The other 364 days
Remember Earth Day? It was a week ago...
Something about Earth Day has never seemed right to me.
One day per year we hear harmonies of people singing... "okay everyone, let's go green!"
The all-things-green chorus on Earth Day sometimes feels as connected to meaningful environmental change as the all-things-green chorus does on St. Patricks Day. St. Paddys Day singing tends to be more about the green beer than an authentic connection to Irish culture.
Earth Day celebrations can feel cliche, ephemeral... perhaps even damaging to the idea behind the distinction... we've all seen cheesy Earth Day imagry like that to the left.
I get it, Earth Day is an onramp for people to become involved with environmental causes. I'm also aware that its good to call attention to environmental issues whenever we can... and yet I'm still surprised when this single day hits me slightly off center.
Earth Day is a single day in late April, what about the other 364 days?
Is a single day focused on the environment truly reflective of our commitment?
I find myself thinking about the larger idea behind Earth Day. In 1970 20 million people came together to push for environmenal reform. In some ways we've made a large difference since that first Earth Day and yet there is so much more work to be done.
When we (seriously) contemplate what's at risk, our collective commitment increases. We become more focused, more vigilant, more driven to make a meaningful, sustainable difference.
We need to look past the rainbows and past childrens' hands holding a globe... we need to look at the current state of the planet. Our planet. The planet which supports all human life. I know, I'm getting too heavy... you may think I need to lighten up the message... and that is my point.
When we dilute our messaging we dilute the larger idea behind conservation.
Painting our faces green accomplishes... almost nothing in terms of meaningful change.
Earth Day came and went, big whoop.
Can we now focus on the larger issues facing this place we all call home?
Here is a great place to start, find a chapter near you and engage. Protect what you love.