Friday, April 21, 2023

Earth Day 2023

Earth Day 2023 collage drawing of various plants and animals, It says "Invest in our planet".
It’s Earth Day time again! This year it will be celebrated on Saturday, April 22nd, and people across the world are preparing to mark the day in interesting and inspiring ways. Earth Day is meant to be a highlight of a year of everyday practice of being earth-friendly and not a one-off day. This is easy enough for some people and harder for a lot more. For instance, I heard about a new housing development that features extra-large garages for recreational vehicles and their sales pitch was to come out and celebrate Earth Day with them. The message there is not only tone-deaf, but also blatantly hypocritical and turns a meaningful event into another commercialized pseudo-holiday. To resist such undermining, every day needs to be Earth Day to keep the mission alive.

A panoramic view of the area along the US-Mexico border in Southern Arizona.
The Borderlands of Southern Arizona
Each year we here at ARBICO choose a local non-profit to feature on Earth Day. We look for a group that walks the earth-loving walk year-round and is dedicated to our homegrown environment. This year we are highlighting the Borderlands Restoration Network (BRN) and will be donating a portion of our proceeds on Saturday to them. The land surrounding our border with Mexico is not a barren space inhabited only by outlaws and immigrants. It is, instead, a fragile and highly complex ecosystem that needs loving care to stave off decline and keep it thriving. BRN is dedicated to meeting the needs of this unique land and the creatures that call it home (including jaguars!). These hardworking environmentalists hope to ultimately build a restorative, and not destructive, economy in the borderlands. Visit their website to learn more about the many programs they run – and please consider donating to this very worthy organization. 

Scientists observing a Bengal tiger from a jeep on a sanctuary in India.

A drawing of a cow and a pig, and other animals, in front of the Earth. It says "Go Vegan For The Earth Day".People around the world are gearing their Earth Day activities to fit their local needs. In India (which is on track to become the most populous nation in the world this year)  they have programs that are on-going, but they spotlight them on Earth Day. Some of their biggest concerns are clean water, plastic pollution and the protection of their many unique species of plants and animals (especially since many of them are endangered). They are also working to educate people in ways that pollution and habitat destruction hinders economic growth. In an over-packed and poor country, this is an urgent need. Read more here on all they are doing – it’s impressive. Australia, Spain, Japan  and South Africa are just some of the other countries that mark the day in their particular way– this article discusses seven of them.

Drawing of a bearded man with a knapsack riding a bike.
Silhouette of an adult in a cap, a child, and a dog looking at something on a beach.
If you are not the type to organize or join a community event on Earth Day, there are still ways to show your support (even if you’re just showing yourself). You could plant a tree – or plant any native plant for that matter. You could not use your car for the day and instead enjoy a bike ride or take the plunge and get comfortable with your public transport. If you don’t want to or can’t leave the house, you could read a relevant book or watch a move that deals with environmental issues with an eye to following up on what you learn. Here are 21 of the best films out there (and they’re not all devastatingly grim – some are actually uplifting). You could remove your shoes, feel the earth beneath your feet and lift your head to the sky to absorb the energy of our world. Or take a walk on a beach or sit under a tree and gaze up through the leaves. Or you could simply change out any old incandescent light bulbs for new energy-efficient models. 

A cartoon of a green-haired superhero saying, "The Planet Needs You!"

Earth Day has been created to build awareness of the needs of our mother planet, and to inspire people to become stewards of the natural world around them. We can all do more, and I invite all readers to find ways to do just that. And don’t forget to include, educate and inspire the children – after all, it's their future we need to protect.

Take Care                     Submitted by Pam

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