Happy Earth Day everyone. I have seen the online stratosphere gearing up for today with the most American way that it can… sales!!! I am compassionate enough to recognize that as a culture we do not have many more ways to celebrate anything than to buy things for it, try to recreate manicured Pinterest boards for it, and then root for it like it is a football team. I am putting out my meek plea for you to pause for today though.
The intention of this day when it started in 1970 has mixed origins. Was it a national teach-in day about what we have done as a species to this planet? Was it a propaganda day for the newly forming Environmental Protection Agency? No matter the origins the events leading up to the designation from 1970 came from the ravages of a political climate in turmoil and significant environmental detriments.
Here we are in 2016 and our current political climate is pretty fractured. So is our connection to the environment. Going into 1970 the nation was besieged with Rachel Carson’s, “Silent Spring” eight years earlier and there is not any unifying book to gather us under a collective consciousness umbrella but I am going to introduce a contender. E.O. Wilson’s “Half Earth”
If you are not willing to see yourself as interdependent in your ecosystem then scale back and see if you can recognize how your consumer habits impact the natural resources they draw from.
For Earth Day I have a few ways to celebrate:
Do not fall for Earth Day sales of things you do not need. Do not go on a shopping spree as a way to celebrate from your computer.
Find some small connection to the natural world. A true heart connection. Go for a hike. Go to a spot where the sunshine can dapple on your shoulders and just sit there in silence to identify the sounds of what surrounds you (this can even be in your garden or a community garden). Look into the eyes of something wild and feel empathy with what is looking back at you (birds have eyes).
Keep it simple. If you can join an organized program for recycling, tree planting, or litter removal. You do not need to go out of your way to do those actions though – in their origins they would not be needed if people were more conscious consumers in the first place. This is why I push for conscious consumption first coupled with having a connection to the environment.
Happy Earth Day and remember, we are interdependent with this beautiful biosphere. Happy day to us. We are a part of the earth. xoxo
Hit me up for the invite for dinner and workshop in the Denver area tomorrow night (bodhibearinfo/gmail)
Thanks to Kalso Earth Shoes (see their Twitter and Facebook channels to thank them for me regarding this opportunity) things are rolling for the non-toxic household cleaner workshops. I am really looking forward to sharing the recipes this week around Earth Day as well as continuing a dialogue about making safer household chemical choices with everyone.
Earth, Inc. has three Community Service Scholarships available to online bloggers in preparation for Earth Day 2012. I would like to be considered for a Project Earth Day Scholarship.
I would like to offer three workshops in my community to reduce the toxicity in our homes by taking a look at household cleaning products and guiding workshop participants to make their own. The benefits of making household cleaning products include saving money, reducing the harmful synergisitic effects many of our endocrine systems are enduring, reducing the toxicity loads our watersheds recycle, and creating an environment that is safer in case our littlest family members just happen to be exposed to if they get into the cabinets under our sinks. If you would like a primer about the chemicals we are exposed to and what they do to the environment and our wellness please see this Healthy Child video. They do a wonderful job of succinctly summarizing this issue.
I will use the “seed” money to fund supplies for the workshops (including basics like lemons, vinegar, salt, jars, etc.), snacks for the workshops, workshop space, and to develop a guide of reduced toxicity cleaning for participants to take home and for online followers to download if they are not local to my physical community. I want the workshops to educate people about making these supplies and to foster a community discussion about chemical exposure – both are topics participants can radiate outside of our workshop groups.
One workshop will be dedicated to fellow bloggers I meet with for PR events locally (mostly women who are mothers who also happen to blog). Another for a group of mothers who primarily homeschool and convene as their children work with an activity instructor to fulfill their childrens’ curriculum or mothers that I know from a family yoga studio I teach at. The third will be an open invite workshop for anyone else in real life who my reach finds (including non-parents).
I think education about chemicals we come in contact with and simple solutions to reduce our exposure is a great intersection of our environmental health and our personal wellness. This combination seems like a nice representation of celebrating Earth Day with the original mission of the Kalso Earth Shoes.
I am interested in doing a Kalso Earth Shoe project primarily because it is rare that anyone is given a chance to promote green projects that do not have some other kind of motive or branding that is not at odds with depression-era ecology (not driven by consumerism). I am a longtime green-lifestyle advocate who sometimes forgets that simple actions like making household cleaners is not obvious for everyone; I grew up like this thanks to my parents. I asked a few local bloggers if they would be interested in this topic, and they said yes. I do what I can to promote simple green consumer actions and demonstrated this intent with the seven-part Eco-Challenge series I authored for Mamavation in 2010. I do my best to walk this walk of simple green action steps for environmental health and personal wellness. *Disclaimer – I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own. I am entering and promoting this opportunity. Good luck to all who apply.