Celebrate Earth Day 2008

Celebrate Earth Day 2008

Happy Earth Day!! I will be celebrating Earth Day the same as I always have for the last 38 years. I will plant a tree, or a plant of some sort in my yard. I encourage you to do the same.

happy earth dayWhat exactly is Earth Day and how did it come about? According to Wikipedia,

In September 1969, at a conference in Seattle, Washington, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin announced that in the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on the environment. Senator Nelson first proposed the nationwide environmental protest to thrust the environment onto the national agenda.” “It was a gamble,” he recalls, “but it worked.”

Of course 1970 was a tumultuous time. The war in Vietnam, Kent State shootings, and Apollo 13.

On April 22, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. Denis Hayes, the national coordinator, and his youthful staff organized massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

I have always thought of Earth Day as the day we plant a tree. I was 13 years old on the first Earth Day and I didn’t think much about Earth Day. As I grew older and had children I made sure they knew what Earth Day was and we usually went out and planted a tree or some kind of plant on that day.

Earth Day takes me back to a time of “Mother Earth News” mentality. Live off the land and do what we can for the environment. All of the going “green” is not anything new. Baby Boomers have been living “green” for forty years now. Boomers invented recycling. Come to think of it, back then, environmentalist were called “Hippies” and “Flower Children.” Today we are all going “green.” I’m not saying any of it is a bad thing. I am just saying it is nothing new.

Earth Day and living a “green” life was the culture I grew up in and so did Al Gore. We have know about the damage we could cause to our dear Earth for many years and have done our part, planting trees on Earth Day, to stop distroying this land so our children will have a beautiful place to raise their children.

There is one thing that is disturbing about all of this “awareness.” Big Corporations, like Wal-Mart that are cashing in on the ‘green’ economy. I was looking through my Better Homes and Gardens magazine last night and saw a booklet in the middle of it that was a Wal-Mart ad about buying green. It made me sick. The just of it was if one customer bought this recyled from coke bottles, t-shirt it would save a bazillion plastic coke bottles from going to landfill. Okay, whats wrong with this picture? What is the profit for Wal-Mart if 200+million people buy the t-shirt? Also, while I am looking at the magazine watching Dancing with the Stars, a Wal-Mart commercial comes on the TV showing two young teenage girls wearing the Coke t-shirts and telling us all to go buy one. Uggghh! I hate Wal-Mart. And no, I do not shop there. That is another story for another day. Sorry I got side tracked.

Many important laws were passed by the Congress in the wake of the 1970 Earth Day, including the Clean Air Act, laws to protect drinking water, wild lands and the ocean, and the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

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