Today, people all over the planet will be out celebrating our great, green planet! Earth Day, a day that is usually void of the doom and gloom that can sometimes bog down even the most optimistic greenie, will see folks from all corners of the world and all walks of life convening to honor the planet that provides us with water, air, food … with life! Today, communities will burst forth with music, art, films, local and organic food, environmental education and friendships and partnerships will grow.
Today is a day for us all to take pause … to truly take hours from our hectic, full lives to reflect upon what environmentalism and sustainability really mean, why protecting the planet is so vital to our health and well-being and to contemplate what actions we can take personally and as a collective people to ensure the health of Planet Earth and all she supports.
More than forty years ago today, a group of committed, earthy stewards took the environmental agenda a great step forward. Today, pockets of people all over the planet are working just as hard to advance our environmentalist forefathers’ and foremothers’ significant work. This movement has momentum and because of the sustainable and educational efforts taken by students, responsible companies, environmental organizations and committed individuals, a growing group of people are joining the cause and greening their behavior.
How will you up your eco-behavior this year?
Let’s celebrate Earth Day the same way we celebrate New Years Day — with resolve! But, rather than opting to make it to the gym at least three times a week, to crush an unhealthy personal habit or to finally lose those last 10 pounds (although these all are great, grand goals), let’s vow to up our eco-conscious behavior, to make more environmentally responsible decisions and to enlist our friends, families, colleagues, corporations and government officials to do the same.
Looking for a suggestion or two?
Become a locavore and eat only local foods, at least throughout the summer and early autumn months when most areas make it easy to purchase food stuffs that are produced within a 100 mile radius of home base.
Invest in renewable energy technologies.
Commit to volunteering some time to an environmental organization in your community.
Become active in an environmental issue that appeals to your personal sensitivities, like protecting honeybees or advocating for fair labor practices in developing countries.
Divert “trash” from landfills by committing to find new uses for items that you might have thrown away.
If you’re planning a grand event, like a wedding, make it green.
Educate yourself on corporate practices by getting clear on which companies are truly engaging in green practices and which ones are simply talking the green talk.
Watch an inspiring film or documentary on how to make the planet a better place.
Or, simply resolve to spend more time in the natural world with your children. Help them develop an appreciation for the planet and talk with them about why they should care about environmental protection and sustainability.
Party! Get outside! Engage with your community! Learn! Teach! Make a thoughtful eco-resolution and encourage others to join you!
Stick to your eco-resolution. Oftentimes, the first month of behavioral change is the most challenging. When the corporate monster is on your back, you’ve lost your eco-motivation or temptation sets in, remind yourself why you’ve committed to eating locally, why you opted to give up meat for a year or why you resolved to volunteer for an environmental organization at least once a week. You can do it! Reward yourself with a leisurely walk in the woods, a picnic in the park, or a sunny afternoon at a lake. Getting out in nature is not only good for your spirits, but it delivers the best motivation you can get to stick to your eco-guns.
Keep working toward maintaining your eco-resolution. You might discover that eating locally is easier than you thought, that your body feels better meat-free or that your volunteer work has been a truly fulfilling experience. Then, up the ante next year! :)
We asked experts, authors and readers like you to share their stories of Hope. Every day for the next month, you’ll find new tips for optimism on Gaiam Life, the Stream of Consciousness blog and our social media sites: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. And don’t miss the GaiamTV.com Hope Film Festival, with FREE films all month long.