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April 15, 2021

How To Make Every Day Earth Day

With Environmental Advocate and Endurance Athlete, Clare Gallager

Until Mars opens up, we only have one habitable planet. The ecosystem of our world depends on our daily choices and to force this issue, Senator Gaylord Nelson declared April 22 Earth Day in 1970. Even still, in the past 50 years our emissions and reliance on fossil fuels have steadily increased and we’re running out of time to right our wrongs. This year, we’re talking to environmental advocate and endurance athlete, Clare Gallager about how she works to support a cleaner planet every day.

As a runner and coral ecology major, Clare has a special connection to the earth. Her current backyard of Boulder, Colorado provides the perfect backdrop to morning runs and her time in Southern Thailand was spent establishing a swim and environmental conservation program. She’s dedicated her life to exploring and supporting the ground we walk on and with sponsors including Patagonia, Petzl and La Sportiva, she’s not slowing down anytime soon. Now that we’ve established her credentials, we thought we’d get some advice on how to live a more sustainable life.

Photo by Brendan Davis

What actions do you take to live more sustainably?

“Although I know that my individual actions aremicroscopic on the grand scale of climate change, I feel good about making sustainable choices. For example, I live in a town that picks up compost alongside trash and recycling. Composting food waste is a small, but it's a step we could all take to reduce food decomposition emissions. My food is mostly plant-based and I ride my Blix whenever I can, especially now that the sun is coming out. The breeze feels so good I can't remember why I thought driving was fun. And I’ve noticed that a lot of actions I take to be more sustainable – like riding my Blix to the grocery store – enhance my quality of life. I prioritize slowing down, planning my day, and making time for that extra 5-minutes outside. For me, being sustainable is a lifestyle.”

"I enjoy reminding cars that they have to share the roads with cyclists and pedestrians."

- Clare Gallager

How do you spread the word about sustainability in your home town of Boulder, Colorado?

“We’re pretty fortunate to have sustainable infrastructure here in Boulder. The city has strong emission reduction goals and there’s a center for hard-to-recycle items. But still, traffic is an increasing concern as more than 50,000 people commute into Boulder daily for work. I wondered why so many people had to commute in and I learned that affordable housing is the main issue. In response, I’ve gotten involved with a group working to increase occupancy limits in Boulder homes. If we update archaic housing policies to something as simple as one person allowed per bedroom, we might be able to increase the sustainability of a place like Boulder, drastically reducing emissions from daily commuters. Additionally, I try to occupy a bike lane whenever I can. I enjoy reminding cars that they have to share the roads with cyclists and pedestrians. I want to live in a place that values human-powered transport as much as cities in Europe do."

Photo Credits: Kirk Warner

Photo by (L) Kirk Warner (R) Brendan Davis

How do you encourage your neighbors to join the fight against climate change?

"Mostly, I try to walk my talk. I bike when I can. I don’t over consume. I try to repair clothing before buying new. I bring utensils for my take-out food. I share some direct actions on social media, like signing the housing occupancy laws petition, but for the most part, I try to just live the life I want to live."

Earth day is only 24 hours. We needs years of change to restore the beauty of our world. Only together, with Clare and millions of other environmental advocates, can we change the course of history and outlaw outdated business practices terrorizing our soil. Join the fight and make every day Earth Day by pairing your afternoon with a zero emissions motor. Whether you switch up your commute, or make use of your back basket at the grocery store, make choices that support a cleaner world today, tomorrow and every day moving forward.