Earth Day Reminds Us That We Are All Connected
Today is Earth Day. When it was first celebrated on April 22, 1970, Earth Day was a day to unite environmentalists. “Before [that], there were people that opposed freeways, people that opposed clear-cutting, or people worried about pesticides, [but] they didn’t think of themselves as having anything in common. After Earth Day they were all part of an environmental movement,” said Denis Hayes, a Harvard Law School dropout who worked with Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat from Wisconsin, to coordinate the undertaking.
And now, more than forty years later, the environmental movement is still growing and uniting people. Big corporations are beginning to think about the environmental consequences of their actions on their own. The electric car has been resurrected from the dead. And the Tea Party has even worked with the Sierra Club to fight big energy corporations that contribute to climate change.
Some have said that we don’t need a holiday anymore to celebrate the environment — that every day should be earth day. But that’s like saying that we don’t need Independence Day to feel patriotic or Thanksgiving to give thanks. I understand the sentiment, but it’s nice to have a day where we can all reflect on our united environmental consciousness. A day dedicated to the air we all breath, the water we all drink, and the planet we all enjoy.
There are many ways to celebrate Earth Day today. You can participate in an Earth Day event at your local religious center. Consider a walking meditation outside to connect to nature, saying a prayer for the environment, or just sitting back to reflect on things. Perhaps you can think about ways the environment has changed during your life and how you feel about those changes. Art is another wonderful way to connect your spirit to the environment around you. Check out this video for some helpful ways to use art to connect to nature.
No matter how you choose to celebrate, it’s important to remember the reason why the first Earth Day was started: to help unite the environmental movement. Look at the people around you today and remember that they all love clean air, clean water, and sunny days as much as you. We all depend on this planet for happiness. Nature is part of our lives, culture, and spirit whether we like it or not.
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