By Janeen Ellsworth
Earth Day was a cool idea, and historically necessary, to get people aware of climate issues when it came to fruition in 1969-70 by peace activist John McConnell and US Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI).
I love the festivals and litter pickups that people organize to honor Earth Day. And I love that it gets people revved--or at least cognizant--about the warming oceans, the thawing permafrost, coal ash, plastic pollution, endangered species...
What I hate about Earth Day is the half-hearted focus on these issues for just one day and then the tendency to fuhgettabout'em the rest of the year.
What's worse, this day of international honor can--and does--act as a tool for divisiveness.
For some, Earth Day is something only "elite liberal tree huggers" celebrate. In the eyes of folks who see the world this way, we might as well just put our hair in dreadlocks every April 22nd, douse ourselves in patchouli and eat granola as we march across the National Mall singing Kumbaya for the starving polar bears. Which is kinda what happens at these Earth Day festivals...
Exhibit A, the long-running anti-hippie memes that just never quit. One version of millions, as seen below. It's almost too easy to attach a snarky blurb that pokes fun at the hypocritical nature of today's crunchy elite. So often, these memes are true. That's why people love to hate the girl in this photo.
No matter where you fall on the Earth-loving spectrum, below is an offering of Ten Pledges You Can Make Throughout the Year to incorporate into your lifestyle until they're easy habits.
And they're not just for the crunchy elite. They're for anyone, no matter how "green" they already are.
Remember: It's not critical that we all do all the things all the time. But adopt a few favorites, or even just one, and you'll be helping toward a positive, more widespread trend.
Small changes by many can make a big impact for the future.
Enjoy this slide show, choose a topic to start with, make a pledge to commit to incorporating it fully into your life, and feel good about your efforts! Feel free to save and share your favorite and tag me on Facebook or Instagram:)
I'm Janeen; writer, mother, wife, and full-time, radical Reductionist. I share stupid-easy tips on how to save money while reducing your impact on the environment, & I'm committed to helping others live a life of simple sustainability.
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