Monday, April 21, 2014

Mindful Monday: 3 Ideas for to Make Earth Day Every Day

Tomorrow, April 22, is Earth Day.  Earth Day was founded in 1970 by then Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin who thought to put the energy of the antiwar activism to work for environmental awareness.  He was hugely successful in creating a national awareness and later taking that awareness to a global level in 1990.  In 1995 President Clinton awarded Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest honor that can be awarded to a civilian, for his role as Earth Day founder.   (You can read more about the founding of Earth Day here.)

Usually I plant something, or do some other sort of earthy activity fro this day that is very special to me.  There are tons of Earth Day crafts for kids all over the internet.  There are shirts and totes and such for purchase.  You can go to events in honor of Earth Day.

This year I want to do something different.  I want to make a commitment of conservation.  I realize that there are lots of people and companies who challenge us to make these commitments to change our lifestyles, but I think that tends to be difficult for many people.  Lifestyle changes are usually a gradual thing unless there is a major upheaval that forces immediacy.  So my commitment will start with one day, and I will apply it to my entire family.

Here are some things I have come up with:

  1. Use less water.  Don't wash the dishes or do laundry.  Don't shower for the day.  (One day without a shower will not kill you, I promise.)  Be conservative when washing your hands by turning the water off while scrubbing.  (My 4 year old already does this.)
  2. Use less gas.  Take the day off!  But if you can't, carpool.  Don't make extra stops before, during or after work, like driving somewhere to get lunch or going to the grocery store to pick up dinner.  Don't buy gas.  Go in early or late to avoid rush hour traffic.  Take the shorter route and try to avoid traffic lights.
  3. Unplug!  Turn off the television for the day.  Take it a step further and turn off all the paraphernalia that goes with it, too.  No computers.  Less cell phones.  (These require energy when you plug them in, remember, but I wouldn't ask anyone to give up devices that could be for emergencies.)  Turn off the lights, and use candles when it gets dark.

I challenge you to join me in this devotion to a day of conservation.  You don't have to turn off you life to do it.  Pick one thing from the list and commit to it.  Just for a day.  You may find you like who you and your family are without the bonds of modern life and technologies.  Heaven knows my favorite place to be is outside with my family doing things that require nothing but what Mother Earth already provides.  (Except clothes, of course.)

Nature's calling. . . Are you listening?

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