I have many thoughts on this “Earth Day”.
First, I feel that we focus so much on specific environmental issues that we miss the big picture.
I see people wanting to teach about the monarch butterflies and their struggle handing out 10 pamphlets in a 5 minute period on how others can help the monarchs. Those that want to ‘educate’ us on the deforestation are handing out bottled water in plastic to get our attention at their table during an event. A food truck to give out mass produced, machined hot dogs (made from large farms with horrible conditions for the animals) to the masses to keep us at an “Earth Day” event… oh… I could go on and on. Handing out small tree seedlings in plastic bags and containers… and on and on.
Second, I love how I am made to feel I am doing something great on Earth Day by consuming and ‘saving’ the Earth at the same time. I received an e-mail today that stated I could save money and help save the Earth at the same time – just come in and consume from the ‘Earth Friendly’ companies – who still use plastic to sell their products and still support centralized food production causing us to spend more fuel to get it to where it is going. Yeah, saving the Earth, huh?
Third, it seems that Earth Day often becomes a huge guilt trip. I am not saying that I don’t see how things need to change, but I also see where this guilt can result in the people supporting giving up their ‘rights’ in order to ‘protect’ the Earth. After all, quite a bit of the Agenda 21 comes in the disguise of ‘saving the planet after we have trashed it’. We should take on the responsibility ourselves to find that balance. To live a life that supports life in every way we can. I am not perfect – I am far from it. After all, I see my hypocrisy screaming out as I type this post on my laptop, using electricity, in a house bigger than we need, with a refrigerator running, and on and on… I even took a hot shower last night. However, my family is working towards a more balanced life and we are not consumers for the sake of ‘supporting the economy’, but we do have many of our own shifts to make despite the many we already have made.
Lastly, our goal should not be to protect the environment. It should be to reflect on our life, our choices, our actions… and take the responsibility for how that ripples out – all the way. Just because it is available does not mean we have to participate. Just because everyone else is doing it does not mean our contribution does not add to the overall situation. It starts with each of us and we cannot expect others to take on our personal responsibility for us – that is ours to own and do something about!
Now, I have some work to do. I do not like being a hypocrite – so I am going to do something about it. Each step in the ‘right’ direction, no matter how small, will affect the rest.
Walk barefoot on the Earth and feel Her energy… start there. Recognize that energy. Then choose for yourself how you feel you should honor that or not. We all have choices and there will always be consquences.