Earth Day is rapidly approaching. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Earth Day. I remember the first Earth Day very well. It was April 22, 1970. I was a senior in high school. It was a day of positives and learning. People were excited to celebrate our precious planet and to learn all the ways they could care for it. We still have our problems, but there are still so many ways, large and small that we can care for our home that it’s hard not to be excited about it. First of all, I picked up this month’s issue of The Oprah Magazine. It’s their Love the Planet Issue. If you can get your hands on a copy of it, I highly recommend it. First of all, it introduces us to the e-newsletter called “Today We Will”.(todaywewillnewsletter.com) Every weekday you’ll be encouraged to take small, doable steps to change your lifestyle. I subscribed, and I am anxious to take the first step.
If you want to do something positive for the earth, plant a tree. If you can’t plant a tree, plant a flowering bush, if you can’t do that, plant a flower. Just avoid insecticides and herbicides. Sunflowers and coneflowers are particularly helpful for our winged friends. They both attract bees and birds and give them much-needed food.
And, there is an activity outlined in Oprah’s magazine which will not only help the health of the planet, it will increase its beauty. It’s called “plogging”, and it involves picking up trash when you exercise outside. Several years ago I used to see signs announcing that organizations had “Adopted A Highway”. This meant that volunteers would patrol a two-mile stretch of road, pick up the trash, bag it up, and leave the bags for the trash removal.
There are so many other things, big and little, that we all can do. Take your own cup to the coffee shop. When you finish up a jar of peanut butter, jelly, honey or Nutella make overnight oats. It is really easy, you feel virtuous for having a healthy breakfast ready the next day. Just put old-fashioned oats about 2/3 of the way up. Add enough almond milk (or whatever is your preference) to completely cover the oats. Stir the mixture as much as you can, put the lid back on and put it in the refrigerator overnight. My son simply grabs his jar and eats it as is for breakfast. I like to dump mine out in a bowl and heat it in the microwave. This makes for a great, fast breakfast.
And I got good news in the April-May issue of National Wildlife magazine. According to Collin O’Mara, their President and Chief Executive Officer, the population of monarch butterflies that migrates through the U.S. central flyway to winter has increased by 144% since last year, which is terrific news, but we still have a way to go. So, keep planting native flowers and putting out watering pans for bees and butterflies. Also, skip the chemicals. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, lawns and gardens in this country are sprayed with more than 90 million pounds of insecticides and herbicides a year. The mowers and edgers we use emit close to 27 million tons of air pollutants a year. We use 9 billion gallons of water to keep our lawns green. That’s a lot of time and effort for something that gives nothing back.
So, maybe we can all slow down and enjoy what we have. Sometimes in my never-ending quest to do, do, do, I feel like a dog chasing its tail. Time to chill and enjoy life’s treasures one at a time.
Thanks for stopping by. Like and share if you feel so inclined.
“The good man is the friend of all living things.” Mahatma Gandhi