Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day...Did Anyone Notice?

What about you? What does Earth Day mean to you, personally? Now, I don't consider myself to be that wonderful an example of purist green living. But, I try. The question "What does it mean to you", came from a question recently posed to me at an Earth Day event at the World Peace Wetland Prairie in Fayetteville, Arkansas. That question was not expected. I had already talked about how nice it was to have a little urban sanctuary to enjoy with my kids, on a warm spring day.
But, for me, more than anything else, it means just stopping to pay attention to your immediate environment. Even the proponents of the so-called "climategate" idealogy can do that much. It really doesn't matter how much of our environmental problems are society's fault, or how much is due to cyclical changes in the earth's behavior. Every one of us can do a better job of being responsible in helping to sustain a heathy environment for ourselves, and for our grandkids.
That could be something as simple as drinking tap water instead of bottled. Recycling takes so little effort. Where I live, the city makes it easy by providing free recycling containers and curbside pickup. What if you managed to leave your car at home, one day a week. Or, commute by bicycle, walking, or public transit.
Our family has lived car-free for almost two years now. And while I know that for the majority of us that's not a viable solution, many have found it quite doable. Living without a car, especially with kids, does require forethought and hardship at times. But, if you pay attention and slow down, even for a few moments, you will discover ways to do your part. Start with the small stuff. Then, maybe you can move on to bigger steps. It's not about sacrifice, it's about mindfulness. So, pay attention, for goodness sake. Happy Earth Day!

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