Abundance, beauty, sustenance, and life – our planet is a miracle. Each year we celebrate Earth Day as a reminder that our home is in our care. There’s a delicate balance to the systems and there’s a limited supply of many resources yet we continue to deplete and destroy rather than treasure her.. It would take a lot to accomplish the reversal of all the damage done to our planet, but if we begin in our own community and establish new practices we can truly make a difference. We can show the planet some love.
People who are passionate about the environment are often referred to as tree-huggers. They love nature, and honestly, what’s not to love? I’d rather hug a tree than a barren patch of ground. It’s definitely a challenge to feel that your small efforts could help make the planet healthy, but there’s no risk in trying. We all know the sentiment that if everyone did a little, it would add up to a lot. Cliché? Maybe. True? Definitely.
We don’t want to throw anyone into chaining themselves to a tree in a standoff with a bulldozer if that’s not your level of commitment, but you can still accomplish a lot in your own community by taking small steps. Walk or take public transportation, carry reusable bags to the store, and re-purpose items as often as possible. Recycle electronics and use water efficiently. Consume products that are healthy and aren’t loaded with chemicals. You may have heard calls to action on most of these items over and over again, but do you make the effort to incorporate them as regular practices? These are what I consider the ‘beginner level’ of Earth-friendly practices that anyone can achieve.
Becoming an Activist
Then there’s the community-activist level, where deeper change can be accomplished. Learn about various legislation that seeks to undermine environmental protections and then work to oppose it. Boycott companies that repeatedly violate existing laws designed to protect the environment. Start programs in your community aimed at educating your neighbors about earth-friendly practices and promote acting on them.
In this world of quick “news” aimed at entertaining us it’s hard to encourage people to research what’s happening to the ecosystems on this planet or uncover the real impact of the chemicals we eat and breathe. But if we want to keep both ourselves and our planet healthy so that it can continue to provide for us, something must be done. We must dig deeper. Our planet is a treasure and we should treat it as such.
I know I could do a better job of personally following these principles. It’s tough to step out of a warm shower in winter, or to turn off the water as you brush your teeth, wash dishes, or clean your body. If you live in an area where everything is a car ride away, walking isn’t an option. But turning a faucet off or combining trips and creating errand carpools with a friend is a small price to pay for a healthy planet.
A community that engages in these practices will accomplish something. People who engage in a higher level of commitment will accomplish more. It’s your choice. But remember, Earth is a giver, shouldn’t we start giving back before there’s nothing left? Shouldn’t we treasure her and show her some love?