom Cridland

Tom Cridland models the 30 Year Sweatshirt. Image courtesy of Tom Cridland

This Fashion Designer Is Betting You'll Wear the Same Shirt for 30 Years
Tom Cridland’s high-quality clothing and long-term guarantee challenge the unsustainable business of fast fashion

Image courtesy of Rubies in the Rubble

Image courtesy of Rubies in the Rubble

The Must-Have Condiments Made of Ingredients Destined for the Dump
Britain’s Rubies in the Rubble turns ugly fruits and vegetables into beautiful preserves sold in London’s high-end markets.

Roses Are Red, Solar Panels Are Blue: A Selection of Sustainable Business Poems
A selection of the best and worst poetry about forward-thinking enterprise.

Illustration by Sebastien Thibault

Illustration by Sebastien Thibault

Even on a Frozen Rooftop, This Brooklyn Farm Is Growing
Brooklyn Grange, one of the largest rooftop farms in the world, grows thousands of pounds of produce, educates kids, and tries, in their humble way, to develop solutions for a food insecure future.

5 Things to Know This Weekend: April 21, 2017

5 Things to Know This Weekend: April 21, 2017

This Fashion Designer Is Betting You'll Wear the Same Shirt for 30 Years

This Fashion Designer Is Betting You'll Wear the Same Shirt for 30 Years