Today is several things to many people, National Jelly Bean Day, Bettie Page’s birthday, and 31 years ago at 8:26 p.m. in a military hospital in Myrtle Beach, SC I came kicking and screaming into this world. But more important than any present I could ask for or any bottle I can open to celebrate, it is Earth Day. Founded in 1970 as an environmental teach-in with a few thousand participating; it has become the largest secular holiday in the world, with more than 1 billion people in 192 countries expected to celebrate and participate.
So when I close my eyes and blow out the bonfire of candles on my birthday cake to make a wish, it will involve consumers making more conscious decisions and policy makers protecting our one and only home for generations to come and not to continuing to support dirty energy that has led us to our current climate crisis. This is more than a day to acknowledge our beautiful Mother Earth, more than planting a tree, picking up litter, recycling a beer can or bottle from my birthday celebration. This is a day to change our minds and lifestyles, to think outside the barrel, to punish those who profit from pollution. It should be so much more than a day, a week, or month. Considering the Earth, respecting her, not taking resources for granted to make it easy on ourselves, taking a hike without seeing litter, not being crowded out by gas guzzling behemoths on the roadway, or larger than necessary houses built on top of each other filled to the brim with things we don’t need, powered by dirty energy which irritates my allergies and asthma, giving back to our Mother Earth; this is my wish. Please make my wish come true.
Thank you and Happy Earth Day
-Sierra Club Intern