Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Earth Day’s Birthday

I’ve been celebrating Earth Day for about 25—wow, 25—years now. This year, Saturday April 24th, marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day (www.earthday.net). Visit http://www.earthdayindiana.org/ for Indy’s festival info (it’s Indiana’s 20th Earth Day festival).

I remember my first awareness of Earth Day, how I celebrated it then and still do today. Back then, I volunteered to take over the trash collecting on the side of the road that my parents always did in the spring anyway. I would walk along both sides of the busy state road we lived on, garbage bag in hand, and pick up trash.

I was always amazed. One, that people would actually litter, since purposely throwing trash on the ground is such an obvious wrong and so environmentally disastrous. And two, the sheer amount of trash was staggering, collected from such a relatively small place. It really saddened me to realize that this disrespect was happening not just in my small corner of the world, but all over.

The thing with picking up trash though is that it becomes addictive. Passing by litter will be about impossible, and something you may ask yourself is: “when will it stop?” I heard someone say once: “No, when will it start?”

Every year since I started celebrating Earth Day I have committed (and re-committed) to try to make a difference, in my own small way. So this Earth Day, I will take my children on walks through our neighborhood and we will pick up trash. I encourage you to take your children, or your grand-children, and do the same. This is the way we show we care not only for the Earth, but for our children. After all, the Earth they will inherit is the Earth that we leave for them, good or bad.

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