5 Ways You Can Honor Our Planet on Earth Day

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It’s been a while now since Earth Day first made its debut on April 22, 1970. I vaguely remember the strangeness of being let out of school to pick up trash in the nearby woods. The idea seemed entirely foreign to us at the time, which means, of course, that we were used to throwing our garbage on the ground. Hard to imagine in this day and age that was the common mindset.

While the world has come a long way in battling many sources of pollution, I’ve come to believe that Earth Day is about so much more than picking up trash or planting a tree. These days, I mark the event as a Day of Reflection.  I meditate on Earth’s incredible capacity to sustain life, our human dependence on its resources and just what my tiny role on our home planet can be.

Thinking about these things always fills me with gratitude for our planet and the many gifts it gives us.  I’m working on becoming a better inhabitant. Here are five ways to honor our planet this Earth Day.

 

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Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 3.05.52 PMRecognize that the Earth exists separately from us and that we are its inhabitants. Every bit as alive as we are, our planet provides everything that makes our life possible on its surface. We exist by its choosing, which is remarkable when you consider everything we do to it. On Earth Day, drink deeply of  the natural beauty that surrounds you and give thanks for the benevolence of our planet.

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Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 3.00.22 PMWean yourself of chemical dependency. Chemicals, like alcohol and other drugs, are hard to give up. The obvious culprits, herbicides and fertilizers are only part of the problem. Many of the products we enjoy today are enjoyable because of their chemical additives and let’s face it, buying “green” isn’t always so fun. On Earth Day, take stock of your bad habits and choose at least one offending product to eliminate from the list.

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Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 3.00.48 PMStop eating foods out of season and planting plants in places they were never meant to be. It is bad for the planet. This goes for high-maintenance lawns in drought-ridden environments and imported, out-of-season produce that contribute to increased carbon emissions. Lawns shouldn’t be planted in deserts and foods modified for off-season transport are low in nutrients and taste. On Earth Day, reevaluate your choices and strive to realign with the natural flow of things in terms of your impact on the environment.

 

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Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 3.01.05 PMAcknowledge that we are here on this earth collectively, not individually. Each individual behavior impacts the broader community, with all of our actions together forming our human experience on Earth. On Earth Day, reaffirm the importance of your individual role in the world and accept responsibility for the influence it has on the direction of our planet.

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Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 3.01.23 PMGo back outside. The world has become wider with technology at the same time it has driven us indoors. The changing seasons, infinite weather forms and stunning natural beauty of our planet are all waiting to be discovered. On Earth Day,  rededicate yourself to venturing outside and celebrating this incredible planet that is our home.

Wishing you all a very Happy Earth Day.

 

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About carole funger

I'm a garden designer and Maryland Master Gardener living in the Washington, DC area. I blog about new trends in horticulture, inspiring gardens to visit and the latest tips and ideas for how to nurture your own beautiful garden. Every garden tells a story. What's yours?

2 thoughts on “5 Ways You Can Honor Our Planet on Earth Day

  1. Happy Earth Day to you. I so agree with all of your advise. My newest contribution to these efforts is to try my hardest to adhere to buying organic produce, and in season when possible. Not so different than how I lived and ate in Italy.

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