Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Everyday Should Be Earth Day

Only two days to go until Earth Day – the spot on the calendar when the world recognizes the need to be more environmentally-friendly.

First held on April 22, 1970 by a group of hippies hip to the need to generate more interest in our home, planet Earth, it has since been celebrated in over 170 countries across the globe, by billions of people. Some consider Earth Day the birthday of the environmental movement, some use it to begin their own environmentally-friendly resolutions, and some just go on not knowing or caring.

Truth is Earth Day should be every day – well to a degree. While any excuse for a party is often said to be a good excuse, we shouldn’t need to party to think of the Earth.

When our homes are in need of cleaning or repair, we don’t think twice about it, we just do it. That should be the same sort of thought process for being environmentally-friendly – when we do things which affect our home, planet Earth, we shouldn’t need to think about it, we should naturally just do what is best for our home.

As advanced as space travel has come in over four decades, we still have nowhere to live but here on planet Earth. Missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond are still in their infancy – actually American President Barack Obama canceled the mission to the Moon just last week, during his re-tooling of the American Space Program and NASA’s funding.

So finding another planet to live on isn’t in the cards, at least not in our lifetimes, or even the lifetimes of our kid’s kids, and maybe not even then.

Over the course of this week, the media will sing and dance with stories about the environment. There is a story today on CNN.com about a man not only trying to sell electric cars, but trying to create changes in society to put in place the infrastructure to support those fully electric cars (by having charging stations at all work places, and even having robotic battery swapping stations to swap out discharged batteries for fully charged ones.)

Saw an advertisement the other day for a special Earth Day Brita Water Filtration Pitcher – nothing really different about it other than it is green in color. The ad didn’t specify if the company was donating any of the proceeds of the sales to an environmental cause.

Even locally here, recently there was a story about how the Mayor of Toronto, Canada, was holding his annual city clean-up, where the city supplies garbage bags free to residents volunteering to pick up litter.

All of these are great at getting our minds into the environmental framework – but in order for us to really achieve a liveable city, town, or village, our daily actions need to always be environmentally-friendly.

We need to constantly act in the best interests of ourselves, and our planet.
From simple every day purchases such as light bulbs, batteries, and dish washing soap, to the big ticket purchases such as cars, homes, and appliances, they all need to be products which are environmentally-friendly. Instead of letting the water run, leaving the lights on when no one is around, or even just leaving your battery chargers plugged into the wall when nothing is being charged, even the teeny-tiny things make a world of difference.

Earth Day is a great excuse for a party, so let’s celebrate. But don’t leave behind your environmentally-friendly thinking cap.

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