Earth Day was born on April 22, 1970 after an environmentally-conscious senator gave birth to the belief the importance of celebrating and honoring our precious planet. Earth Day isn’t limited to celebrating in the United States, it’s revered all over the world as a special day to honor, learn, and teach the world about our precious planet. People all over the world, but especially in the United States hold events at their schools, businesses, parks, homes, and anywhere that they feel the importance of sustaining and protecting the planet we live on.
But for me, I feel the importance of protecting and taking care of our planet shouldn’t be limited to just one day. It should be a practice that we all participate in every day. Take for instance the recent devastating disaster in Japan. I personally believe that our beloved planet is crying out for help and Mother Nature is giving us fair warning through storms, tsunamis, tornadoes, and any strange climate change you can think of. I’m not a scientist, but I can safely say that what we’ve been doing to our planet over the years is now reaping damaging levels in our atmosphere, thus creating what everyone knows as “global warming”. But, I’m not here to tout the dangerous effects of toxic susbstances that eventually travels through our atmosphere and impairs our delicate eco system. You’ll probably hear and see all about that when Earth Day soon approaches.
So if you’re interested in learning a bit more about what you can do to help preserve Earth’s delicate balance and keep it healthy for our future generations, then Earth Day or Earth Month as I like to call it, would be a good start. There are countless ways of helping our planet and you can probably think up a few good ones right now. You can start by using less plastic – did you know that not all plastics are readily recyclable? Some will take billions of years to dissipate because there aren’t any means to recycle them as of yet. Plastic is a hard one to give up or use less of because it’s virtually everywhere around us. And although plastic does wonders for our everyday needs, we can choose to use and purchase plastics that are more recyclable and reusable. Plastics are now rated between 1-7 based on their recyclable level. Most municipals accept all plastics, but it’s best to check with your local recycling centers to find out what they accept or don’t accept.
Reusable bags are also an easy way to help save the planet. I know most companies nowadays are advertising their own reusable bags to purchase and use, but here’s one important thought: are they using reusable and renewable resources in manufaturing the bags? Or are they simply wasting even more fuel and materials in producing reusable bags that end up causing more damage to the environment? However, the lesser evil here is that at least you’re not going home with 5 or 6 bags of grocery store plastic bags which most people just end up throwing away.
Another great way to help Earth is to drive less. Yikes! I know that’s a touchy subject considering Americans depend on their cars as if it’s an extra appendage. We need our cars for practically everything and if you have a teenager in the house, well, their car is their actual appendage. So how do we use less of our vehicles? We can try carpooling or riding the bike, or even just making a one stop shopping trip instead of going from store to store to buy all of our necessities. If you live in a bustling city, you can probably walk to do most of your chores.
There are just so many ways you can help preserve our planet and so many things you can do every day. Every little act of kindness to Earth helps – kind of like the every little act of kindness to a person agenda – soon it’ll spread and more and more people will want to try to preserve our planet. My son reminds me to take our reusable bags whenever we go out shopping – in fact, he’ll grab it from the closet and hand it to me.
The Environmental Protection Agency has some cute Earth Day activities for children on their website: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/kids/earthday.htm. You can find some interesting pages to color and maybe print some out to give to your kids teachers to pass around. Just remember to print responsibly 🙂
And on the Earth Day Network: http://www.earthday.org/ you can take a personal pledge to help Earth this year on Earth Day.
You can even organize an Earth Day event in your area and think up great activities to help Earth and to help educate others about the importance of sustaining our planet. If you look up Earth Day on the internet, you’ll probably find some local activities you can participate in which should be both fun and educational.
So whatever you decide to do this year to help save the planet, remember, every little act helps. And let everyone know that helping to preserve the planet is on your personal agenda list this year. Maybe they’ll follow your good intentions.
And my best advice to myself and others is simply, “Be conscious of what you purchase and what you eat”. Every purchase you make leaves an impact on Earth.