By: Dianne Dickerson
I was a young person when Earth Day was a new thing. I found it inspiring and participated over the years by planting trees and bothering my family with turning off lights to conserve energy. As the years progressed and I began to work more deeply on environmental issues, Earth Day began to seem quaint and lost its luster for me. Faced with scary data about the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, worsening wildfires, extreme heat, melting icecaps and on and on, planting trees and other small actions seem miniscule relative to the size of the problems.
Now that I am north of 60, I’m reckoning with the things that I won’t see come to fruition, just like the stonemasons of old who started a cathedral they would not see to completion, I know the climate crisis won’t be completely solved in my lifetime …and yet there is much I can do. Our Earth gives so abundantly, it feels good to give something back to her. Last weekend, my family planted four trees. I was motivated partly because we needed them and partly as a nod to my younger, more idealistic self, as an Earth Day offering. Somehow this year as climate issues are intensifying, my enthusiasm to do what I can is renewed. Part of this is due to being connected to The Carbon Almanac project whose tagline is “It’s not too late.” You can read more about this powerful collaboration in a previous post.
This work reminds me that the only way things will get better is if enough of us do the (seemingly) small things we can do, do them consistently, and then do more. That’s what this Earth Day is about for me, doing what I can, supporting those who do the same, and looking for opportunities to do more. If you are up for taking a small – or large – action on behalf of our planet, there are lots of great options.
Learn what you can do and join with others who care. There is a ton of great information and many great ideas for action at Regeneration.org.
Earthday.org has a lot of great ideas and information.
Here are a few ways our clients are making a difference:
Floodplains by Design is a public-private partnership in Washington State that is changing the way people think about floodplains, enabling communities and the environment to thrive together.
AZThrives is a state-wide alliance in Arizona working at the intersection of a vibrant economy, healthy communities, and conserving land and waters. They are aligning strategies and efforts to transition from carbon-based fuels to clean energy.
The Nature Conservancy’s focus is conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends.
Earthjustice exists “because the earth needs a good lawyer.” They do amazing work; one current project is fighting a recent Postmaster General decision to purchase a gas powered
fleet at a time when electric makes more sense on so many levels.
Whatever you do to celebrate Earth Day, we hope it renews you and our precious earth. In addition to supporting the planet, taking action helps us to not feel alone and hopeless. As for me, it’s time to go water the new trees!