I did not know today, April 22, was Earth Day until I tore off the page on my calendar. Unfortunately, I wasn’t suddenly inspired to go outside and try to save the planet. I mean, I hadn’t even finished my first cup of coffee yet.
I was not even born when Earth Day was started back in 1970. I would imagine that much of my generation (born 1975 and after) could not see the impact that Earth Day initially had, other than getting an extra blue trash can in the 80′s next to the garage that you threw empty soda and beer cans in every week.
Thus, as a young adult, I have tried to do a better job at recycling all that I throw away, be it cardboard, plastics or aluminum. It should come as no surprise that our technology is the next big thing that is building up as an environmental hazard. See this article today on MSN. It makes me wonder what became of all of the old tape drives and computer equipment I tossed out years ago. I guess I’ll try to find a better alternative for the next generation when it becomes obsolete.
Back to my point though, I think the greater amount of Americans fall into the category of apathetic towards “saving the planet”… that they’re too wrapped up in work, nurturing their children, maintaining their homes and their sanity amongst it all. On the other end of the spectrum, you have the people who had Earth Day circled in red marker on their calendar… that are doing something special today to expand on their environmental beliefs. And I give the ‘Boba Fett nod of respect’ to them.
But for all those stuck in the apathy category, I implore you to fall somewhere in between those two examples— that everyone should not try to be a 24-7 environmentalist, but rather do the little things every week that could help clean up your property or your community and, as a collective result, the planet.
I think the truer meaning of Earth Day is not that today is the day you go all out to make the planet a cleaner place, but it’s a reminder that you should be doing a little bit every week.