We are surely feeling the blessing of spring now. Everywhere you look the landscape is transforming into green, lush, new growth. The air is damp with sprouting potential as the scent of early spring blossoms dance in the breeze.
There is a wonderful, magical sense about this time of year. The earth is alive and teeming with life. So what better time of the year than now to celebrate her: our beautiful Mother Earth!
Every April, all across the country and in over 175 countries, Earth Day is celebrated. Founded by Gaylord Nelson, a Senator from Wisconsin, Earth Day brought awareness to the environmental issues that were facing our country. Some of our biggest problems at that time were clean air and water.
The first Earth Day, held on April 22, 1970, was a nationwide demonstration against environmental pollution. It was the same year we saw the last Beatles album, the death of Jimi Hendrix, and the release of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Public rallies and protests against the war were common news headlines and the public was becoming more aware of environmental issues.
The first Earth Day inspired the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Water, Clean Air and Endangered Species Acts. And in 2009, April 22 was christened International Mother Earth Day by the United Nations. I love the inclusion of the word “mother,” since the earth is the source of our sustenance.
In 43 years we have come a long way and there is still work to be done. With the population of our planet growing and demands for goods increasing, we need to be more diligent and aware of our impact than ever before.
So, here is a short, sweet list of some things you could do today that could make a difference:
- Reuse items BEFORE recycling. If you can reuse something, you are making a better choice than recycling. Additional energy is used to recycle items and increases their carbon footprint.
- Take your own cloth bags into the store. Avoid plastic shopping bags at all costs. Did you know there are islands of plastic bags that are floating in our oceans?
- Carry your own “to go” containers in your car. When you dine out, avoid using Styrofoam, which is a substance that CAN NOT be recycled and is bad for the planet.
- Create a compost area in your yard. Take most of your food waste and convert it into amazing soil. You can put almost any kind of organic matter in compost, with the exception of animal scraps.
- Recycle electronics. Just about anywhere in the country you can find a place to recycle old electronics and appliances. As search on the web should provide you with the resource needed.
- Shop at Goodwill and other second-hand thrift stores. Not only will you save money, the cash you spend will go to worthy causes that help people in need, so it is a win-win all around.
- Walk or bike before jumping behind the wheel. Can you get to where you want to go without getting in your car? Maybe even consider mass transit?
- Tap into the Earth Day Network and get involved in environmental issues year round. You will find ideas to inspire you at www.earthday.org.
- And last but not least … Attend an Earth Day Festival, This year in St. Louis Earth Day is April 26 on the Muny grounds in Forest Park. St. Louis hosts the third largest Earth Day festival in the nation. Discover local businesses and nonprofits that share in the vision of Earth Day. Come on out and discover what is new in sustainable products and services. Find out how you can become involved on a local level. Also take in some of the performances by local musicians on any one of the three stages.
Each of us can make a difference by becoming more mindful of how our behavior affects the planet and all the creatures that share the earth with us. Take time to think about ways in which you could be a beneficial presence on the planet and then help educate others on how they can contribute to the health of our planet.
In closing I just want to say “Thank You” for reading. I am grateful for this time together…
Be Love, Be Loved, Beloved….