The beautiful image above would be the official “Earth Flag” if there was an official governing body over earth, but there isn’t.
It’s Earth Day. You can’t avoid the fact, look anywhere. Check out Google.com for example. It’s also Good Friday in the Western Hemisphere and Holy Friday for you Orthodox folks. Earth Day falls on the 22nd of April and it just happened to coincide with Good Friday this year, the friday before Easter. Easter, the day when we adults hide plastic eggs in the backyard with $50 and $100 bills in them for other adults to find while drinking Bloody Marys or Mimosas over brunch. Oh, you’re doing that too this year? It’s a fun time. No kids allowed though.
But back to Earth Day. It’s been going on for over 40 years now, and I can’t say that I have ever done anything to recognize it that I can remember. It was established in 1970 to improve the awareness and appreciation of Mother Nature, more correctly the Earth’s natural resources. It’s gone international since then and in 2009, the United Nations got in the act, declaring April 22nd “International Mother Earth Day.” So it’s really IMED not Earth Day. Earth Day has its own international network now too, the “Earth Day Network.” That’s to coordinate all the international events that go on during Earth Day, I guess.
I see where Lowe’s has a sale going on for Earth Day, so I guess I have recognized the day in some form. I’m sure I’ve bought a plant or two from Lowe’s Home Improvement Centers over the years on the weekend before Easter. It’s usually the first weekend warm enough to work out in the yard where I live.
New York City is putting on a “virtual forest”. Don’t you just love that? They’re going to light up the famous billboards in Times Square to look like lush forests. It should be very “green”…and virtual. And they’re giving away free rain barrels in four boroughs too. I could go for that. I go for anything free.
In New York City, April 22, 1990, hundreds of thousands gathered in Central Park in support of environmental projects on Earth Day. Afterwards, fifty park sanitation workers cleaned up an estimated fifteen hundred tons of litter left behind. That’s real “green” huh? And that’s 1,500 TONS of litter, just in case you missed it. You know where NYC used to dump their garbage right? In the ocean. First 12 miles offshore, then 106 miles offshore. They don’t anymore, since 1987, instead they’re studying the environmental effects of the sewage sludge they created on the bottom of the seafloor.
I believe Earth Day in 1970 was one of the most important protests ever staged in the United States. And that’s what it was. Maybe the final protest of the “Flower Power” generation demanding an end to the misuse and abuse of the planet. It brought to the forefront the need to protect our air, water, endangered species, forests, wetlands and food supply. It resulted in legislation to protect our environment, restored many of our waterways that were dead from pollutants, prevented further pollution of our air and water, and created protections for our wildlife and endangered species.
I sometimes think that the “Go Green” movement is getting a bit much, even though it’s probably my favorite color. I appreciate what it’s all about, just the same. I recycle, I drive less (because I can no longer afford the gas), I don’t litter (but frequently pick it up), I plant things, trees particularly because I like trees, and I don’t really hide plastic easter eggs with $100 bills, so stay out of my yard.