Earth Day!

April 22nd is know worldwide as Earth Day, a celebration of our planet and the many ways we can help save and conserve it. It was born in  the USA in 1970 to educate people about oil spills, the need for alternative fuels, the protection of endangered species  and the damage carbon emissions were exerting on our environment. During the week following up to and preceding the holiday, many governmental agencies and community groups plan outreach and volunteering events to engage the general population in the discussion of how to make our endeavors more sustainable. Teaching the general public how to effectively enact social change and further conservation efforts is the key to reverting the damage inflicted so far.

Some of the originals goals of the movement were to get more people to recycle materials, reuse or fix items instead of discarding them in the trash, and to reduce the amount of waste generating by humanity. Most of these efforts have paid off as many cities and businesses have adopted these practices, and some have become sustainable, producing now less than 10% of the waste they originally made. I toured the Kirin Brewery in Japan back in 2007 and they were reusing and recycling their own waste and products to the point only 3% of their output wasn’t salvageable. They even had a mascot called Ecojiro which we purchased as a souvenir.

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Ecojiro. Kirin’s Environmental Ambassador. Circs 2007

Earth Day became a renowned international holiday because it became a platform to address the polemic subjects of Global Warming and renewable energy sources, currently subjects of great political influence. There is hardly a country left that doesn’t value the importance of protecting our natural resources, and most embrace the practices and processes generated by the United Nations and First World Leaders. From ISO standards to ANSI and beyond, the industrial complex is always looking for ways to uphold quality and sustainability, especially when there are incentives to move away from technologies and processes than endanger our immediate surroundings. Japan is a world leader in this area and so is Germany. China is also coming along nicely.

In the USA, we are still trying to rally around renewable energy sources and Global Warming. Our populace is still divided on these issues which plague the Presidental campaigns with loose ends to tend to. You can’t be the leader of the free world and not do everything you can to ensure the planet lives on for future generations of citizens. At some point we all need to take a stand and/or be open to learn how to enhance the quality of life for those who share the same air we breath. That includes plants and the humane treatment of animals, two other subjects openly debated in society.

I am sure we can all agree that Earth Day gives us an opportunity to take stock of what has been done so far to further environmentally safe approaches and to congratulate ourselves for the small victories. With electric cars roaming rhe streets, wind and solar energy booming, and people clamoring for biodegradable waste and less plastic, we seem to be on our way to improving the chances rhat the changes made will be permanent and will effect even better policies and changes. A world full of beauty and wonder needs to protected and cared for so that we can all continue to enjoy its bounty.

Plant a tree, start a garden, clear invasive species off parks, help build bridges, wells and renewable energy farms; do what tou can to make a difference. Save the Earth one good deed at a time, no matter how small of a gesture it may appear to be. Every action matters when it comes to the environment and makes us better stewards of this pale blue dot.

If not, the quintessential aliens will attack us to take us out.

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