Do you remember Earth Day? What started in 1970 as a celebration in San Francisco (of course!) spread across the country and rose to prominence at a time when our country was ready to take on all kinds of social issues. It seemed the environment—like civil rights, women's rights and the war—was a cause to celebrate and/or protest about. (Hmmm, as a nation, have we changed that much?) I remember high school assemblies on "saving the Earth." Was that something we could really do—if our parents would let us!—or was that something for hippies? When did you become conscious of the environment?
Growing up on an island, I was acutely aware of the fact that we either used what was native to the island or something had to be shipped in. Every summer I am reminded of the fragile nature of island living when I visit the Madaket Mall (aka, the dump) on Nantucket. Here recycling is brought to a new level and the old adage that "one man's trash is another's treasure" is brought to life. Yes, even on Nantucket!
But what have you done recently that keeps the idea of Earth Day alive? We all hear about the Greening of America. But what does that really mean? Did you go green with that piece of clothing, car or paint you just bought? While it might seem hard to do something to "save the Earth," it really starts with a few baby steps that collectively can make a difference. For many of us our connection to our environment is limited. But with all of our sophistication, have we forgotten to look and listen? Is it that we have created environments that we can control and have forgotten that Mother Nature still rules? It is only when she throws a disaster that we are reminded of her power and the clues we neglected to ignore.
Perhaps the biggest step we can take is to be aware of our environment no matter how removed we might be. We can stop overfeeding our lawns, make a donation to preserve a valuable piece of open space in our town or resist that plastic bag at the market. Every day each of us needs to be conscious of the Earth and realize that we are merely preserving what we have for our grandchildren's grandchildren.
So do something. Start today. After all, as the hippies said in 1970, "Every Day is Earth Day."
Editor in Chief
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