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Happy Earth Day!
Posted: 4/22/2013 | Inspirational Comments
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Monday is Earth Day, and yearly event that started in 1970. You may recall, if you’re old enough to remember, this was the beginning of the modern environmental movement that raised national awareness around issues like air and water pollution, and leaded gas consumption. As our awareness grew, other crucial issues have been brought to the forefront, like global warming, devastation of rain forests, wildlife extinction, oil and chemical spills, and the list goes on.

Earth Day began with an idea
by Gaylord Nelson, then a senator who was deeply disturbed by a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara. He believed it was a good time to use the strong wave of youthful energy in America and “force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.” The first Earth Day amazingly brought together people from both sides of the party line, rich and poor, old and young. Disparate groups that had been fighting for specific types of environmental protection were able to come together and recognize their common values.

Nowadays, most of us know the importance of recycling, bringing our cloth bags to the grocery store and lowering our thermostats. We’ve been taught to save water, compost and conserve gas. We’re aware of global climate concerns, the depletion of oil reserves, and the devastating effects our old way of living has had on our one and only planet.

In some ways, it’s easy to feel discouraged. We see human-caused devastation on the news just about every day. It might feel that we can never correct our course, that our greed and ignorance has created too much havoc to reverse. We may even be desensitized. And, it’s easy to feel guilty if you don’t always take the actions we’re encouraged to take. Many people are under a great deal of daily stress, and global concerns take a back seat to the fires closer to home.

Take a big breath
, and then take simple steps, whatever you can do, toward a better future for the earth. Even a small effort can make a magnificent impact on our environment. Begin by simply appreciating the world around you. Do something that connects you with the earth. Take a walk in nature, or if that’s not easily done, go outside and just get present for a moment. Look up at the sky and appreciate it’s mood, the clouds, the quality of light. Inhale deeply and stretch. Feel the earth under your feet which always supports you as it turns. Pay attention to the leaves beginning to sprout on the trees, the grass growing in the cracks of sidewalk, or the snow melting away.

Next, try to do one thing today toward the betterment of our planet. Lower the thermostat, renew your commitment to recycling, turn off all your lights and electronic equipment earlier in the evening, walk or bike to work. According to The Daily Green, here’s a great list of things you can easily do:

1.    Avoid Waste: Recycle
2.    Give Up Plastic (and Paper) Bags
3.    Stop Buying Bottled Water
4.    Stop Receiving Unwanted Catalogs
5.    Give Up Conventional Detergents
6.    Give Up Hot Water (At Least In the Clothes Washer)
7.    Give Up the Clothes Dryer
8.    Check for Leaks in Your Toilet
9.    Give Up Toilet Paper (OK, Just Conventional Toilet Paper)
10.    Give Up Paper Towels
11.    Run a Fully Loaded Dishwasher
12.    Lower the Temp in Your Fridge
13.    Give Up 2 Degrees in Your House
14.    Give Up Dry Cleaning
15.    Stop Wasting Gas

For more details go here.

Rather than feeling guilty or resigned
, you’ll feel better knowing you took a step forward. Imagine if we all did that. Imagine our connection together and with every living thing around us. Take heart that we are growing in consciousness, become true stewards of the earth that gives us everything we need.

What are you doing for Earth Day? Do you have simple changes we can all make in our lives? Please leave your comments. It makes a difference for all of us!

 




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