Every Day Should Be Earth Day

Earth Day

When I was born the global population was roughly 2.8 billion. Today, in 2018, we are at 7.6 billion.

Think about that. Nearly 8 billion people. That is a lot of people for one little planet to support.

On April 22nd, the government gives us a day to remember the Earth. Big whoop. I’m not a tree hugger or a protester. I don’t get in people’s faces and demand that they change. I prefer to live by example and save my blood pressure.

Most of us don’t think about what we use up, what we eat, or what we wear. We were never meant to know. That’s the insidious role manufacturers and retailers play.

Corn is the perfect example. It’s cheap because we’ve learned how to produce corn with GMO seed, specialized herbicides, and modern machinery that takes the place of human labor. From here, scientists have discovered how to make hundreds of everyday foods and fuel with corn byproducts. Cows are fattened on corn–an unnatural feed for them by the way.

Cheaper feed for them means cheaper food for us. Not better. Not healthier. Cheaper.

It’s hard to turn down a 99 cent hamburger when buying grass fed beef is so much more expensive.

I get it. The system has rewired our behavior with monetary incentives. If we want to make rent, the 99 cent hamburger is a cheaper option.

Maybe we can’t beat the system, but we can make it harder for them to win by doing little things.

• Wear clothing made of natural fiber.
• Buy local
• Reduce the amount of plastic in your life.
• Grow a garden, even if it’s just a potted tomato plant.
• Before you toss out something, ask yourself if it can be donated, recycled, or reused.
• Pick up a piece of trash on the ground.
• Buy used.
• Borrow or rent.

I can’t change human nature, the government, corporations, or the mindset of billions, but I can quietly do little things that nudges the system the other way.

Earth Day was created in 1970. One day to bring awareness for a healthy, sustainable environment. I’ve disliked Earth Day almost since its inception. Not the concept, but the mechanics. One day to remember the Earth like it was a birthday card to a smelly, old aunt. If you want change, just go out and do it. We don’t need a special day for it.

Earth Day is a lot like all the other mock lovey-dovey things we do one day a year to show we care. Instead of giving Earth a holiday, give it a break.

Every day should be Earth Day. And that’s as hippie-dippy as I get. 🙂

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10 Comments

  1. Mike Keyton

    I smiled when I read your exhortation to recycle. We have a ‘Stag’ dark wood dressing table in beautiful condition but for one small mark on the surface about the size of my thumb – perhaps smaller. We tried to give it to a leading heart charity. They came, took one look at the blemish and shook their heads. ‘We can’t sell that – likely it’ll end up on the tip.’ Good luck planet earth.

    • Marlene: It’s like politics. I haven’t seen a FB meme yet that’s ever changed someone’s mind on politics. It can’t be done. But people learn from one another’s actions. If I pick up a piece of trash, maybe the next person will too– or maybe stop throwing trash. It has to start somewhere.

      Better to be the example than the problem.

  2. Angela Brown

    That’s pretty hippy-dippy, my friend. And it is on point. We recycle at home, limit time on showers and limit the water usage when brushing our teeth. I suggest to others to recycle, reduce, reuse and close the loop when the opportunity strikes, not striking others about the head with the message. I often say that we should “be the change we want to see”… not just one day of the year, either.

    • Angela:
      re: hippy dippy
      I was channeling George Carlin for that one. 🙂

      re: “be the change we want to see”

      Exactly. You can force people to behave a certain way but it’ll always come with resistance and resentment.

      Educating kids at the toddler stage is the time to impress behaviors. And that goes double for doing what you preach. Kids are awfully perceptive. If they see their parents acting responsibly, the behaviors stick.

  3. We recycle and our recycle bin is usually double what we are throwing away (things that can’t be recycled). My mom was an early advocate for recycling back in the 1970s when it was first getting started. We do indeed need to take care of this early; its the only one we’re going to be getting for the present time and I think we all enjoy living on it, so its up to us to do the best we can to preserve it. I have a post coming up in a few months about one way people here “re-purpose” stuff they don’t want.

    betty

  4. Jenny Schwartz

    Agree!! Being a responsible human is so much more than one day a year. It’s habits – the things we do when we’re tired and not thinking … and training ourselves into good habits takes effort.

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