“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”Jane Goodall
Did you know the first Earth Day took place nearly 50 years ago on April 22, 1970? Pretty amazing huh! Something even more amazing is that more than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
At the root of the meaning behind this auspicious day is the goals of long-term global sustainability, a.k.a making sure we’re able to co-exist with the world in ways that enable a couple of key things: productive harmony, stability, and resilience to support both present and future generations.
And while Earth Day seems to bring out feelings of peace and harmony wouldn’t it be nice if we all lived as if every day was Earth Day? Imagine every single person fully realizing that each decision we make, big or small, impacts the future!
From how long we take a shower to if we use recyclable bags when grocery shopping, our actions, and in some cases in-action, can have serious consequences.
For me, even though I grew up in New York City (not the shiniest example for being environmentally-consciously) I was raised in a household that always talked about respecting the land, respecting the earth, and respecting our resources.
Heck, I remember my first book report in Kindergarten being on the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) and CFCs (chlorofluorocarbon). Then as if the environmental police were watching my every move, I’d dart through the house frantically sorting through our trash for plastics and recyclables and chucking out all things aerosol, but not before my stern conversation with the adults in the room that HFCs hydrochlorofluorocarbons and pump mists were they way to go!
A little precocious, I was. Now though, we look back fondly at my budding activist self and know there’s still work to do.
Some of the ways I try to expand upon my days living the 3R’s are by continuing to practice being environmentally conscious. This can be something as simple as:
- Saving up unused bread or unfinished bags of nuts and sprinkling them in a park for animals to store during cold months
- Changing consumption habits like using a refillable cold/hot water thermos instead of purchasing plastic bottled drinks when outside
- Volunteering or shopping at sustainable companies and organizations
- Examining your worldview and those around you—where you can plant the seed of what you’ve learned and hope others do the same!
Point is, even if you weren’t as environmentally conscious before or even if you live in an area where you don’t necessarily see it being promoted, doesn’t mean the world will be fine without your awesome contributions!