Earth Day is 40!
Today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and when a lady turns the big 4-0, she needs a party. Hmmm, but aren’t most women reluctant to acknowledge certain “milestone” events? Perhaps, but Earth Day is delighted to proclaim her birthday every year.
Not only is she proud of her age, but she is bragging on her size: “I’m bigger than ever,” Ms. Day proudly told reporters. Indeed she is, as Earth Day Network reports that one billion people worldwide will participate in an Earth Day activity.So who is the toast of April 22? Let us see her through the eyes of her birthday guests. Third-grade classrooms all around Columbus will be celebrating Earth Day this week by reading The Adventures of Wally the Water Drop, in which Wally recounts a trip through the water cycle. His story is especially meaningful to the students because Wally actually comes through Columbus on his trip (Altrusa of Columbus and Keep Columbus Beautiful produced Wally). Wally’s really excited that Midtown Inc., along with Knology and the Outdoor Channel, is sponsoring an Earth Day cleanup of Weracoba Creek at Lakebottom Park at 7:30 a.m. across from Loco’s Grill. Call Knology at 706-221-1433 and ask for Kelly Brown to volunteer and join in the celebration.
Schools aren’t the only place Columbusites are learning about Earth Day. At least one area business is sponsoring an event for its employees to focus on environmental issues. Aflac will host its annual Earth Day fair today, where Aflac team members can browse among more than two dozen booths to learn about recycling, green buildings, energy efficiency, sustainable landscaping and other topics.
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Some Earth Day celebrants got off to an early start. Last Saturday evening, Jenny Jack Sun Farm in Pine Mountain hosted a delicious dinner of their homegrown organic produce. That is environmentally helpful because agricultural runoff is the main source of water pollution in our country, according to Jonathan Tescher at Georgia Organics (www.georgiaorganics.org).Herbicides and pesticides run off into our water supply in conventional farming, whereas organic farming avoids these chemicals. Organic farming also greatly reduces the use of fossil fuels to produce its harvest. Ms. Day approves.
Want to join the party by reducing your use of fossil fuels? Then get some ideas by making reservations at http://noimpactproject.org/news/events/ to go to Loco’s Grill & Pub and watch the movie No Impact Man. The Coalition for Sound Growth, Trees Columbus and Students for a Sustainable World are sponsoring No Impact Man, in which one man attempts to have no impact on the environment for one year. Can Colin Beavan go a year with no use of fossil fuels, no use of electricity, and no creation of garbage? Sign up for this Sunday’s screening at 2 p.m. and go see.
If you have been trying to put this Earth Day party on your calendar, you might be puzzled. Pre-parties and post-parties abound, and it’s hard to tell which day is the real one.
In its inaugural year of 1970, Earth Day was the last day of Earth Week, capped off by Sen. Edmund Muskie’s speech to about 50,000 supporters at Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. So really it’s Earth Week, and it really ought to be on your calendar every day of every week. After all, you reside on earth every day. What can you do? You can celebrate Earth Day every day with a party of one: yourself. Go to the Environmental Protection Agency’s website at http://epa.gov/pick5/ and look over their list. EPA shows action steps for individuals to take in the categories of water, air, land, energy, waste and advocacy. Then join EPA’s “Pick 5” campaign by incorporating five of their 34 actions into your daily life. Ms. Earth Day gently reminds us that all of the pollutants that we seek to reduce come from producing things that each one of us consumes. For us to pollute less, each of us needs to use less, and be more responsible with the pollutants that we create. Let’s give her the party she deserves, every day.