I love a party. No matter my advancing age, a birthday is cause for celebration. Though I officially celebrate Christmas, count me in for Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa or Chinese New Year or, heck, pretty much anything that involves food and merriment.
It’s these other occasions — these manufactured campaigns created as grim reminders of issues most of us would rather not consider — that I’d like to see abolished. Or rather, I’d like to see the reasons for their creation abolished.
Consider Poison Prevention Week, which you may have missed though it ran recently from March 14 through 20. Poison Prevention Week aims to educate us about how to store and/or use the poisons in our house. Um … huh? Why do we have poisons in our house in the first place? It’s poison, for goodness’ sake. And yes, I’m referring to all those household products created to “clean” our homes. They’re essentially packaged pollutants … that we pay for in pursuit of a white-glove gleam.
And how about Arbor Day? While I hug trees as much as the next environmentalist, I’m saddened that we need to create a day to applaud the arbor. We owe it at least daily reverence, for the oxygen it offers, the greenhouse gases it graciously absorbs, the cooling shade it provides … and for being so darn handsome. I say, every day should be Arbor Day!
Not so for Endangered Species Day. No day should be Endangered Species Day. Endangered species are like sirens … warning us that we’re next. We should be fighting like hell to ensure that pandas have habitat, polar bears have ice caps, and monarch butterflies have high-altitude pine and fir forests and access to corn fields and milkweed uncompromised by pesticides. And, of course, we should ensure that WE have all those things, too.
And … Earth Day. When the first Earth Day was conceived in 1969 and planned for April 22, 1970, the world seemed ready to embrace it. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring had been alarming us for eight years and the U.S. Senate was only two years from declaring that nature had rights. These days, it would seem those rights, if they exist at all, take a backseat to environmental wrongs. Let’s create a world in which such an occasion is, quite simply, just another day in paradise.