Happy Earth Day! Time for true confessions—even though I had the privilege of writing EARTH DAY AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT, I don’t usually celebrate Earth Day. The truth is I’m bad at holidays in general. I love them; I’m just terribly inconsistent with my commemorations.
I also don’t own a hybrid, can’t afford much organic food, and occasionally throw away something I could recycle because it’s just been one of those days. And you know what—that’s okay! I am leery of anyone holding people to a “purity test” over their personal practices. Yes, we should take the environment—which includes our own homes and communities—seriously. But there is not one way to take care of the earth.
People celebrated the first Earth Day many different ways as well. Some were simple—thousands of participants picked up trash and cleaned up stream banks. Others were artistic—concerts, plays, and recycled art. A few were downright outlandish, like the “die-in” held at Boston’s Logan Airport and the “Dead Orange Parade” in Miami.
At the end of EARTH DAY AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT, I offered suggestions for readers on how to take action to save the planet. The first and most important action is this—vote! Voting is the single most important collective action we can take in this country. Support office-seekers who share your aspirations for a better, safer, healthier planet. Don’t assume their position based on party–find out where they stand on the issues.
What about all the other things we do in our personal lives to make a difference? I concluded the book with this line: “ . . . as one vote added to another added to another makes all the difference, so, too, does one action added to another action. Do one thing. Do it often. Share it with others. Because doing something small is always better than doing nothing.”