Earth Day Celebration: What can you do to celebrate a happy Earth Day?
By Mirna Santana
How can you celebrate Earth Day everyday? Promote a land ethic. Enjoy and appreciate the gifts we receive from the planet. Engage in activities that help people and the environment bot at local and global level. I include some options here.
“Intellectually we finally have come to understand that the wealth of this nation is its air, water, soils, forests, minerals, rivers, lake, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats, and biodiversity. Take these resources away, and all that is left is wasteland. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and all the jobs come from. These biological systems contain all the wealth of the world.” Gaylord Nelson
Thought most of our resources come from planet earth, it looks like we constantly forget to appreciate that fact. Perhaps it is because we generally assign an economical value to the product instead of the resource. For example, we pay a price for oil or gas, and not necessarily to the original resource. Of course properly speaking large concessions of land whether in Alaska, Africa or the Amazon forest will be assigned payments based not on the value of the resource but on its economic potential. It is the promise of fuel, precious metals or other products that would translate in revenues for the country or local governing agency. In general these concessions will pay in the form of taxes, permits, and so on.That is business as usual.
The consequences of the extraction of natural resources are generally left to the countries or political divisions that previously authorized them or to an entire nation and its population. The consequence may include short-term or long-term cost of pollution, restoration or people illness. This type of management of natural resources is the usual business. To accomplish long-term decrease in environmental impacts a new land ethic is required. It is also important to provide better economical evaluations of the resources themselves.
In his Gaylord Nelson book, Beyond the earth day: Fulfilling the promise--written with Susan Campbell and Paul Wozniak, the late senator said that when we think about environmental issues, we think of pollution, global warming, hazardous wastes, and exponential population growth or other large environmental problems. But we do not address the lack of environmental ethic in our culture as our most serious problem.
As an ecologist, I belief that business could play a major role in changing the way things are done. Some business owners would only perform the minimum actions that are required by the law. Politics and policies about their environment are still behind what is needed. Many business owners would complain of losing revenues if they have to follow strict regulations (e.g. Water Clean Act). Nevertheless, the health cost of environmental pollution is higher than some of the money individual business could save.
The ideas of land ethic are not new. From Aldo Leopold's Land Ethic we learned that it is our focus on the economy and our utilitarian views about the earth that drives business and individual decisions. People usually don't think like Leopold on "what is ethical and unethically right, as well as what is economically expedient." Leopold says that if what we do preserves the integrity and stability as well as the beauty of the living environment then our decision are appropriate.
Can we consider the ethic with the environment in every decision we made?
Would make a difference for you to chose paper, plastic or to bring a bag to the grocery store? Would a land ethic would allow you to treat humans and other species in a compassionate manner? Could we enjoy a field walk and feel appreciation for the earth that provide us with all the resources we need, food, shelter, space, water, air and so on....
How does thinking of a new land ethic would allow to fully and truly celebrate being an earthling?
To celebrate at a local level you can join local environmental organizations, care for plants, animals or people in need, plant a tree, consume less, think efficiency and learn more.
To learn about ongoing Earth Day celebrations find Earth Day on Twitter or #EarthDay or #Happy Earth Day. Share the vision about our future with people #thefuturewewant http://www.un.org/en/sustainablefuture/index.shtml
Share your state photographs at http://blog.epa.gov/epplocations/2012/04/environment-in-a-day-your-earth-day-moment-to-shine/
Celebrate Earth Day with the Global Community, take part in Billion Acts of Green:http://act.earthday.org/https://twitter.com/#
Support organizations working with people and the environment at a local or global level. Participate actively creating the world you want to see (aka Gandhi). Please spread the world about the need to appreciate the gifts we get from the Earth. With that in mind we would know what Leopold meant by doing what is right, doing what promotes the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community.
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© 2012 MSantana