Remembering Earth Day

by Raymond Parker on April 22, 2013

in Environment, Events

tulips

In my haste and diversion, I almost forgot today is Earth Day. How easily we are distracted, by our troubles and our fancies, from our duty to tend our garden.

Perhaps that is the best place to start, close to home. This morning—a glorious blast of spring—I noticed the riot of colour outside my city front door (recorded above) and the birds singing their courtship songs. All this is, as it is every day if we pay attention, a clarion call to defend the sacred thread of life, to which we are ultimately attached and dependant upon.

How can we play our part in that duty? We can get our hands dirty in the back yard, making beauty and habitat without chemicals and water-wasting choices. We can join local or international efforts towards conservation. We can become politically active in the fight against destruction of the ecosphere, write a letter, an essay, take a photograph, protest, vote. You can choose to live nearer to work. You can ride a bicycle. Each one of us can play a part in defending the Earth, however modest.

Ultimately, I can say no more than I did in these pages 3-years-ago. In whatever small way, I try to pass on the wisdom imparted to me by the defenders of nature that I have been so lucky to meet in my travels on this incredible planet.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add your spin! }

Ryan April 22, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I was thinking about Earth Day earlier, and what ‘extra’ I could do, from what I already am doing.

Transportation wise for me is rather set and done. 98% of the time I’m on my bike.
The other 2% can vary from walking to transit.
Although I should say when I started riding a bike, the thought of it being ‘green’ not once crossed my mind. I had a bad experience with transit, plus for close to a year my Dad kept hounding me to ride a bike. Even now I view the environmental benefits as just an added bonus.

Garden/yard wise? I never put anything on my grass. Weeds are pulled by hand and that’s about it. I’d guesstimate 60% of the time I now use one of those old fashion “push mowers”.
Unfortunately I have this massive area of city property to cut, and last year was the final straw in using an electric, so for that area I did switch to gas.

I’m pretty fortunate that small trees seem to pop up every year around my yard. This year I transplanted 4 of them to a new area. Have to see if they pick up, mainly because of the weather here (from +25C one day, to +2C the next).

Water wise, I’d like to think I’m pretty good at conserving.
Last year I found a rain barrel in the garbage, so I brought it home and now use that.

Recycling, I’ve never even had a second thought. Since I’ve been alive my city has had a blue box program. Even before the “grey box” (for papers) was introduced, my family put paper in bags, and the recycling truck would take them (despite not many people doing it at the time).
Now we have the green bins for compost. I put the green bin out in the winter, but this time of year I use my own compost.

I saw a thing on TVO two months ago about Denmark. They talked about how “green” Denmark is, but also said that they choose the green options because it is the ‘right thing’ to do, and in many cases the most practical.

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Raymond Parker April 22, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Exactly! It makes sense in every way, even to the bogus “science” of economics, as practiced today.

Moreover, full-cost accounting would reveal how imperative it is that we strive to “green” the economy. In fact, if off-ledger costs were reported in the Financial Post and “externalities” condemned by Terence Corcoran and the his cohort of economic spin doctors (the most unrealistic of expectations, I know), then we might move forward at a hopeful pace.

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John P April 23, 2013 at 11:45 am

Hi,

I’ve just read this after putting out the recycling , paper, cans, glass bottles, and garden waste for composting. It’s a wonderful sunny evening here in The Black Country (well Stourbridge) and I was able to chat to neighbours all doing the same thing, we’ve come out of hibernation after a cold and long winter. How things have changed!

Earth Day passed without a mention in the UK, but things are improving: smaller, more fuel efficient cars, recycling, waste to landfill has reduced by 60% in 5 years, wind farms are springing up all over the place. The growth in cycling hasn’t been as great as we would have hoped but we are getting there.

We are still consuming more than is sustainable though, perhaps we might wake up to that before it is too late.

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Raymond Parker April 23, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Thanks for an eco update from my home turf, John.

Certainly, on balance, the Black Country is greener than it was during my childhood. However, on my last visit, I was amazed at the effect of the car explosion: the giant motorways, crowded streets, concrete parking lots covering front gardens (causing floods in some areas).

The sustainability of the Western model of consumption is, as you say, the big question. The “three Rs” can go some way, but we are going to have to make major changes in the way we do business. The idea that we can just keep expanding “the economy” is a concept that should have been universally discredited long ago.

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