An impaired Earth Day may have come at the right time. Not just because of a virus that has confronted the world and cancelled outdoor events for Earth Day's 50th anniversary, but because of many other reasons. Exactly 50 years ago when Senator Gaylord Nelson started the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, over 20 million people in the United States attended events that day. The day's mission was to teach, present facts and learn other ways of doing everyday tasks so our environment would not be harmed. For me today, that mission has become impaired because of the following truth that I find self evident:
Back in 1970 the problem was how Earth's environmental issues were NOT addressed by political parties and the environment's concerns, were NOT covered by the media. Today, the reasons and mission for Earth Day has been hijacked by political parties, the media, and anyone with a voice who is not interested in educating, teaching facts or presenting solutions. They are just using the complex and multiple issues of our environment to make money or protect money already being made, by failing to show the complete picture. Both extreme sides are purposely omitting truth and only telling their narrative by the process of omission. They blame someone else and as a result, effective feasible solutions are rarely presented or taught.
A vortex of excess verbiage has hit our ears over the years and demands have been thrown at politicians and corporations, much justified, for many decades. Sadly this approach called "the blame game" and "listen to me so I can make greedy amounts of money" comes from both sides and has caused doors to be shut and effective communication to be destroyed. At the conception of Earth Day both American political parties worked together to not only start Earth Day, but also the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Corporations were even persuaded to work as one team and save the world's Ozone layer from being obliterated. So what went wrong? Greed.
Different view points are always beneficial when presented objectively, however today, everything has become subjective. So perhaps this is a time for a third view point...
Only recently, there is additional talk about how each of us can implement solutions to save ourselves money and our Earth. Originally in the 1970s, this discussion was based on conservation, which translated into making sacrifices. Put on a sweater and lower the heat. However, with the complete picture based on facts and the correct technology, an individual's action is a much more powerful phenomenon than most realize. All of us together become the team that surpasses any government or corporation. This may come as a surprise to some or perhaps many, but long term solutions are both tangible and attainable for each one of us. Teaching the data and facts for decades has been my mission. Demands made by others did not help me put out one garbage can a week, while my neighbors put out two cans, twice a week. Waiting for someone else to save the day did not have me obtain a Net Zero home. First I had the lowest electric bill in town because of multiple actions done within my own budget of time and money. Then after I was able to get solar panels (with a payback in 3 years and 8 months) I have no electricity costs for almost 5 years now. I gave up red meat almost 25 years ago. I do not buy potting soil, top soil, or mulch, because I make my own for free! No celebrity, politician or corporation taught me that - Actually an Amish farmer did.
Today with all the blame and spin going around, we have very little progress because we have very little education with all the facts. Also when each one of us implement a solution ourselves, that does not make anyone else money! So perhaps we have to teach ourselves. I for one have been sharing as much as I could over the decades.
Basically, this is easy... Teach the individual and we save the world. Think about that and ask who is a politician? Who runs a corporation? Individuals make up the corporation's board, CEO and so on. And yes, as hard as this is to believe, politicians are individuals too.
Each one of us can be the problem or together we are the solution! The battle is not between them over there and those standing here. The battle is within each one of us!
Additionally we need to come together with communication, facts and solutions because our environment is complex and has thousands of situations that need our intelligent caress. For if we are to believe that all our environmental issues will be solved just by lowering or eliminating carbon dioxide, then we are truly leaving our grandchildren with a "world of mess" to clean up. God help them to do so, if we do in fact, fail them.
Here are a few additional serious concerns for our planet that are rarely addressed and may play a larger role with harming our planet's sustainability:
We are causing great harm to our oceans, the truly one main source of our oxygen supply. The invisible O2 producing forest within our oceans’ waters is called Prochlorococcus. These microscopic green photosynthetic organisms were discovered around 1989 and they use sunlight to convert Carbon dioxide into oxygen. They divide once a day and have been making oxygen for millions of years. One drop of ocean water has 20 Thousand cells! Humankind is killing them with Nitrogen and Plastics!
The Rainforest is being cleared to meet the demand with increase consumption of meat and palm oil. Palm oil is found in products and food we all consume everyday. Decrease our forests and increase our issues with oxygen and CO2.
Another major concern is that we are manufacturing clothes mostly of plastic. We are all contributing to the fact that we are drinking, breathing and eating plastic. When we wash our clothes, research studies showed that up to 700,000 Micro Plastic Fibers go out with the water for each wash load! Studies in Germany found plastic fibers in all of the 24 beer brands they tested at Octoberfest four years ago. They also found plastic in honey and sugar.
My hope is that this GTG blog post will be a catalyst for each of us, every individual, to be inspired with learning the complete picture of our environment. Many parts of that picture can always be found in my GTG blogs and website.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, GoingTrueGreen.com has created a GTG Membership program with a Lifetime enrollment to provide organized solutions so each one of us can make a difference. From Videos to Check Lists, please consider this and the benefits with the link above. This summer, two new On-Line classes called:
What Actions Each Individual Can Do and Sustainable Survival! Both will be included in our membership program.
Thank you for reading and following GTG all these years. You are already part of the solution to make our planet's complete picture look beautiful in the future!
Bill Lauto, at GoingTrueGreen.com
International Sustainability and Energy Consultant
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