Earth Day 2015 – It’s Our Turn to Lead
Earth Day is here! The observance falls on April 22nd every year. This year marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day and with it comes a great hope that we are finally starting to see real change in how communities and countries view our impact on the world we live in.
Less than ten years ago, many of the world’s leading climate researchers were deadlocked in a heated debate as to whether we were causing irreparable harm to the earth through our carbon dioxide emissions, rapid deforestation and toxic/refuse dumping. Today, the tide has shifted, and many of the scientists who were once decrying the efforts of some as “overblown” or “panic driven” are coming to the side of their former adversaries as more and more proof mounts that our world needs to be saved from none other than ourselves. Not only are we having to curb the aforementioned activities, but the newer methods of extracting natural resources like fracking and the various mining/drilling efforts of the rare metals and oil industries have to be monitored for their effects on this fragile planet we call home.
That being said, the growth of general knowledge about climate change and how these activities impact the environment has driven governments to become more active in their efforts to make effective changes to alleviate these issues. Just last week president Obama took action by implementing a solar panel system across the White House and its grounds which would lower the facility’s dependence on common energy provided by the District of Columbia by 1/3. This is just one of many actions being taken by this government and others to reduce dependency on non-renewable energy. And here is the best part!
It is not enough.
This is why the theme for this year’s Earth Day is rather poignant. It’s Our Turn to Lead. A simple phrase that could be a catchy bumper sticker, but really is a call to act. While it’s great that governments are starting to see the light, research has shown that if we stopped all greenhouse gas emitting activities tomorrow (all of them, not just one or two) it would still take 50 years for the atmosphere to start recovering. It’s like a smoker who quits cold turkey. The next day their lungs aren’t going to be pristine. It would take years of not smoking to rid their lungs of the tar and other carcinogens that built up from inhaling the smoke all those years. The same goes with our atmosphere.
While no one is saying we need to stop “Now” now, we do need to make our voices heard. Because the only things that get done in Washington and other political centers are those things that are screamed the loudest by the most people. It may sound quaint, but it’s our responsibility to let our government know what is important to us. If not for our sake, then definitely for the sake of our children. And getting your children involved is a great way to keep the cycle going. It’s no good if one generation fights for change if the next does nothing to ensure that the changes last. If you’ve never thought of doing anything before, let Earth Day be a good starting point.
Kid’s Garden from Barefoot Books has tons of fun activities to do with children. Or find a local event with Jersey Family Fun’s website to see what sorts of groups or activities you and your family can get behind. From roadside trash cleanup to volunteering for the local chapter of the EPA to anything in between – there are so many ways to pitch in. Don’t let the idea of “I’m only one person” deter you from doing something. In this fight to save our planet, it’s going to be the small, incremental wins that help us achieve our goal.
Here’s a video with 10 simple things families can do to promote a healthier planet.
There are cute videos and resource for our children too, because this is a discussion for the whole family. Each of us need to do our part and as parents part of “our part” is teaching our children, of course through example but a cute video never hurts either. Check out the videos below and share, discuss, act on them within your family.
And who doesn’t just love Disney’s Timon & Pumbaa?
The One Unified Project has written a terrific article with additional LOCAL resources, projects and celebrations for Earth Day. Please check it out HERE. And my good friend, Stephanie of A Grande Life as a super simple but super cute Earth Day craft. Here’s her coffee filter project with 1-2-3 step-by-step instructions. Enjoy creating something simple while talking about something HUGE!! Happy Earth Day!
Disclosure: This was not a sponsored post. All ideas and opinions expressed are strictly my own with the help of some great links and resources from fellow (and favorite) bloggers.