This Earth Day offers a unique opportunity for all of us. As we’re confined to our homes, limited to a world barely beyond our own neighborhoods, conversations about sustainable living can start, quite literally, in our own backyards. Figuring out ways to make your home more sustainable can seem daunting. Where do you start? What do you prioritize? And how much good can you actually do on your own? According to Valentino Vettori, founder of Arcadia Earth, when it comes to living sustainably, the most important thing is your mindset. “When you find that you can empower [yourself], you’re going to find solutions in everything,” Vettori tells Bustle.
Arcadia Earth, an immersive pop-up museum in New York founded by Vettori, combines art installations and climate change education to change the way you see sustainability. Using augmented reality, interactive exhibits, and visually stunning art pieces, Arcadia Earth takes you to corners of the world you’d otherwise likely never be able to see. Explore the depths of the ocean. Stand atop waterfalls. Walk through lush forests, all while learning about the impact of global warming along the way.
Arcadia Earth is breathtaking, almost (ironically) otherworldly. It’s strange to explain pollution, something ugly in many senses of the word, in terms of beauty, but Vettori says that’s kind of the point. Years ago, inspired by environmentalist and author Paul Hawken, Vettori says he “made a vow... to focus on positive messaging” about global warming. That vow comes through clearly in exhibits like a cave made of 44,000 plastic bags, meant to represent the number of bags people in New York state went through in one minute prior to the plastic bag ban.
While the museum is temporarily closed right now, Vettori and his team are helping bring a little bit of its beauty to our homes. The Arcadia Earth app has a new series of augmented reality-activated imagery that turns your living room into an underwater ecosystem. Just hold your phone up to one of the activating tiles, like the image below, and you’ll see animated turtles and fish swimming around your home while learning the ways we're negatively impacting the ocean.
As you bring Arcadia Earth’s art experience into your homes, you can also bring their mission into your lives as well. Below, you'll find 15 ways to make your home more sustainable this Earth Day and beyond.