Why the Earth is not a Charity Case

Don’t get me wrong. I fully support any event that increases awareness and action around being environmentally-friendly. People come out in droves to clean up parks, they take pledges to reduce energy consumption, they ride their bikes to work. All these acts are great, and I encourage you to participate. But they’re like New Year’s resolutions: most people go back to business as usual within a day or two.

I think we need to start thinking of the Earth as our home and its environments as sources of life instead of charity cases that we are helping out as good Samaritans. It’s easy to distance ourselves when we’re fortunate enough to have running water on command, electricity with the flick of a switch, and waste that gets removed down the drain or in bins at the curb. But just because it’s easy to ignore the Earth’s role in our daily lives, it doesn’t mean it’s hard to start thinking about it.

This Earth Day, I encourage you to think about how your actions impact the Earth. Not the Earth as “nature”, or the “environment”, but Earth as our home. And after today, think about what changes, even small ones, you can make to keep our home beautiful. The Earth gives us so much – delicious food, quenching water, beautiful retreats. What do we give it in return?

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