Friday, April 20, 2012
First Earth Day
I celebrated the first Earth Day as an 11-year-old in 1970. I was a sixth grade student at Gordon L. Willson Elementary School. Between my newly built school and the driver's education range connected to the adjacent high school was a small ravine that had sadly become a dumping ground. I was among a group of students from my school asked to clean up the trash that had accumulated in that ravine. That experience awakened my consciousness of the earth and brought about a realization for me of the degradation that was happening to the Earth due to human carelessness. That first Earth Day also empowered me to do my own small part to help save the planet. Reduce, reuse and recycle became part of my DNA. I began to question what I buy and why. That eventually led to embracing the notion of living more simply. Later, I adopted non-toxic cleaning methods. Still later, I began to examine what food choices I was making, which led to purchasing more organic and local foods. That first Earth Day 42 years ago was a gift in my life and it continues to shape how I live today.