Today is Earth Day. The events planned this week have supported the theme ‘Restore our Earth’, see earthday.org.
I see out three challenges for myself this week around food, supporting wildlife in the garden and travel (What will you do today? blog post). I’ll let you in how I got on in my next post.
In trying to find some hope and inspiration to spur me on with those challenges I had three short moments where I saw things differently, and perhaps a little more clearly.
I wish you luck in your Earth Day actions and hope these quotes help you focus and find fresh energy.
“This is a marathon not a sprint.”Liz Bonnin, What Planet Are We On? Podcast
In an episode of the BBC Sounds podcast ‘What Planet are we on?’ the host, Liz Bonnin, realised that she often feels the frustration of actions not being taking fast enough on climate change and how that frustration clouds how she sees things that are being done. But reminding herself this is a marathon not a sprint acknowledges that this isn’t about big things being done once – this is also about all the little actions that are bringing about change too.
I too felt the penny drop. ‘Treading softer’ is hard because I am changing habits of a life time. There simply isn’t a recipe that you follow that says do these ten things and you’ll be green – we have to find new ways of thinking and living that we can sustain, that remove or reduce our impact on the planet and restore the natural balance to slow and halt climate change. We are trail blazing to a new era and we can’t go back to the old ways.
“Hope doesn’t come from words, it comes from taking action”Greta Thunberg ‘A year to change the world’.
Similarly listening to the BBC program following Greta Thunberg as she took a year off school to campaign for climate action made me sit up and take notes. It is easy for me to see this blog as a way of changing people’s minds, wise words if you like, but in actual fact what I try to share here is what I do or am planning to change for a more sustainable choice and the struggle that that action sometimes creates for me or my wider family. There is no point in me dwelling on the seemingly impossible tasks and challenges I have ahead of me or the complicated science behind technologies as though one is better than another. I need to pick the first task and have a go. Nobody is expecting me to be perfect or to get it 100% finished even………..JUST STARTING is sufficient. When the little voices pipe up again ‘Oh but what about this and that’ I can refocus by saying this is what I am working on at the moment, there are other challenges ahead. So much to do can feel overwhelming but if I keep putting one green foot in front of the other I am well on my way to better environmental choices.
Thirdly, was a quick browse through Pinterest for Earth Day inspiration. Initially I was frustrated because I wanted something to inspire me as an adult. Most of the ideas that I scrolled through on screen were about activities for children to mark Earth Day, nothing about things to change/ take action on. And then I came across this quote:
“We don’t inherit the Earth from our ancestors.
We borrow it from our children”Native American Proverb
That smacked me right between the eyes. I am now a parent – I am a guardian of the planet for the children who come after. Can I shrug my shoulders and say it was all too difficult? Too expensive? Nobody told me what to do? Or do I work really hard to share ideas for reducing our impact on this planet and help restore it? Not only that Earth is in a better condition by the time I leave this place but also because I can help my children learn how to live a sustainable life and not blindly continue in the same way as generations before them.
Will you be a guardian and leave the Earth in a better state than when you inherited it?