I’ve got half a mind to boycott Earth Day. Now, before you crucify me for saying that, and throw accusations that I’m an Earth killer, let me tell you this.
Back in elementary, my school decided to start a “Save the Earth” campaign. All students from all levels were enjoined to participate, to do projects that will help reserve the Earth’s energy and resources. Projects were based mostly on the suggestions of The Earthworks Group’s book, “50 Simple Things Kids Can Do To Save The Earth”. It was a rather informative book, and despite the fact that the data was mostly based on American statistics, it provided ideas why should we care about the Earth and saving it.
That was nearly 15 years ago, and the project continued until I graduated from high school. As far as I know, it’s still being done today. Among the things we did were:
- Turning of the lights at lunch time
- Using our own bags when shopping (we used the colorful bayong you can get from your local market. Imagine going to Megamall, wearing your school uniform and putting your groceries in those bags. This was back in the mid-90s.)
- Recycling newspapers, reusing old textbooks (all of my textbooks, except the workbooks, for both junior and senior year belonged to the upperclassmen)
- Yearly garage sales in school where we disposed of our old but still serviceable items and got new if slightly used items in return.
- Learning how to adjust everything chores so we use less energy and water (like rinsing dishes with used water before soaping them, or turning off the faucet when not in use. How many of us leave them running while we’re soaping our hands or when we need to reach for something else?)
- Checking eco-friendly products if they are really eco-friendly
Though we were far from being staunch environmentalists, and I dare say we all slip up every now and then, the habit of energy and water conservation, plus the practice of using eco-friendly products, has been brought to our awareness and instilled in us at an early age. I’ll bet most of my schoolmates unconsciously do those things that I mentioned, and maybe even passed it on to their families and friends.
Friends, if you truly care about the Earth and the dangerous state we are all in, celebrate Earth Day everyday. Doing your part on Earth Day isn’t enough, especially if the next day, you go back to your old habits. A day of Earth saving activities and actions, versus a year of that, guess what will have a long term benefit for our planet?
Know the causes of the problems of the Earth, and what can be done to add more to it. Change the things you do (or the products you buy) that contribute more to the mess. Teach your kids ways they can help. Don’t just tell them to. Understanding is the key, and the more we understand, the easier it would be for us to make the changes we need.
The situation the Earth is in wasn’t done in a day. It is a pile-up of all humankind’s bad habits, carelessness and inconsideration for the planet and it’s resources for years and years, long before many of us were born. One day of Earth Day will not be enough to cure that, but rather, a combined effort over long periods of time will.
Let me rephrase my first sentence. I don’t want to boycott Earth Day. I want to campaign it so that people will be more aware and celebrate it on a daily basis. Let April 22 be the start of your long-term Earth Day celebrations. The Earth will surely thank you.