Celebrating Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

(Sorry. That was the obligatory Earth Day flower image. Notice my lovely $1 juice pitcher/vase. No, you cannot buy it.)

OK, now that I’ve written that, I have a confession to make. I’m not really that big of a fan of Earth Day.

Go ahead, gasp. I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

It’s not that I don’t like the idea of Earth Day. I do. A day to celebrate the Earth, to make an effort to improve it, is novel. It’s terrific. But here’s the thing: Shouldn’t every day be Earth Day? What good does it do if a slew of people around the country or world take one day out of their lives to recycle or contemplate their water use or rally for environmental causes? Sure, it’s terrific. But what about the other 364 days? Earth is still there, getting pummeled by us humans.

I feel the same about Earth Hour, which occurred March 28. The fact that people in more than 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries turned off all their lights for an hour to raise awareness for global warming is terrific. I’m glad they did it. But what happens when the hour is up? Pow! The lights go back on and we consume as usual?

Rather than going for flash, for bang, for having companies that normally pollute like mad pretend to be interested in the earth for a day or week, rather than handing out little earth bouncy balls or cheap plastic water bottles that aren’t really very earth-friendly, how about we make meaningful changes?

What if, instead of allotting one day for celebrating Earth, we did just a little bit every day? I’m not trying to tell you to sell all your cars and bicycle everywhere (although that would be swell) or move out of your house and into a tepee with no electricity or running water. But how about making a conscious effort to recycle, not to purchase bottled water, to turn off lights when you’re not in the room, to use greener cleaning products, to consume fewer resources, to buy only what you really need? It’s really not that hard, and I can promise you that it won’t hinder your lifestyle that much.

I’ll step down from my soapbox now. I’ve gathered some links to a few of my favorite sites that can help you do just what I was talking about above. Don’t bother looking at them now—you’ll hear enough about the Earth today.

But tomorrow, next week, next month, when the Earth isn’t getting near as much attention? That’s when you should go check these sites out. Glean a few helpful tips here and there, make a few changes. The Earth will thank you for it. Your grandchildren will thank you for it, and their grandchildren, and ... well, you get the picture:

In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.” — Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

NRDC Green Living
The Daily Green
The Green Guide
Earth 911
Dot Earth
Mother Earth News
Daily Danny
Apartment Therapy Re-Nest

OK. I have more. But that’s enough for today. Now go celebrate the Earth.

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