April 22, 2020
Earth Day began 50 years ago with the intention of activating people to protect the environment and the planet. In 1970, environmental awareness was changing, and it became common knowledge that the Earth and its people needed protection from pollution. In addition, all people and businesses needed to consider the environmental impacts of their decisions.
A Common Cause
The CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite, one of the most listened to and respected voices of that time, said Earth Day was “A day dedicated to enlisting all the citizens of a bountiful country in a common cause of saving life from the deadly byproducts of that bounty: the fouled skies, the filthy waters, the littered earth…”
As a result of the Earth Day movement, the Environmental Protection Agency was created, the Clean Air Act was passed, and unleaded gasoline was phased out.
What if every day is Earth Day? We can celebrate the earth, not once a year, but as often as possible. Because we are guests of the earth, how do we make our stay, our lives, more appreciative toward our host?
Change often works best in baby steps. Here are three things you can do this spring and summer to help our city and our planet Earth:
1. Create a rain garden. Rain gardens capture and filter rain water, reducing flooding in your yard and home, and reducing ground water pollution running into Puget Sound. For more information on rain gardens, see: 12,00 rain gardens and how rain gardens help Seattle and Puget Sound. In addition, see these Nature Conservancy posts about trees and climate change.
2. Plant trees. Some people think trees are messy or destructive. They can be, but trees were here before sidewalks, side sewer lines, and us, and we need them desperately. Include trees in your life. Trees reduce water and air pollution, and they provide shade in increasingly hotter summers. They store carbon and filter the air, and provide homes for birds, squirrels and other wildlife. And, of course, trees release oxygen, without which we wouldn’t last five minutes.
3. Stop buying plastic. Plastic is a huge problem in our environment. For example, according to this article, 94% of tap water contains plastic fibers. Talk about this with your family and friends. What small steps can you take? Choosing to not buy plastic is a small but great step in helping humans survive on planet Earth.
Everything you do makes a difference. Join us in celebrating Earth Day today and all the days.