On Saturday, April 22, 2017, we will be celebrating Earth Day. I’d like to suggest that we celebrate Earth Day every day.
What do Richard Nixon, Teddy Roosevelt and Rachel Carson have in common? No, not all presidents. We haven’t gotten that yet … a woman in the White House. So, think again. All vital participants in promoting an environmental consciousness in the US. Yes, the much maligned RMN can be credited with the creation of the EPA, as well as the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. Teddy spearheaded the conservation movement in the early 1900’s and Ms. Carson is responsible for ridding us of DDT.
Keep America Beautiful
By 1970, the world had reached about 3.7 billion people (sounds almost empty, right?) and there were some very big issues: water pollution, air pollution, solid waste contamination. I can remember riding down the highway seeing folks toss their McDonald’s bags out of the window of their speeding wood paneled station wagons. The ‘Keep America Beautiful’ folks, mostly beverage and packing industries who wanted to keep their industries free of government regulation, began promoting anti litter campaigns to encourage folks to clean up. It worked. Who can forget this image & PSA?
Virginia’s James River
We had our own catastrophe here along our historic river, The James. Allied Chemical was producing a DDT like pesticide and due to both dumping and improper handling, our rivers was effectively ‘shut down’ for 13 years. Guess this wasn’t the way to fix it:
‘The solution to pollution is dilution’
No pain, no gain. The 70’s was the decade in which the population as a whole began to become aware of the environment, and their connection to it. Before then, we had small groups of ‘stakeholders’ looking out for their stake, but as science and technology, along with some pretty nasty events, created a much higher level of environmental awareness. Whether we want to call it conservation or a green movement, ecology or environmentalism, we are moving in the right direction.
What I see is a lot of positive trends in a lot of areas: science, technology, policy and shifts in behaviors and thinking that give me hope. The biggest shift is the acknowledgement that environmental issues are shared. Air pollution doesn’t stop at a state border. Since the world is made up of A LOT of water, the world as a whole should be concerned about water pollution. Dwindling resources. Species on the verge of extinction. Climate change, from whatever cause, is everyone’s issue.
Politics Of Climate
I’m not going to mention the current climate in the US, because my guess is that the percentages that Pew printed last year are still valid: 74% of adult Americans are concerned about global warming. People care. And, it is going to be people that make the difference. We need to remain aware, vigilant, and to remember that this doesn’t have to be a ‘war’ scenario. Wars on poverty, wars on drugs ~ let’s change the conversation, shall we?
So, what can you do this Earth Day?
Well, a lot of brainiacs are going to DC and march. A lot of others are going to have a day in which the environment may loom a little larger than it did the day before. Others, well, who knows. But what I do know is that every little thing matters. Honestly. I could give you a list of things to do that make a difference, but you probably already know them.
I am amazed at the number of folks that bring in their own bags to the grocery store. We are now able to recycle plastics up to #7 (which includes our grower pots, yah). We barely have any garbage, as we recycle and compost. Yes, you don’t have to flush all the time. Turn off lights. Go LED. Think about all the appliances in your home that are so much more efficient. People are making a difference. So, maybe adopt yet another ‘earth saving’ strategy this year. We’ve forgone grass in lieu of clover and boy oh boy, do we have BEES. I am going to have to do a bit of bragging, but maybe this will give you a few ideas:
Pass On An Environmental Consciousness
The other really heartening thing I’ve discovered, as my children are getting older, is that they have an ‘environmental consciousness’ that I’d like to take some credit for! My family has been involved with a lot of environmental initiatives, both locally and nationally, and we have tried to surround them with really smart and interesting folks who are committed to making this world a much better place. I’m proud to call many of them friends. That’s the other thing to commit to ~ an organization that is committed to something you really care about ~ animals, public gardens, conservation.
It really doesn’t matter as long as you are involved. It does take a village, even a world!
So, on this earth day, pledge to take your commitment a step higher and share it with us!
Oh, yes, by the way: Gardening is a GREAT way to make sure that you stay both connected to the earth, as well as garden for habitat. So, enjoy a FREE HERB on us (offer valid April 21, 2017 through April 23, 2017), and when you plant it, make that commitment to some new initiative. We’d like to take a bit of credit for that, too!