Every April, environmental groups around the world host events in celebration of Earth Day. Some of these events are focused on education, others on habitat restoration or environmental clean-ups. My concern is that Earth Day has lost it’s luster as we approach the 49th Anniversary of this revolutionary event. How do we give Earth Day back it’s shine and encourage people to live lighter on the planet?
A few ideas worth considering:
1) Show-off the good work people are doing in support of the environment. There is a growing list of examples of areas where people have restored a clear-cut forest, re-established a wetland, cleaned a beach that now supports sea turtle nesting for the first time in years. I don’t know about you, but I need to see these messages too. It gives me hope that caring individuals willing to give their time and energy can do great things for the environment.
2) Help people fall in love with nature again. For those that spend time in nature regularly, we know just how good it feels to be outside and that it feels even better to experience a healthy outdoor space instead of an area full of litter. The quote from Baba Dioum has been used for decades in support of environmentalism and it rings as true today as ever, “In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught.” We have to start with love to bring that connection to nature back. Our challenge is overcoming people’s barriers to access nature, whether that is comfort level in nature, transportation, time, whatever the reason may be. So I encourage you to grab your non-outdoorsy friend or family member and take them to your favorite place in nature and share your love with them.
3) Start small. Most people are not going to go vegan, ride a bike as their primary mode of transportation, or have a plastic-free life. They can, however, take meat out of a few meals a week, ride their bike or walk for errands that are close by, and reduce their plastic consumption by using reusable containers or shopping in bulk. Take a look at your personal choices, is there an area or two where you could be greener? Many people say what difference is one person going to make, but the reality is that if everyone makes greener choices the collective impact is immense.
“One person can make a difference and everyone should try.”- John F. Kennedy
If you haven’t done a Carbon Footprint Calculator or just haven’t done it in a while, try it out. There are a few things it doesn’t take into account, but it gives you a good idea of where you might start changing habits to decrease your carbon footprint.
Join us over the month of April as we celebrate Earth Month. Look for posts each week by our staff on tips and tricks on greening your life! You can also join us on Earth Day, Monday, April 22nd from 9 AM - 12 PM, as we give back to nature by removing invasive species and restoring habitat.
“The Earth is what we all have in common.”- Wendell Berry