The first memory of Earth Day is saved in vivid technicolor. I was 12 years old, and my aunt and her friends took me into NYC for the festivities. At the beginning, I felt pure joy at the idea that the thousands of people walking the streets were like me. They too loved the earth and wanted to take care of her. I was not alone!
But as the day wore on, I noticed a lot of garbage on the ground and got really confused. How could all these nature lovers get together and leave a mess? It was literally the opposite of the day’s intention!
Then, one of my aunt's friends stepped on two soda cans lying on the road, crunching them around her shoes so they stayed in place as she walked around shouting, “Hey look, I’m recycling!”
I remember thinking, “Oh, this is all just a joke.” People think caring for the planet is stupid.
It’s hard to not to believe that, even today, with us nature advocates being called tree-hugging, sensitive, hippie, crunchy snowflakes.
With that experience on Earth Day in 1990, self-preservation took over and I hid my passion for the land for a long time. But I’m not doing that anymore.
I’m here today to tell you that I don’t think caring for the planet is a joke.
I don’t think you’re too sensitive for wanting to protect our life support system.
I don’t think you’re naive for not eating meat because animals are sentient beings.
You are not alone.
I honor you for all the great you have done for the Earth and for all the great that is yet to come.
While everyday is a celebration of this beautiful planet, this year is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. I like to think the land is a little happier that we’ll all honoring her by staying in our own yards, producing no waste and using no fossil fuels.
On behalf of future generations, I thank you.
🌎 Happy Earth Day