Weekly e-Newsletter 4/20/2022

Art of the Week

The Holy Land is All the Earth
By Louis Alemayehu

The Earth is our only physical home… Creation,
Yes, all the Earth is holy:
The water – holy,
The air – holy,
The creatures that crawl and the creatures that swim – holy,
The 2-legged and the winged – holy,

Let us touch with kind hands
Blessing all that lives,
All that laments.
Rise! Be robust and brave in the face of dawn.
YOU are the face of Dawn,

Face it!

Read the entire poem. Reprinted here by permission of the author.

Louis is a community leader, elder, activist, teacher and artist who is a member of the Wild Path Collective in Osceola, WI. Much of Louis’ non-artistic work today is centered on food security, climate change, human rights, and environmental justice.

Calendar

Take Action: Support sweeping fashion industry changes

rack of t-shirts
Credit: Greg Rosenke, Unsplash

Fast fashion—defined as the industry trend to replicate popular clothing styles and mass produce them at a low cost—is highly problematic.

The environmental impact is wide-ranging. According to Earth Day, the industry uses an estimated 93 billion cubic meters of water each year, is responsible for up to 10% of annual global carbon emissions, and produces an estimated 92 million tons of textile waste annually.

Furthermore, the fast fashion industry maintains its cheap prices by exploiting and mistreating its workers: a recent report found that Boohoo, a UK-based producer in the fast-fashion industry, was found to be paying some of its workers half the minimum wage.

Join the Alliance in supporting EarthDay.org’s petition urging the Biden Administration to regulate the fast fashion industry in a way that protects workers’ rights and reduces its environmental impacts.

You can see the full list of requested actions here.

What to Watch: "Our Great National Parks" [and much more] with Barack Obama

Don’t be fooled! This Netflix series narrated by Barack Obama is far greater and more global than its title.

Thanks to professional film maker Liz Rubin for her recommendation: “This is the most amazing series!!!! Some footage NEVER ever filmed before…It’s just 100% Unreal footage. It’s incredibly beautiful. Please watch.”

“Spanning five continents, the series brims with wonder, humor, and optimism as each episode tells the story of a national park through the lives of its wildest residents—both big and exceptionally small—and explores our changing relationship with wilderness,” as Netflix says.

“When humanity started to protect these wild places, we did not realize how important they would become,” according to narrator Barack Obama.

Highlights

– Take Action: Support Sweeping Fashion Industry Changes
– Inspiration: Kindness Builds Climate Resilience
– Song of the Week: Linda Lindas’ Racist, Sexist Boy
– Sustainability Tip: Skip Overnight Air Shipping
– What to Watch: Our Great National Parks with Barack Obama
– Art of the Week: The Holy Land is All the Earth

Credit: Joel Pett, USA Today

At the Alliance

Even though it still doesn’t feel quite like Spring here in Minnesota, it is Earth Week and it’s special to experience such a confluence of holy days with Easter, Ramadan and Passover. We hope they can help bring about transformation and more peace and respect in the world, especially Ukraine.

April 24 is Fashion Revolution Day, when organizers encourage people to ask of their favorite clothing brands #whomademyclothes? The goal is to reveal deplorable and dangerous clothing industry conditions, in remembrance of the 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which killed 1,133 workers and injured 2,500.

Please help out by sharing any articles, art, music, poetry, cartoons, questions and other submissions to our newsletter. And please consider making an Earth Day financial contribution to the Alliance and our SHE Kindness Campaign so we can pay our interns and keep advocating for sustainability, health, equity and kindness.

Inspiration: Kindness builds climate resilience

Credit: Kahuko Shimpo, Flickr

“When you think of climate change and community resilience, visions of seawalls, renewable energy projects and other physical things may come to mind,” as Kat Kerlin, environmental science writer and media relations specialist at UC Davis, writes in her UC Davis blog.

“But there’s another powerful tool that anyone of any age at any time can act upon to help their community weather the harshest impacts of climate change: Kindness,” she continues.

“In California’s recent wildfires, neighbors knocking on neighbors’ doors helped save lives. Checking up on vulnerable neighbors during heat waves, hurricanes, or other extreme weather events can make a big difference for that individual, with global ripple effects.”

Several recent studies by Northeastern U professor Daniel Aldrich focused on community survival rates and reactions to the 2011 Fukushima disaster, finding that “communities with more ties, interaction and shared norms worked effectively to provide help to kin, family and neighbors,” in some cases carrying elderly community members to safety.

Building social ties in your community doesn’t have to be complicated–learn about your neighbors, plan neighborhood- and community-wide events like block parties and sports days, or find ways to reward community members who volunteer time to strengthen the social capital of your community.

Sustainability Tip: Skip overnight air shipping

photo of USPS truck making deliveries

Many of us don’t know that shopping online can generally have a smaller carbon footprint than driving to the store. But before you choose the fastest delivery option, please know that fast next-day air shipments can have a huge carbon and environmental impact. In fact, ground shipping is more environmentally responsible than air. Learn more in this Climate Lab video.

Song of the Week: Linda Lindas' "Racist, Sexist Boy"

“A little while before we went into lockdown, a boy came up to me in my class and said that his dad told him to stay away from Chinese people,” says Mila. “After I told him that I was Chinese, he backed away from me. Eloise and I wrote this song based on that experience.”

Mila, the 11-year-old drummer. says this was her first experience of overt racism. The Linda Lindas, a half Asian/half Latinx tween-teen all-girl band featuring two sisters, a cousin and their close friend, plays garage punk, the anger inherent in punk helping convey their message. “It’s good because I get to scream a lot in it – all of the anger that builds up, it’s good to let it out. It’s really fun to perform,” Eloise tells the Guardian.

Read the lyrics

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