That Big, Round, Green and Blue Thing.

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Happy Earth Day everybody!

Although it was started by some hippies and government representatives in 1970, Earth Day is one of the few holidays that doesn’t give New Yorkers an excuse to dress up in crazy costumes and spend all night on a bar crawl.  And sadly, those “Save the Earth” t-shirts from my youth (I had a puma.  Did you have a manatee?  Elephant?  Baby seal?) seem to have disappeared around the time of my sixth grade graduation.  But there are still plenty of reasons and great ways to celebrate our beautiful planet.

1.  Go the extra mile.  What if today you picked up one piece of trash off the street?  Remembered your cloth bag when you went grocery shopping?  Offered to pick up a co-worker on the way into the office?  What if you didn’t let the sink water run when you brushed your teeth?  What if we all did one of those things EVERY DAY?  The implications are staggering to think about.  Change starts small, one day at a time.  Start today.  Do it again tomorrow.  We could do so much.

2.  Learn a little.  Often we don’t want our way of life to be inconvenienced, so we purposely ignore the research and information that’s out there.  If we learned more, we might have to switch to eating organic, giving up meat, or buying a hybrid instead of an SUV.  And we don’t want to do that.  Today, do a little research anyway.  Take a look at those facts that you’ve been ignoring.  Most global issues, from climate change to recycling, don’t have just one side.  But look and learn for yourself.  And then if what you learn leads you to a call for change, commit to it instead of shying away.

3.  Party down!  Celebrations are not all about work and dedication- they are joyful and fun!  If the sun is shining where you are, go outside.  Find a park, a tree, a single flower.  Spend a few minutes breathing in the air, soaking up the light, and giving a generous thank you back to Mother Earth.  Drive to the ocean/river/lake and watch the waves lap the shore.  Roll in the sand, the grass, or even on the concrete if you like!  Look at these amazing examples of how breathtaking the beauty of this world can be.

All too often, we as humans (or maybe as Americans) separate ourselves from the complex but fragile systems that make up the environment and the planet.  Because we live in high rises, and have microwaves, and wear moisture-wicking sports tops, we think we have a hold on Mother Nature.  But those things are just fancy versions of a hut, a fire, and an animal skin to keep warm.  Nothing we make, no matter how futuristic or hi-tech, comes from a source outside the planet.   Ultimately, we are as reliant as any other creature on the resources we find here.  We need our home, and we need to be responsible for it.  It’s not just about taking care of Earth.  It’s about taking care of us.

If we took a holiday,

Took some time to celebrate,

Just one day out of life,

It could be so nice!

                       -Madonna       

Be well.

(photo courtesy of NASA)