Caring for the Earth starts with changing daily routines

In Opinion
(Courtesy of Flickr)

It’s Earth Day this weekend, so if you like living on the only known planet with life, then it’s time to celebrate!

Whether your environmental action on Earth Day is large or small, just make sure you participate. This planet is the only home we have, and we need to appreciate and take care of it.

In 1970, then U.S. Senator from Wisconsin Gaylord Nelson created the holiday in response to a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara.

In just one year of being in place, it was credited with inspiring the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts, as well as the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA has been receiving some hits from the new presidential administration, so advocating for its funding and more competent leadership would be a good way to get involved Saturday.

The original intention of Earth Day was to “force environmental protection onto the national political agenda,” according to Earth Day Network. You don’t have to write to your representative about the bees or join a rally that advocates for laws requiring renewable energy sources over fossil fuels. But, of course, you can if you want to.

If you don’t want to make this political, you could participate in a group beach cleanup, donate to a charity that supports endangered animals, shop at local businesses for food and clothes or write a Letter to the Editor at Breitbart explaining with facts that the Great Barrier Reef really is dying.

Even more simple ways to be a good citizen of Earth include walking or riding a bike instead of driving whenever possible, being more conscious about recycling, planting something in your garden, and turning off lights and unplugging electronics when they’re not needed.

Other local ways to partake in the celebration of Earth could be to go on a hike, go swimming in the ocean, take a walk through the Fullerton Arboretum, go to the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, go strawberry picking in Yorba Linda and just generally build up an appreciation for all the Earth has to offer.

California is absolutely beautiful this spring due to all the recent rainfall. The state is greener than it’s been in five years and Gov. Jerry Brown has officially confirmed the end of California’s drought state of emergency.

Air pollution is also on the decline and is resulting in healthier lungs. This is the perfect time to go out and see what the environment can look like when it’s treated nicely.

While things seem to be going well in the Golden State, the polar ice caps are still melting, the ozone layer is still thinning, the Mississippi River is still not safe for swimming or fishing, sea life is still being found dead because of the BP oil spill in the northern Gulf of Mexico and other disasters are still happening all the time.

Use this day dedicated to our planet to be its protector, its advocate and its admirer. Whatever that means to you, do it. Don’t be passive this Saturday. Have a productive Earth Day that results in a richer and healthier environment that humans around the world can enjoy and benefit from for generations to come.

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