On April 22, 1970 Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day to get people to demonstrate in public for a healthy, sustainable environment. It eventually resulted in the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, which like it or not, have helped clean up the air, water, and protect species from annihilation in the US. While I don’t always agree that government regulations are the best way to clean up our act, I do believe these legislative acts have made this one of the safest countries in which to breathe and drink the water.
And yet 42 years after the first Earth Day, we still depend much too heavily on fossil fuels, are battling unprecedented climate change, continue to not address population control as a key to sustainability, and elect people unwilling to make the right choices for the long term. Clearly, there is still much work to be done to educate and inspire people toward a path to sustainability.
In spite of that, today I woke up to a brilliant sunrise between rainstorms and saw some of the magic and beauty of nature right in my own backyard. It reminded me that there is still hope, and each one of us can make a difference by living sustainably within our own small spheres of influence. Happy Earth Day everyone!
For more information about Earth Day and living well on the planet:
Sustainable Communities Online
Natural Resources Defense Council – Smarter Living