Friday, April 22, 2011
Earth Day (which should be celebrated every day) is actually formally celebrated on Friday, April 22 this year and I’m hoping that my article will encourage you to do something special or different this year to help our Earth which has blessed us so richly and is suffering enormously from our arrogant ignorance and neglect.
Every day scientists learn more and more about the web of life and how interconnected every living thing is and I’m of the opinion that it’s up to all of us to sit up and listen and then change our opinions if necessary.
I’m only one person and my view is limited to the Midwest United States, but everywhere you look in every corner of the earth there are serious environmental issues that are affecting not just local populations but global populations as well.
My hope is that after reading my article, your imagination will be sparked and you will be motivated to do something (anything!) to help heal the Earth.
Can we make a difference? Yes, I believe we can. There are countless humans on our planet. If even a third of us picked up one bag of garbage that is currently littering our highways and waterways the amount of trash blowing around would be significantly reduced.
I am currently reading a book called Thoughtful Gardening by Robin Lane Fox. I agree with much of what he has to say, but I beg to differ when he says we’re fooling ourselves if we think we are making a difference.
I know when I create a “meadow garden” or any other specialized kind of garden that it is for my own enjoyment and I’m not saving the world or a species of flora or fauna, but it does make a difference to the birds in my neighborhood and it makes a difference to me.
Human activities like agriculture, urbanization, oil usage, suburban sprawl have all caused a loss of native habitat. It only follows that we've made a difference in a negative way, and we should be able in a concerted way to also make a positive difference.
If each and every one of us tries their best to make a thoughtful difference than, yes, we can heal the Earth. It won’t be the Earth of our ancestors, but still a healthy productive planet.
Here's a thought to ponder: If our ancestors with no high tech tools could build giant walls that can be seen from outer space, move giant standing stones hundreds of miles, and build amazing architectual wonders, why with the help of modern technology and huge numbers of people can't we repair our Earth? I think we can.
So with that said here are my ideas for celebrating Earth Day, 2011. Make it fun! Gather as many of your friends, neighbors, children, or community members as you can and pick up garbage, plant trees, or donate to the world wildlife, ocean, or rainforest organizations.
Encourage co-workers to brown bag their lunches (then reuse the bag or get a non throw away lunch bag), recycle their soda cans, or better yet bring their water from home in a permanent container–not a plastic bottle. Buy no take out in Styrofoam containers. Turn off the lights. Monitor your water use.
Even if we only did it on Friday, April 22 we would make a difference. Think what we could do if we made it a habit and did it every day.
Get the kids outside-today and every day. If the children are to inherit the world then teach them to love it. Enlist their help to pick up garbage, and never, ever, allow children to throw their unwanted litter on the ground.
This is not a time to say: “Do as I say, not as I do” either. Children learn from their elders and will model your behavior and then make it their own habit. So carry your own garbage home, too and don’t throw it out the window of a moving vehicle. It might be gone, but it certainly isn’t forgotten.
Here are some more activities that school children or art students might enjoy. Make it a point to go outside and draw something natural today. Look at it closely. Marvel at the complexity and detail of a stone, a blade of grass, a small insect, a flower, or a shell. Even the homeliest objects are quite beautiful when examined closely.
Take a walk, rake the grass, plant a garden, have a picnic or make a day of it and do it all. Try to go an entire day without purchasing anything at all!
Is anyone handy with tools? If so build a bird house, or fix a fence. Look around. What do you see? Mend whatever you see that needs a little tender, loving care. It’s human nature to take better care of things that are pleasant to look at, so it makes sense that if your environment is more attractive, it is less likely to be a victim of unfortunate behavior.
I imagine that newspapers will be publishing articles about activities in your area that are going on next week. Make a point to discover what they are and start making a plan of your own.
How are you and your family going to participate? If you see nothing that peaks your interest then take the bull by the horns, so to speak, and you be the organizer.
Do me a personal favor, too. If what I’ve said resonates with you and I hope it does then take it viral! Write back to me too. Share your ideas, your projects and your pictures. Together we can make a difference!
Happy Earth Day and thanks for gardening with Julie!
Gardening for Nature
Spring Clean Up
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