But wait, we hear you saying, that was last weekend! Yeah… I guess we missed it.
Not that we didn’t know about it. Earth Day was in the mainstream media, on the radio, on television… pretty much everywhere. So how could we miss it? Well… it’s kind of like this. We weren’t really paying attention.
First of all, we want to get one thing straight. We are pro planet. We are also pro people. While there are a lot of people on the planet, there is only one planet Earth. (At least that we know of…) And while we really do think that it is a good idea to have things like Earth Day, with concerts on the National Mall, and events in cities large and small not only in the United States, but around the world, we have a little different take on things. We have this crazy thought that every day should be treated as Earth Day. Yeah… pretty radical.
It’s good that this annual event shines a brighter light on the issues that we face as a planet to help bring it to the forefront of those minds that don’t think about it on a routine basis. And frankly, we likely could have been included in that category to a greater or lesser degree not all that many years ago. So what brought our thinking around? Many things.
One of the simplest was back in 1996 or so. We bought a little 1930’s era house with a little front yard. It had no white picket fence, but you don’t see many white picket fences in Southern California. Not that it didn’t have a back yard, but the back yard was a steeply sloped ravine that the original owner had terraced down to the bottom so that he (and we) could enjoy shade and cocktails on multiple levels without the privacy intrusion of our neighbors who were stranded on their single level back yards at the top of the ravine. The house also came with a dog (Char) buried with a nice marker at the bottom of the ravine. Never had to feed her. Great pet. But I digress.
With our tiny front yard came the need for mowing the grass. Having the need for a lawn mower we opted to go with a battery powered electric lawn mower – as much for convenience sake as for the environmental benefits. That mower served us for more than ten years before something finally gave out. We still have it in the garage thinking that we might take it apart and try to figure things out – but that is likely well beyond our capabilities. When it finally did bite the bullet, we opted for another pretty much duplicate of the first and it is still serving us well.
One of the other things that brought our thinking about, are now three distinct beings. Our three children. It’s amazing how perspectives change when it is not only your own hide that you are concerned about, but that of your progeny as well. Knowing that the future is theirs much more than ours, the future looms ever more important.
So now we try to live every day as if it’s Earth Day. We teach our children to clean up after themselves (and others if necessary) whenever they’re outside. (Inside the house is another matter entirely). We are conscious of our water usage and pay attention to length of time in the shower and not running the water needlessly. We recycle as much as possible, often generating more recycling than trash for our collectors. But more than anything else, it is just creating an awareness in ourselves, our family, and those that we come into contact with on a regular basis that we only have one planet and that each of us can contribute on an ongoing basis to its maintenance and preservation. It doesn’t take much, and every little bit counts. Even if sometimes it doesn’t seem like it.
Happy Earth Days.