I don’t want to debate the origin of the planet, but Earth Day, without question, began with a big bang.
It was 1970 — before I was born, if just barely. And millions of people joined together in their public spaces and meeting halls to rally for positive change for a more sustainable way of life for the sake of the very planet we all stand upon.
Seriously, millions. Twenty of them.
Earth Day is maybe the best thing to come from hippies, who were at that time still coming down from the previous summer’s Woodstock-fueled high. (Ben & Jerry’s is a close second. And then this stuff.)
Today, the number of observers is probably even stronger, but it’s certainly a more laissez-faire affair. I challenge you to name one person you know who’s actually going to a rally today. Hopefully this means that more of us are planet-conscious in our everyday life now, and that the actual event is just preaching to the choir.
But here’s my challenge: Find out if that’s the case with you.
Go to EarthDay.org and run through the footprint calculator to see how you’re doing on your efforts to minimize your impact on our big flying rock. I was shocked at my score. I hope that you’re not. It’s not a perfect scientific study of your lifestyle, but its broad-stroke results can help you figure out areas you can target to improve in the coming days. (For me, it appears I’ll be going head-to-head with my old friend Mr. Air Travel.)
The saying in the little beach town of Pensacola, where I grew up, was “Leave only your footprints please.”
It’s a great meme for their lily-white sands. But it’s only good for the Earth as a whole if you’ve got itty-bitty feet.
Happy Earth Day!