Earth Day

This April, just like every April since 1970, we will be celebrating Earth Day. A day we give thanks to this marvelous World we inhabit that, in its perfect balance, can support a plethora of life; the only place in the known universe that is able to support life.
Earth Day, April 22, is a time when people all over the World hold events, contests and challenges to demonstrate their support for environmental protection and raising public awareness about a variety of environmental issues.
I’ve participated in a number of events and challenges for Earth Day with my family, school or community, but they are all typically the same. We reduce our water consumption for a week, watch documentaries about climate change, reduce our hydro consumption, eat organically grown food, plant a tree, take public transit or ride a bike. It’s a time when we re-examine all that we can do locally to help lessen our impact on the environment and there are lot of things we can do. The next time you’re in the grocery store, check where your produce was grown and avoid buying goods that have been shipped over long distances. For every purchase you should consider the following about the product; where did it come from, how it was made, what it is packaged in, how did it get to me and what is the environmental toll of this product and its company?
Environmental issues, since they concern the entire World, can seem staggering in their complexity and size. How can one person possibly affect anything as complex and large an issue as climate change, water pollution, air pollution, sustainable energy, species losses or habitat destruction.
The old quote for Earth Day has been “think globally, act locally”. From this, there has been a tendency to focus on the local issues that we can easily affect and make a positive change. While this is no doubt important and a great place to start, we need to start tackling these bigger issues.
Earth Day was created during a time when the modern environmental movement was gaining momentum, but that momentum has slowed down severely. A poll of U.S. citizens reveals that concern for the environment peaked in 2000, with roughly 75 per cent of citizens expressing concern. That number has now dropped to 35 per cent. We need to reinvigorate the environmental movement.
We need to start tackling these greater environmental issues, reducing your own carbon foot print is fine and dandy, but we need to start demanding new and stricter environmental policies for government and private business. In greater numbers, we need to demand from our government new environmental policies on carbon emissions and other forms of pollution. We need to start boycotting business that don’t use recycled materials in their packaging. We need to show the people in charge we will no longer stand for environmental negligence in any area of our lives.
This year’s event is “Earth Day 2013: The Face of Climate Change”. The plan is to help build a global mosaic of photos that help tell the World the stories of people, animals and places affected by climate change and of those stepping up to do something about it. You can help by adding your own photo at earthday.org/2013/.
You can make a difference; don’t wait until the bottom of the ninth when it’s too late and the game is over.

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