Kelly Kittel, co-founder of Step It Up Aquidneck Island, captures this nicely:
Earth Day is Tuesday, April 22, and I am wondering if we could all pause for a moment to think about this silently spinning orb we call home. Every day is Earth Day for the residents of this planet, all 6.6 billion of us, a staggering number and one that is taxing the carrying capacity of our planet in many ways. Have you thought much about it? Have you thought about the footprint you are leaving? How do you think our planet is doing, overall? Are we taking good care of it? I think the evidence is all around us that we have not been very good stewards. We have major issues facing us like global warming, resource exhaustion, endangered species, crop failure, and lack of clean drinking water to name a few. I keep looking and listening for the good news and am not hearing much in return. So, fellow earthlings, time to wake up and do some house cleaning.
There are many simple things we can do to help the planet and ourselves. Let’s start by making this island we inhabit 100% compact fluorescent. We can encourage our towns to change the traffic lights to LED which last for years instead of months. Look around your house. Have you had a home energy audit? Time to check that off the list. With heating oil prices rising every month none of us can afford to heat the outside. Take inventory of how many things you have plugged into the wall and try to eliminate one or two. Can you live without that hand lotion warmer? nd what is your room temperature? Could you put on another layer and lower the thermostat or open the windows and let the breeze blow through in the summer instead of shutting yourself inside with your air conditioner? How about your appliances? Are they all energy star rated?
Look around you. Is there a sunny spot in your yard where you could grow a tomato or some strawberries? Gardening is a wonderful activity to teach your kids and for your wallet, health and soul! Do you have a place to put a clothesline? The dryer is not only one of the biggest energy users in your house, all that lint you throw away is actually bits of your clothes wearing out. Do you really have a pest problem and is your lawn really not green enough or could you live without adding those chemicals to your house and lawn and, ultimately, the ocean. Are you doing as much as you can to reduce the waste you create, reuse what you can, and recycle what you can not? How much time do you spend outside listening to the birds and observing nature? The average American spends 20 minutes a day, including time spent in a car! Do the kids go out and play? Do you?
These are just some of the many things we can do to become better stewards of our home, the planet Earth. There isn’t another one we can move to when we’ve finished with this one. Remember, we did not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. What legacy are you leaving?