5 reasons to celebrate, and 5 ways to do it
By BOBBI BUCHANAN
Maybe you’re a global warming skeptic. Or you don’t like the face of the environmental movement. Not an Al Gore fan? Had your fill of Michael Pollan? That’s okay. You don’t have to be a liberal or buy expensive organic food to take part. The movement could use some independent thinkers, and it’s cheaper and better to grow your own food anyway.
Now more than ever, the earth needs you. And you need the earth. Here’s why:
- Air: You like to breathe, right? The earth’s blanket of air includes oxygen, which is essential to human life. Most of that oxygen, by the way, is provided by green plants.
- Water: It’s another basic need. Water covers 70 percent of the earth’s surface, and, interestingly enough, about the same percentage of water makes up the human body. Our survival, and the survival of other life forms, depends on access to clean, fresh drinking water.
- Food: With an industrialized food system, we sometimes forget that plants make up much of what we eat. If we’re not purists, we’re getting chemical additives and whatnot, but mainly food comes from the land. Even the animals we eat are raised on plants grown in the earth.
- Simple Pleasures: Remember fishing with your grandpa, or that canoe trip you took in high school? If you’ve ever been to the beach, hiked a mountain trail or thrilled at the sight of a bald eagle or a white tail deer, then you’ve enjoyed the simple pleasures the earth provides.
- Giving Back: We want to feel useful, and taking part in something meaningful is a great way to do that. Faith guides some of us. For others, it’s karma. Or maybe we decide to celebrate Earth Day simply because it makes us feel good about ourselves.
- Take a walk. Get the kids involved. Give everyone bags. Collect litter in your neighborhood. Award a golden dollar coin to the one who bags the most trash.
- Start a garden. Make it small if this is your first. Green beans, radishes and squash are relatively easy for the beginner. Building good soil is the key to growing healthy vegetables. The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible is a widely recommended book to help you get started.
- Plant a tree. Windbreaks, shade, beauty, preventing soil erosion—there are a million reasons to plant a tree. Try this one: trees absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.
- Buy nothing. That’s right. Simply refraining from consumption is a way of honoring the earth. Don’t purchase needless things that will end up going into a landfill within six months. Save money. Be happy. For more on this concept, go to www.newdream.org.
- Line dry your laundry. Seen the newfangled “solar-powered” clothes dryer? It’s a laundry line with clothespins. It’s green, and it’s frugal.
Celebrate Earth Day, April 22.