Trash Walking

disposables, keepers, treasures

Earth Day

on April 22, 2014


I’m not sure where to begin an Earth Day post, there is just so much to feel today, about where we are, where we are headed, where we need to head, where I am trying to head.

I am not saying “Happy Earth Day” today, because I think that the phrase too often sounds as hollow as “have a nice day”.    We say the phrase, but it is lip service, and it is meaningless without action.  We all love the earth right?  We’re awed and inspired by her beauty. We acknowledge that clean air is better than filthy air,  and we love going to the beach, or walking in a park.  But saying Happy Earth Day is not enough.  We have to act on our feelings of love for the earth.  We have to pick up the litter.  We have to be the Lorax, but more.  For not only must we “speak for the trees” we must act too.  Pick up trash.  Ask others to pick up trash. Work for a change in the way we do business, work to make our children understand “need” versus “want”, and become more mindful consumers than we have been so far.  Acknowledge that we don’t need all this stuff, and try to curb our addiction to this throw away mentality that has become so pervasive in such a short period of time.

It is mind boggling to think of what needs doing, it really is.  I sometimes get in to this funk and think that it is all just too much, that we can’t change what is happening to our earth.

We can create change though, by acting.  Picking up garbage on a beach or a street is a small act, but it is an action that makes a difference.  At the very least, if makes the street or beach look better, prettier, maybe safer.  Maybe it makes your neighbourhood a more desirable place to live.  But the single act of picking up one piece of trash does so much more.  It prevents that piece of trash from ending up in the river, or lake, or ocean.  It prevents a sea bird or maybe a sea turtle from ingesting it, and maybe dying from starvation by ingesting something that is not doing anthing good for it’s body .  Maybe it prevents that plastic bag from joining other debris in blocking storm sewers and contributing to flooding in your neighbourhood.  Maybe that single act gives someone else the courage to act.  Courage to pick up not one, but a whole bag of litter while walking to the park.  Courage, because, trust me, it takes some courage at first.  Bending over to pick up someone else’s litter will get you some strange looks!   I have learned to ignore the strange looks, for they mean nothing to me.  It may get you some comments too, like “good for you”, “bless you”, or my personal favourite so far, “oh dear, are you on welfare?”  Use the comments to educate or inspire, or make people think.  I usually reply with something like ” thank you, I believe we all can do our part” or, “thank you, I know you’ll get some later too”.

I’ve done some other things besides picking up trash.  I won’t get in to the list here, because I’m not trying to blow my own horn.  The point is that I have done.  Doing is key.  Action creates change.

Whether your cause is environmental, an issue of social justice, or a community improvement idea, do!  If you want more trees at a park, plant some.  If you’re worried about loosing the Monarch butterfly, plant some milkweed and, better yet, talk to your friends and ask them to help as well. If you are not comfortable acting alone, find a group of like minded people.  Trust me, they are out there, and they will welcome your help.  I have discovered a whole world of people who are passionately and tirelessly doing something to make a difference. Most I have not met personally, but I follow their writings and pages on line.  I “like” and comment on their posts.  I ask their advice. I am humbled by their dedication and thankful for their actions, both large and small, and I tell them so.

On a personal level, I’ll just say that once you do act to make a difference, it is addictive.  You want to do more.  You feel good doing, and so you keep doing.  If you’re like me, you’ll soon realise that not only is your action good for the earth, it is good for the individual soul, it really is.  Take action, and you will feel good.  You’ll do it again and again, and soon, you will be hooked.

Love the earth, and act upon your love.  “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.



One response to “Earth Day

  1. Michele says:

    Very inspiring!!!!

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