I’ve never gone out of my way to celebrate Earth Day other than a few activities with my kids. I kind of regarded it as I do other ‘so-called’ holidays: National This Day or World That Day. I recycle, I keep my thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer, I contribute to Wind Power, I give to the Sierra Club, isn’t this enough without dedicating a whole day to it?
Well, it seems there exists something coined ‘the green gap’. There is a gap between what we say we support or believe and what we are actually willing to do. Most of us would certainly say we are all for cleaner environments and cleaner air but often don’t do much more than recycling and maybe bringing those reusable shopping bags along when we hit the grocery. The more pressing issues of work, family, health, finances, etc. take much of our time and attention.
As savvy consumers, we are also aware of the epidemic of ‘greenwashing’ (a term that has even made it into the dictionary). It means we no longer trust all those marketing claims of ‘new’, ‘greener’, ‘earth-friendly’ and so on. Just like the term ‘natural’ it has been watered down and misused to the point of being almost meaningless. Many of the claims made on packaging are just not true. So, if we can’t buy our way to a cleaner earth, what can we do?
There is something. Join a local CSA (community supported agriculture). Almost every community has several to choose from. Changing what you eat, even if it is only a couple times a week, can dramatically impact the earth. In many parts of the country, CSAs are signing people up right about now to provide fresh, local produce all summer and into the fall. If you don’t know where to start, try local harvest. There is even have an interactive map that can give you links to CSAs near you. It is a win-win situation. You get a supply of local, fresh produce all summer and you will probably get exposed to some new fruits and vegetables that may become favorites. The farms get to grow a variety of food, some of which there would be no other practical market for. In this way you can help preserve diversity in our food supply.
Okay, so I’ve just suggested how we can all celebrate Earth Day while sitting in front of a computer with a few clicks, using no gas at all! How’s that for green? Happy Earth Day!
(The photo is one I found of Letchworth State Park, near my home in upstate NY. Definitely worth a visit!)