Your editor, John Espley here again. Today is Earth Day. So if you’re not an environmentalist should that mean anything to you?
Wikipedia defines Earth days as follows: Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.
I certainly understand the need for environmental protection and the challenges faced by our nation and global community in adopting better environmental practices but is that the only way we should think about Earth Day? It’s my personal belief that if we really want to protect and celebrate this place we call home, call Earth, then why not first encourage folks to get out and experience it. Hard to even think about saving something you may not appreciate. When we talk about environmental protection or think about activities related to that term, I’d be willing to bet most folks will think of protests against the government or industrial community. The majority will also think, “that’s not for me” or “what can I do. I’m just one person.”
If we study the environment and man’s contribution or challenges with it, it’s my premise that you can trace most of man’s negative contributions (there are positive ones too) back to us. The individual. Do we not buy or consume the products that in their creation have damaging effects on our environment? Are we not the ones that “dispose” of unwanted or used items that end up in our land and water? Why is it that we need the government to protect us from ourselves? Yes I know, you’re saying “sure, sure in a perfect world the individual would take full responsibility.” Ok it’s not a perfect world but let’s at least make a stab at it.
I take Earth Day as a day to learn about and celebrate our planet. This past weekend my daughter and I enjoyed a beautiful day out on the water kayaking. Taking into account the fact that “some” industry was required to produce the kayak and other items we required that day; we were able to get closer to nature. Quietly paddling along we could see the fish in their own habitat, the eagles sitting atop the trees watching for their next meal. We could smell the fresh air without needing (wait for it…) an air-freshener to make it smell wonderful. In essence we could appreciate and respect the environment in the way Mother Nature intended.
Now I’m not suggesting we all must give up every amenity we enjoy but if we really want the general public, the masses, to understand and if appropriate speak up to “others” about negative environmental habits then we first must get that same public to really appreciate the environment. We need folks to get out from breathing hepa filtered air, listening to nature sounds through MP3 players and watching “wildlife” via a nature documentary on their 60 inch TV. We need those folks to get outside, visit their local park, and perhaps get on a bicycle or in a Kayak (if they can) and really experience the environment. You won’t protect what you don’t respect. So I’m encouraging everyone to get out and visit their local “environment” and if you want to have some extra fun, perhaps take in a local event such as a Sierra Club of BC walk or the Creatively United for the Planet festival. Whether you go it alone or celebrate Mother Nature’s gifts with hundreds of other like minded folk, everyone should learn that indeed the Earth means something to all of us!
John Espley – thrilled to work for a company like Accent Inns that really makes efforts to improve or change how they impact the environment.