Friday, April 22, 2005

Make Every Day Earth Day

I coincidentally scheduled our house to be cleaned today, Earth Day, by a green-clean (environmentally-friendly) cleaning service. How great is that? They will use products that do not harm the environment or leave residues or odors in the house, making it perfect for an allergic household and kids. They sell their products ( P.S. They did not show up for the housecleaning as promised, so I cannot attest to their products. Their heart is in the right place, I guess.
Reflecting on Earth Day, I have the same sadness I read in the story excerpted below. Yes, of course, I participated in the first one, and try to make every day Earth Day in my small world. When I look around at people littering, polluting beautiful water in all corners of the world and lack of concern for the air quality, I too feel hopeless. Yes, recycling is great, but if only a few people do it, we are constantly looking for new landfill land. No one wants it in their backyard, so why don't they recycle?
Always an idealist, my college major was an independent study I created called "Environmental Politics". Now, 32 years later, I am still pondering the question. I joined VISTA in the 70's to make a difference -- once I was stationed in rural Georgia, I realized the problem. People are more worried about food, shelter and access to adequate healthcare in the present than saving the environment in the future. So I set out to work on the healthcare access issue. Did I make any difference? I don't know, but the article below probably answers that....

As the world marks the 35th anniversary of Earth Day on Friday, environmentalists are debating the future of a movement that seems to be losing the battle for public opinion. President Bush's re-election, the failure to slow global warming and the large number of Americans who dismiss them as tree-hugging extremists have environmental leaders looking for new approaches.

What I am thinking about today is: Maybe we can just all start by doing one thing each day to make each day Earth Day. Maybe it won't be for you, but for your kids, animals facing extinction and, the world. Perhaps Bono is right, "one" can be for all, even if one at a time.